A Little Bit of History…
La Mercè – The Patron Saint of Barcelona
What´s the origin of La Mercè? On the night of September 24th, 1218, the Virgin of Mercy appeared to King James I of Aragon, Saint Peter Nolasco, and Saint Raymond of Penyafort at the same time. She gave all three of them the order to liberate the Christian monks, who were held captive by the Saracens, as the Moorish occupants were called. It was a time of religious wars.
Centuries later, in 1687, the Virgin of Mercy shielded Barcelona from a plague of locusts and freed the city of pestilence. The city council made her the patron saint of Barcelona, which, however, was not recognized by the pope (eliminate though). The decision was only ratified two centuries later in 1868. During the Spanish Wars of Succession, the Virgin of Mercy was handed the command over the city’s defence in a hopeless situation in 1714. On 11 September 1714, Barcelona was taken by the Spanish and French Bourbon armies.
Now every September 24th since 1902, the whole city of Barcelona celebrates their Patron Saint, La Mercè.