Monday 18th October 2021 – ÁLVARO MONFORT with Mike Smith
After seven months, the town’s treasured treasured image of Jesús Nazareno bid farewell to the fortress of the village to return to his abode in the blue-domed chapel of Calvario. Back in May, during the symbolic celebrations that honour the image, the Nazarene Brotherhood had suggested that the traditional ascent of the image would be a very different affair to normal due to the pandemic and that the journey from the heart of the historic centre would depend on the health situation.
On Sunday, the time for that journey arrived. After the celebration of Mass, a pilgrimage began which allowed many devotees to accompany the revered image to its usual home. And, if the image descended last March at a time when the rain was getting worse, the ascent was carried out after the rain earlier in the day dissipated. It is well known that bad weather often postpones the procession of Ascension on May 3rd and it was feared that Sunday’s journey would also be suspended after a day in which rain dominated. However, despite wet streets and a pink sky, the weather took a break and allowed the procession to take place. And it did so quickly, with a short and direct route. And with everyone accompanying it wearing a face mask.
As usual, the image of La Dolorosa, shining in all its splendour after the restoration carried out by Vicent Catalá, led the way in front of the image of Jesús Nazareno. As the latter entered through the magnificent gate for the ascent along the winding Via Crucís, a thunderbolt of fireworks was fired from the Plaza de la Constitución where the people of Xàbia bid farewell to their treasured image which has been cared for by the town for over 250 years. It will remain under the blue dome until next March when it descends again to the heart of the historic centre for devotion over the Easter period and the celebrations in late April / early May.