Virgin Of The Victory

Virgin of the Victory is a regional holiday observed annually on September 8th in the autonomous city of Melilla, Spain. This holiday celebrates the Virgin Mary, who is the patron saint of the city of Melilla. An image of the Virgin of the Victory arrived on a ship from Sanlúcar de Barrameda.

It was to be sent to the Spanish colonies in America, but a storm prevented the ship from departing. It remained in the city in 1571. In 1631, the Virgin Mary was named the patron saint of Melilla, and in 1998, she was granted the esteemed honor of the title of Perpetual Honorary Mayor of Melilla.

The History of the Virgin of the Victory

During the 16th century, the church of Nuestra Señora de la Victoria, which is located in what is now Plaza de Armas, was made into a hermitage. In 1720, the image of the Virgin was transferred to the Royal and Pontifical Church of the Immaculate Conception while the hermitage was being worked on. When the hermitage was demolished, the image was transferred to the Church of the Immaculate Conception.

Observing the Virgin of the Victory

This holiday is observed with religious services and other events all across Melilla. Since it’s a public holiday, it’s a day off for the general population, and businesses, schools, and non-essential government offices are closed for the day. It’s a day when people visit friends and family members as well.

This is also a day when the image of the Virgin is transferred by a procession from her temple to the Church of the Sacred Heart, one of the largest temples in the city. Once there, a novena is performed. The final act is a Eucharist that is held in front of the city’s officials, and then a procession that takes the image back to the Iglesia de la Purísima Concepción.

Where is it celebrated?
Spain (Local holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
September 8 Sunday
Next year (2025)
September 8 Monday
Last year (2023)
September 8 Friday