Dominican Republic Mercedes Day: September 24
Mercedes Day is a Public Holiday in Dominican Republic.
Domican Republic celebrates the Mercedes Day in honor of Our Lady of Mercy, Patroness of Dominican Republic. The catholic holiday is celebrated with very religiously throught Dominican Republic and is a public holiday on 24th of September every year.
Dominican Republic Mercedes Day History
The History about this old catholic holiday in not very clear but according to believers, the only common ground that can be established is that it is a Roman Catholic festival; in both places there are references to Our Lady being the Patroness; and both places were at one stage in conflict with the Spanish Empire and fighting for independence.
Our Lady of Las Mercedes (or the Virgin of the Mercedes) is the Patroness of the Tucuman people, having been bestowed with this title in 1687.
At the Battle of Tucuman on 24th September 1812, Our Lady is credited with ensuring the victory of some 1,800 Argentine troops over the colonial Spanish forces, who numbered about 3,000. The Argentines, under the command of General Manuel Belgrano, placed their faith in Our Lady, and their success enabled the United Provinces of La Plata to press on with their claims, eventually successful, for independence.
Dominican Republic Mercedes Day Customs and Activities
A series of events are held to commemorate this event, which is a national holiday. Masses are celebrated in honor of the patron saint, followed by a procession through the Colonial Zone. The first apparition of the patron took place in 1495 when she spoke to a group of Spanish soldiers who were fighting the Taino Indians.Our Lady of Mercies then appeared on several more occasions at Santo Cerro, where a church has been built in her honor.