Tradition and people

Video & Photo Gallery: People Make the Magic of Festa

Saint Blaise is Dubrovnik’s patron saint and guardian whose feast day is marked with many celebrations and events in Dubrovnik. Today, we mark the amazing 1048 years throughout which Saint Blaise protected us, his city, its citizens. Ever since the year 972, when people began to celebrate it, the feast day of St Blaise, Dubrovnik patron saint, has been a quite special festival, typical of Dubrovnik. Today is no different. Even the rain stopped for a little bit, just to keep the procession alive and colorful, amazingly beautiful.

Today’s celebration of the feast day of St. Blaise has its roots in ancient legend according to which Saint Blaise, Bishop and martyr of Sebaste, saved Dubrovnik from the Venetians.

According to historical records, at the end of the 14th century a Venetian fleet on its way to Levant, anchored in front of the island of Lokrum and Gruž. Locals in Dubrovnik welcomed them with open arms not knowing their true intentions – conquering the city. One night, Saint Blaise appeared to a priest named Stojko of the the then Church of St. Stephen, and warned him that the Venetians wanted to take Dubrovnik. As described by Serafin Razzi, the grey-haired Bishop Blaise, who was accompanied by armed military, said that he was sent from heaven to protect the city from the Venetians, who that night had secretly come to the city walls in order to jump over and begin their attack. According to the vision, Saint Blaise with the help of the heavenly army, threw the Venetians from the walls of Dubrovnik.