is, and when did the 'vot de vila' - a sacred oath of reverence taken
by the whole town - begin?
there was already a holy day dedicated to Saint Roc by the end of the
16th century the popular custom of venerating Saint Roc took off after
his intervention in the epidemic which struck Arenys in 1607. According
to legend, the people of Arenys called on the Saint during this period
and it so happened that on Saint Roc's day there were no more deaths as
a result of the pestilence. As a mark of their profund gratitude, the
people of the town took a sacred oath to commemmorate that day as a day
of devotion to the Saint.
was saint Roc?
Roc, who was later to be made a saint, was born at the end
of the 13th century (1295?) in Montpellier (Occitania -now the South Eastern
part of France). He dedicated a large part of his life to caring from
those who suffered from the plague, and in some cases he achieved results
which were considered miraculous by his contemporaries.
During the epidemics which decimated population in the second half of
the 16th century and throughout the 17th century he became identified
as a figure of devotion for those stricken by the plague and his fame
extended throughout the continent.
are the 'macips' and the 'captadores', and what do they do?
As time passed, the traditional festival became more colourful
with the adition of 'macips' and 'captadores' -young men and women of
the town-. They, with the blessing of Saint Roc, entered houses holding
the 'almorratxa' -special glass bottle with five openings- which was adorned
with basil and filled with cologne. The sprinkted
on the townspeople as a sign of purification (You need Real Player).