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Our Lady of Meritxell Day

Honor Our Lady of Meritxell Day with a day of prayer and reflection, celebrating the patron saint of Andorra.
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When it is?
September 8
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Category
Federal
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Country
Andorra
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Founded
Introduction

Get ready to celebrate Our Lady of Meritxell Day on September 8, a special day dedicated to the patron saint of Andorra. This holiday honors the miraculous statue of the Virgin Mary that was found in the village of Meritxell in the 12th century. Legend has it that she appeared to a shepherd and instructed him to build a chapel in her honor. Today, this small village has become an important pilgrimage site for Catholics from all over the world. On this day, people come together to pay their respects and show their devotion to Our Lady of Meritxell. So why not join in on the festivities and discover the rich history behind this beloved figure?

History of Our Lady of Meritxell Day

Our Lady of Meritxell Day Dates

Our Lady of Meritxell Day Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>12th Century</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Discovery of the Statue</div><div class='timeline-text'>The original statue of Our Lady of Meritxell was discovered by a shepherd in a wild rose bush. This marked the beginning of the veneration of Our Lady of Meritxell.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1873</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Our Lady of Meritxell Patron Saint</div><div class='timeline-text'>The General Council of the Valleys declared Our Lady of Meritxell the patron saint of Andorra.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1972</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Sanctuary Reconstruction</div><div class='timeline-text'>After a fire in 1972 that destroyed the original sanctuary, a new sanctuary designed by Catalan architect Ricard Bofill was constructed to honor Our Lady of Meritxell.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1995</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Canonization of the Image</div><div class='timeline-text'>On September 8, 1995, the image of Our Lady of Meritxell was canonically crowned by the Archbishop of Urgell, Joan Martí Alanis, on behalf of Pope John Paul II.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>Annual</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Our Lady of Meritxell Day Celebrations</div><div class='timeline-text'>Every year on September 8, Andorrans celebrate Our Lady of Meritxell Day with a national holiday, religious processions, and festive activities.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Our Lady of Meritxell Day

<div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Attend a traditional Mass</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Celebrate the religious aspect of Our Lady of Meritxell Day by attending a traditional Mass. This is a great way to honor and show your devotion to the Patroness of Andorra.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Host a feast in her honor</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Gather friends and family together and host a feast in honor of Our Lady of Meritxell. Prepare traditional Andorran dishes and share stories about the history and significance of this special day.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Visit a shrine or pilgrimage site</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Take a trip to a local shrine or pilgrimage site dedicated to Our Lady of Meritxell. This is a great opportunity for reflection, prayer, and paying homage to the patron saint of Andorra.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Participate in a cultural festival</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Many towns and cities in Andorra hold festivals and events to celebrate Our Lady of Meritxell Day. Join in the festivities, try traditional foods and drinks, and immerse yourself in Andorran culture.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Donate to a charitable cause</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>In the spirit of giving and honoring Our Lady of Meritxell, consider making a donation to a charitable cause that supports the people of Andorra. This is a great way to spread kindness and celebrate the values of this special day.</p></div></div>

Why Our Lady of Meritxell Day is Important

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Celebrates the patron saint of Andorra</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Our Lady of Meritxell is not only an important religious figure in Andorra, but she is also recognized as the country's official patron saint. Celebrating her day is a way to honor and pay tribute to this beloved figure who holds significant cultural and historical importance in Andorra.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Brings the community together</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Our Lady of Meritxell Day is a national holiday in Andorra, which means it's a time when families and friends gather to celebrate together. It's a day of joy, unity, and connection with loved ones, which makes it an important event for strengthening community ties.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Honors the history and traditions of Andorra</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Our Lady of Meritxell Day is deeply rooted in the history and traditions of Andorra. It's a day that celebrates the country's heritage and values, preserving them for future generations to come. By recognizing and commemorating this holiday, Andorrans pay homage to their culture and keep it alive.</p></div></div>

5 Revealing Facts about Our Lady of Meritxell Day

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>1</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Our Lady of Meritxell is both a spiritual and national symbol</h3><p class='facts-content'>The figure of Our Lady of Meritxell serves not only as a spiritual beacon for the people of Andorra but also as a significant national symbol, underlining the deep-rooted influence of religion in the country's overall identity.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>2</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Every year a "Falla" is created and burnt</h3><p class='facts-content'>As part of the celebrations, a "Falla", a large wooden structure depicting a scene from the life of Our Lady of Meritxell, is created and set on fire. This tradition adds a fascinating cultural touch to the proceedings.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>3</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Alleged lighting miracle in 1968</h3><p class='facts-content'>It's said that during the winter of 1968, the old statue of Our Lady of Meritxell had an "electrical cape" which illuminated despite not being connected to any electricity source, leading many to regard it as a miracle.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>4</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>A special mass is held by the Bishop of Urgell</h3><p class='facts-content'>Each year, the Bishop of Urgell, one of the co-princes of Andorra, holds a special mass on Our Lady of Meritxell Day, further cementing the holiday's religious significance.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>5</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>The sanctuary is an architectural marvel</h3><p class='facts-content'>The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Meritxell, designed by Ricard Bofill, stands as an architectural marvel. It beautifully fuses traditional and modern design elements, and is a major attraction on this day.</p></div></div>

Our Lady of Meritxell Day FAQs

When is Our Lady of Meritxell Day?

Our Lady of Meritxell Day is celebrated on September 8 every year. In 2024, the holiday will fall on a Sunday.

Our Lady of Meritxell Day Dates

Year
Date
Day

2023

Sep 8

Friday

2024

Sep 8

Sunday

2025

Sep 8

Monday

2026

Sep 8

Tuesday

2027

Sep 8

Wednesday

Federal Holidays