Javierada, Novena of Grace
Novena de gracia
The type of holiness of St. Francis Javier, missionary, vigorous, apostolic, impatient, passionate, impetuous... has been and is still living in Navarra, a patron saint that remains deeply rooted in the subconscious as prototype Navarran family... that from earliest childhood, was a strong and determined missionary. Francis Javier, patron of Navarra. While most of the pilgrims reach Javier by walking, lately there is more diversity: bike, jogging, rollerblades, by road, over the mountains, etc.
There are also other Javieradas apart from the principal: School Javierada, Family Javierada, Patients Javieradas...
The word "Javierada" was invented by a Navarran bishop, Don Marcelino Olaechea, to refer to that other event. which had made scholars rifle through the pages of Shakespeare scholars to findthe name of the little Spanish kingdom. "Navarra is the wonder of the world" said the English writer. This quoted was dusted off and admired as a prophecy fulfilled in the dramatic years of 1936-1939. During those years, when Spanish Catholics spoke of "Crusade" and believed in the "Crusade" the word Javierada grew, by through the association of ideas. Cross and Crusade. Javier and Javierada. Immediately afterwards the Javierada started to be, furthermore, the pilgrimage to Javier that is important during Lent and the 'Novena of Grace' which begins on 4th March.
Since 1940 it has been institutionalized by the Brotherhood of Knights Cross volunteers as the annual pilgrimage to Javier. The Canonical Brotherhood, started by Bishop Olaechea and made up of Navaran veterans to "keep the spirit of the Crusade" which they had lived through. In that same spirit, sheltered from the March cold by the war capes turned into habits, accompanied by the same crosses that had gone with them to the front. In the following years other institutions and the diocese of Pamplona were added, making the a new pilgrimage seem ancient, original and authentic.