Every year on the third Saturday in October, Palma celebrates the Festes de la Beata. Festivities started yesterday at the Convent de Santa Magdalena, a closed convent that specially opened its doors to the neighbourhood on the occasion of introducing the chosen Beateta, the young girl that was chosen to represent Mallorca’s only saint, Caterina Tomàs. This year the lucky girl is one Francina de Juan Mas, shown below. Allegedly, she is sitting on the very same chair that the original Beata had sat on, I am told, sometime during the 16th century.
Festivities today will start at 10h30 outside the convent, to be followed by a misa solemne (church service) in the adjoining church of Santa Maria Magdalena, in the presence of the young Beateta. At 19h00 a Colcada de la Beata procession will proceed through Palma’s city centre to finish in the Rambla. This procession has its origins in the beatification of Santa Caterina Tomàs in 1792. Sor Tomasseta was born in Valldemossa in 1531 and died in the Convent de Santa Magdalena in Palma in 1574. This year, the Colcada will be made up by six bandes de música plus the Ministrils, the mounted Policía Muntada de Palma, the Consell’s giants, 19 ball de bot groups, 19 groups of xeremiers, 5 carriages, the mounted Padrí de la Beata and the Carro Triomfal de la Beata, plus assorted other groups, associations and fraternidades. I am told that today’s ceremonial procession counts amongst the most important religious celebrations of the year. You might want to make your way to Palma.
The photo (top) was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: October 16th, 2009. The time was 18:30:31. The photo (bottom) was borrowed from the Consell de Mallorca website. Muchas gracias.