Every April, the statue of the Virgin of the Incarnation, is carried from the Santa Ursula Church in Adeje to the hermitage of San Sebastián in La Caleta, the original home of the Virgin. This procession has been taking place for over 300 years. And, every year the people of Adeje fulfill a promise made generations ago *see below* and at the same time celebrate the coming together of the people of the town by walking across the old path to accompany the statue then spend time together celebrating in the plaza of San Sebastián.
According to the Department of Culture, they expect a higher number of pilgrims than the previous year and there will be local security on hand to assist if anyone needs it.
The walk takes up to four hours with a number of stops along the way where there will be music, poetry, and readings. The first stop is at the Adeje Cemetery, where those who are no longer with us are remembered. The walkers then cross the bridge over the motorway (expect minor traffic delays if you are driving at this time), and carry on to the Portón de la Virgin, through the stone arches near the police station, where there is another stop.
The third break is at La Era where walkers rest for a while before the last stretch, which sees the statue received by Saint Sebastian, the other patron saint of the area. The two statues enter the church together where mass is celebrated. Following mass, the official proclamation of the start of the Lustrum Year will take place. Then the statue of the Virgin returns to Adeje later in the afternoon.
As with many of Adeje’s religious festivals this is also a family event, open to everyone, resident and visitor, to take part. Remember to wear comfortable clothing and shoes, use an appropriate sun block, and take water with you.
The origins of the event
The Rogation is a tradition, which began in the 16th century when Pedro de Ponto removed the statue of the ‘Virgen de La Encarnación’ from the San Sebastián hermitage to Santa Ursula to protect her from marauding pirates. However, the residents weren’t completely happy with the decision and promised that once a year she would return to her original home. The tradition has persisted over hundreds of years, with the people of Adeje using the event to make promises to their patron saint if she protected them from plagues, illness, and famines, as listed in the Book of Miracles of Our Lady of the Incarnation, which can be viewed in the Adeje parish archives.
The above is taken from information received from the Ayuntamiento Adeje last April 2015.