The Consell de Mallorca inaugurates an exhibition dedicated to Saint Catalina Tomàs on the day of the 450th anniversary of her death

Apr 5, 2024 | Current affairs, Featured, Interview, Revista Lloseta, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

The insular institution has organised a series of events for this Friday, 5th April, the day of the commemoration.

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An exhibition dedicated to Saint Catalina Tomàs on the day of the 450th anniversary of her death

This Friday, the Consell de Mallorca is opening an exhibition dedicated to Saint Catalina Tomàs to commemorate the 450th anniversary of her death. The island institution has also organised a ringing of bells and a Eucharist in the church of Santa Magdalena on the 5th of April, the day of the anniversary, which will be presided over by the bishop of Mallorca, Sebasatià Taltavull.

In this way, Mallorca will commemorate the 450th anniversary of the passing of Saint Catalina Tomàs (Valldemossa, 1531 – Palma, 1574), who was beatified in 1792 and canonised in 1930. This marks the beginning of a wide-ranging programme of religious and cultural activities that will be held over the following months. The project as a whole was presented in an audience to Pope Francis on 20 March.

At the same time, explained the Vice President and Councillor of Culture and Heritage, Antònia Roca, work is underway to declare the historic triumphal chariot processions of Santa Catalina Tomàs in Palma, Valldemossa and Santa Margalida as a site of intangible cultural interest (BICIM).

Expression of gratitude. The Tomásian votive offerings of the Canonical Church of Santa Magdalena

The Consell de Mallorca, together with the Bishopric of Mallorca and the Canonical of Santa Magdalena, opens, this Friday, the exhibition Expresión de gratitud. Los exvotos tomasians de la canónica de Santa Magdalena, which will be held in the chapel of the Centre Cultural la Misericòrdia, with a performance by the Valldemossa choir.

This is a travelling exhibition, curated by Gabriel Carrió, which will be on display at the Misericòrdia until Saturday, 25th May, although it will continue at the Museum of History in Manacor from July to September, and at the Coll Bardolet Foundation in Valldemossa from November 2024 to January 2025.

The exhibition shows a selection of votive offerings from the 17th and 20th centuries from the monastery of Santa Magdalena (Palma), which are linked to the devotion to Saint Catalina Tomàs. It is part of one of the most important collections of votive offerings in Mallorca in terms of quantity, age and thematic unity, comparable to that compiled for the devotions to the Virgin Mary of Lluc or the Christ of the Blood. They represent one of the first visual representations of the saint and helped enormously to structure and spread the fame of her saintliness.

In addition to the social and ethnographic information they contain, they are expressions of gratitude for the intersection of misfortune, accidents, illnesses, etc. The aim was to document these facts as proof of the extraordinary virtues of the Valldemossa people in the religious and devotional sphere. They offer a personal witness to consolidate the clamour of the people who aspired to see the cause of canonisation progress and culminate, an event that took place in 1930.

The exhibition is made up of 22 votive offerings: two objects, two photographs and 18 painted ones. In an extraordinary way, and without being part of the itinerary, the exhibition includes the painting representing Saint Catalina Tomàs (property of the Consell de Mallorca), which came from the original furniture of the Misericòrdia chapel.

A preview of the programme

Tuesday, 30th April, on the occasion of the saint’s birthday (1st May 1531), publication on the YouTube channels of the Consell de Mallorca and the Bishopric of Mallorca of the video clip of the version of the song Sor Tomasseta arranged and performed by Sonadors Sonats.

Saturday, 22nd June, the birthday of the canonisation (1930), conference given by Mn. Gabriel Ramis, vice-postulator of the causes of the saints, in the church of Santa Magdalena, Palma.

Friday, 26th July, conference given by Mn. Nadal Bernat, priest of the monastery of Santa Magdalena, in Palma, in the chapter house of the same monastery.

Saturday, 24th August, in remembrance of the day the saint promised her perpetual vows, Catalina Tomàs theatre production, by Pere de Alcàntara Peña, in Valldemossa.

In addition, this year, among other activities, a comic book will be published to raise awareness of the saint, the triumphal chariot and ancient costumes related to the parade will be restored, and a series of conferences will be held. In addition, an open popular pilgrimage is also being organised, with the Bishopric of Mallorca, for all the people of Mallorca, to conclude the year of Saint Catalina Tomàs before the Holy See.