Lowering the flag of St. Blaise at noon on February 7, 2016 ended the 1044th consecutive Festivity of St. Blaise, the patron saint of Dubrovnik.
Don Thomas Lucic sent a poignant commemorative message to mark the occasion: ”We would like your image and stamp to be on all of our papers and documents, because it is a guarantee of authenticity. We would like your image to remain on our walls and towers, as this is a guarantee of our security. We would like your flag to fly over all of our ships, on both land and sea because it is a symbol of our freedom under your protection. Long live Saint Blaise.”
The closing ceremony of the Feast, which takes place traditionally on the first Sunday after the festivities, began with the famous gun salute of the Dubrovnik trombunjeri, and was followed by a pilgrimage to Gorica St. Blaise where the morning Mass was led by a priest of the Archdiocese of Split-Makarska county, Don Ivan Bodrozic.
The completion of the Festival of this year does not mean the end of events dedicated to the city’s very own guardian angel, as 2016 was declared the Year of St. Blaise in Dubrovnik and we therefore await many more events and celebrations.
A special part of this year’s Feast, that made it different to previous ones, was that we celebrated the 1700th anniversary of the saint’s martyrdom, and also the 600th anniversary of the end of the slave trade in Dubrovnik, the importance of this years ”festa” brought with it the presence of Cardinal Vinko Puljic, envoy of Pope Francis.