August 15th is the feast day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven.
Belief in Mary’s Assumption into heaven dates from the earliest Christian times.
The Catholic Church has confirmed this belief as a dogma. It was proclaimed by Pope Pius XII in 1950, and later confirmed by the Second Vatican Council.
The feast is celebrated in many countries, and in Croatia this day was declared not only as a church but also as a national holiday.
The feast starts with a solemn mass in front of Dubrovnik Cathedral at 19:00 and is led by the Dubrovnik bishop, the clergy and the presiding bishop.
After the mass a Votive painting of Our Lady of Porat (usually displayed in the Dubrovnik Cathedral) is carried out in the procession that passes through the Old Town of Dubrovnik to the Old City’s port.
There the bishop pronounces a blessing upon all ships, boats, fishermen and sailors.
The feast lasts for three days, and the celebration is enriched with classical music concerts and performances by choirs each night.
The votive painting of Our Lady of Porat is kept in the Dubrovnik Cathedral Treasury and is displayed on the eponymous altar, located in the third chapel from the main entrance in the southern nave of the cathedral, which was raised by Archbishop G. Lazzari in 1783.
It is the work of an unknown artist of the 15th century, painted in tempera on wood, above which there are silver and partially gold-plated fittings made in Venice in the 18th century. The painting of Our Lady of Porat belonged to the church Sigurata in Dubrovnik, and by the decision of the Senate it was transferred to the Cathedral in 1706.
Images are taken from Dubrovačka Biskupija webpage.
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