Unprecedented Autumn Celebrations: Cofradías Return with Vigor (2023)

Magna Processions Mark a Resurgent Fall

In the wake of a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the fervor of the cofrade community has rejuvenated, and processions have once again taken the public space with a sense of normalcy. Following the first post-pandemic Holy Week and the Gloria brotherhoods retracing their traditional routes, autumn unfolds with a series of commemorations, turning the latter half of 2022 into an extraordinary season. The recent Magna de Antequera, held this Saturday, set the stage, not only in the capital but also in Vélez Málaga, where 18 brotherhoods will participate in the processional commemoration of their 75th anniversary on October 15.

A Symbolic Return: The Triumph of Virgen de la Victoria

Breaking the ecclesiastical decree's constraints, the Virgen de la Victoria reclaimed the streets on September 11, 2021. Although its triumphant procession on September 8 had to be suspended, the Virgin returned to her Sanctuary in a dawn transfer, marking a historic moment. The first procession in Málaga since the onset of the health crisis—no retinue, no candles, no paraphernalia, just a dawn rosary on simple platforms—yet, with the Patron Saint. A resounding symbol of the Victory brotherhood facing the pandemic.

Uninterrupted Processions: A Chronicle of Events

From that moment, the processions have unfolded without pause. In addition to the regular statutory processions, extraordinary processions began on July 9 with the Virgen de los Dolores del Puente, celebrating its 275th anniversary. The confluence of these anniversaries is not coincidental but rather a reflection of the ongoing commemoration of Málaga's Holy Week renewal after the tragic events of 1931 and the Civil War. The 40s witnessed a crucial aesthetic revolution, led by Juan Casielles del Nido, marking its 50th anniversary this year. New iconic figures emerged, such as the Cristo de la Agonía (1972), a testament to Alvarez Duarte's craftsmanship.

Anniversaries Galore: A Continuing Tradition

In the coming years, the celebration of 50th anniversaries for the founding or reorganization of 'new' brotherhoods will commence. This is likely to spark another wave of extraordinary processions. The first in line is the Virgen del Gran Poder, set to grace the Cathedral on September 24, marking the centenary of the current brotherhood, born from the merger of three ancient corporations. Subsequently, the Virgen Mediadora de la Salvación brotherhood will take to the streets on October 1, commemorating the 25th anniversary of its titular image's blessing.

The Historic Christ of Agony: A Golden Jubilee

The Christ of Agony also celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2022. Crafted by Francisco Buiza, this remarkable figure, part of the Penas brotherhood, will have an extraordinary procession on October 1. Pollinica will join the festivities on October 29, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the blessing of the Virgen del Amparo.

Vélez-Málaga's Grand Celebration

Vélez-Málaga, in 2022, celebrates the 75th anniversary of its Cofradías Association. On October 15, a Magna procession featuring 18 titular images will traverse the municipality, highlighting a significant external worship event. The Agrupación aims not only to commemorate its anniversary but also to acknowledge over 500 years of faithful associations shaping Vélez's life and popular religiosity.

A Pinnacle for Humildad y Paciencia

Concluding this exceptional season is the Humildad y Paciencia brotherhood, with the blessing of its sacred figure by José María Ruiz Montes. The image, completed on June 12, will be solemnly blessed on October 15 at San Vicente de Paul.

In this extraordinary autumn filled with anniversaries, Málaga's cofradías showcase a profound commitment to tradition, spirituality, and artistic expression, marking each procession as a vibrant testament to their enduring cultural significance.


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