Feature: How Vila-real, Spain, Celebrates St. Paschal’s Feast

Among all places in the world, Vila-real City in Spain it was that commiserated with the people of Guinarona on the loss/theft of the latter’s century-old image of San Pascual Baylon.  When we decided to hold a delayed centennial for San Pascual in 2012, two years since the theft in June 2010, the people of Vila-real, through it’s mayor, sent us warm felicitations.  The Basilica San Pascual Baylon, meanwhile, sent in books and mementos about San Pascual to Guiinarona.  To top it all, the Basilica sent in a portion of San Pascual’s body (bone relic), which arrived Manila on May 2, 2013, and we were able to enshrine it May 15, 2013, ante vesperas of Guinarona’s 109th fiesta.  Which makes Vila-real a de facto sister city of Guinarona’s.

Vila-real is where San Pascual spent his life as lay brother of the Franciscan Monastery.  It is also where the saint took his last last breath, and Vila-real keeps all of San Pascual’s relics.

How do the people of Vila-real celebrate the feast of San Pascual Baylon?  Low-key it is not, most definitely,

As in, they celebrate San Pascual for 9 days with different activities for each day.  Their fiesta menu consists of the standard paella and barbecued meat and sausages–all done outdoors.  Their food is not elaborate, but their joie de vi·vre and hospitality are a given.


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