Barcelona Events 2019


La Merçè 2019 - Public holiday

Virgen de la Mercè - Dia festivo 

Public holiday in Barcelona only

Event date: Tuesday 24th September 2019
Event location: Barcelona only
Hashtag: #Mercè19

Día de la Mercè. Virgen de la Mercè. The 24th September is local public holiday in Barcelona in celebration of 'La Merçè' who is one of three co-patrons saint of Barcelona, the others being Santa Eulalia and Santa Madrona.

The Barcelona Festival La Mercè is the biggest annual 'festa major' festival in Barcelona and place in the days surrounding this public holiday.

Check our Merce Festival Guide for highlights and essential information about 2018 Merce festival.

Shops are generally closed on public holidays in Barcelona so most shops and businesses will be closed on 24th September in Barcelona. Barcelona transport, attractions, restaurants, nightlife, souvenir shops and convenience stores are generally open.

La Mercè legend

According to legend on the night of 2nd August 1218 the Virgin Mary appeared to the Catalan knight Pere Nolasc. She asked him to form a sacred order of monks in her name.

He did as she asked and formed the Order of Merced, dedicated to ransoming poor Christians, who were take prisoner by Saracen pirates during the wars of the crusades and who could not afford to pay their ransoms.

Pere Nolasc had actually already been doing this since 1202 so for 15 years before the Virgin appeared to him, but he always praying for help and divine intervention and this came in the form of a Marian experience in 1218.

The Order of Mercy was established on August 10, 1218 with the help of Nolasc's confessor at Barcelona cathedral, Saint Ramón de Penyafort, and with support from the Count of Barcelona and King of Aragon King Jaume I.

All the details of the foundation of the Order of Mercy are kept to this day in the Aragon Crown archives in Barcelona. Centuries later in 1687 the Virgin of La Mercè helped Barcelona by making a plague of locusts disappear.

After the locust plaque the Council of the City chose La Merce as patron saint of Barcelona and she was canonised as a patron saint in 1868 by the Pope Pius IX.

Since 1687 the city has celebrated La Mercè festival every year in Barcelona and the locust plague has never returned.

La Mercè was also briefly appointed commander of the army during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14) when Barcelona was under siege by French troops supporting Philip of Anjou in a contest for the Spanish crown.

The Virgin had better success fighting locusts than French soldiers because in 1714 the city was captured by the French troops on September 11th 1714 and Philip of Anjou became Felipe V of Spain.
This defeat is now commemorated in Catalonia as the Catalonia national day which in recent years and in particular since 2012 has become a showcase event for supporters of Catalan independence from Spain. 

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Event address & map

Venue:
Various locations in Barcelona   -   Website
City:
Barcelona

Various locations in Barcelona


This event takes place at various locations in Barcelona.

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Barcelona Event 

Barcelona Events:
La Mercè - Día de la Mercè Public holiday Barcelona
When:
24.09.2019
Where:
Various locations in Barcelona - Barcelona
Category:
Public holidays Barcelona and Spain