St Devote

Saint Devote is the patron saint of the Principality, the Royal Family and the Archdiocese of Monaco and is also the patron saint of the Island of Corsica.

In the early 4th century, on Corsica (which was then a Roman province) the Roman governor, Diocletian, ordered the great persecution of the Christians.

A young Christian girl of around 19 years of age named Devote, was arrested, imprisoned and tortured and martyred. After her death, the governor of the province ordered for her body to be burnt but the Christians saved her body and placed it on a boat bound for Africa, where they believed she would receive a proper Christian burial.

Whilst afloat in the Mediterranean Sea a storm blow up and overtook the boat. During the mayhem, a dove guided the boat safely to the coastline of Monaco where it ran aground in an area known as the Gaumates. It was upon this landing site that a church was built in her memory and also to house her remains. An oratory shows the place of her tomb.

In the 16th century, it was told that the Saint protected Monaco during a war against the Genoese and the Pisans: the enemies besieged the stronghold and fortified town of Monaco. For more than six months, their attacks were repelled by the Monegasque to whom Saint Devote had appeared ensuring them the divine protection and the victory. On March 15, 1507, the Genoese ended their unsuccessful siege.

The cult of Saint Devote still remains fervent in the Principality of Monaco. Devotion to this popular saint in connection with Monaco and its Princes can officially be seen in every church of the Principality and on some of its coins. St Devote is the protective soul of the Monegasque identity whose relics have been implored with joys and sorrows.

Depending of tour schedules, visits to Monaco normally last a full-day providing opportunity to attend Mass in the Church, venerate the relics of St Devote and free time to explore the Old Town, the Princes’ Palace and visit the grave of Princess Grace of Monaco (Grace Kelly) in Monaco Cathedral.

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