Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Feast of St. Francis of Assisi: The Annual Pilgrimage of thousands to Banica

The town of Banica was established in 1507, and sometime between then and now the pious belief became established that St. Francis of Assisi appeared in a nearby cave. For many years now thousands of pilgrims have made pilgrimage from across the nation to visit the cave (which is no easy ascent) and celebrate the Feast of St. Francis (October 4).

The annual event includes several processions and features two Dominican musical traditions: “Salves” (African style chants sung antiphonally in Spanish) and the playing of the “palos” (long thin drums similar to congas).

Photos below show the two processions (the first on September 24 to begin a Novena of preparation; the second on the feast day of St. Francis).