St. Rocco's Day

Although the Day of the Assumption of Mary is observed with the highest degree of piety and devotion, the observation of St. Rocco became a custom jointly celebrated by the entire town in the 19th century.

Back in 1760 plague reigned supreme in Murter, and a belief spread around the people that it was St. Rocco who saved the village from the plague. In recognition of this and as a sign of gratitude, a shrine was erected in his honour on the Vršina hill, so that he could continue to keep watch over the health and prosperity of Murterians. So it comes as no surprise that St. Rocco is a particularly important saint. This is evident from a beautiful, dignified procession through which this Catholic tradition is kept to this very day, and it attracts many visitors as well.

On St. Rocco's day, August 16th, the procession carrying St. Rocco's statue descends towards the parochial house. Little girls wearing traditional folk costumes scatter rose petals in front of the statue while it is being carried by four young men. The statue remains in the parish church for eight days following the procession. Parishioners pray the Rosary every evening during that period, and then the statue is returned to the votive church on St. Bartholomew's day. The procession is led by the Parish priest and the church choir sings songs and psalms to mark the occasion, while parishioners pray the Rosary. The windows and streets in the entire village are decorated with shrouds, flowers, and other objects. The procession for returning the statue from the parish church to St. Rocco's church serves as a reminder for the disappearance of the plague on Murter. 

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