On the day of Nossa Senhora d’Agonia, on August 20th, one of the most memorable events of the Romaria takes place. An ancient devotion of the fishermen to their patron saint, whom they ask for protection in their greatest times of need and to whom, on this day, they give thanks and fulfil their promises and vows.
The end of the mass signals the beginning of the Procession out to Sea. During the procession, the men wearing their finest plaid shirts, as the traditions of the sea dictate, carry the float, weighing roughly 600 kilos, on their shoulders out to the quay, always surrounded by their devout wives.
This is a time of devotion and pride, the fishing vessels are blessed to then carry the figures of Nossa Senhora d’Agonia, Nossa Senhora de Monserrate, Nossa Senhora dos Mares (Our Lady of the Sea) and St. Peter. Right afterwards, along the margins of the Lima river, thousands of people emotionally see the ships off and applaud as they float by.
The Procession out to sea reunites more than a hundred bedecked fishing and recreational vessels, which together “bless” the Lima river.
Once the ships return to the quay, the procession, now on land, proceeds to the Ribeira where the unique salt carpets, made during the previous night, await to greet Our Lady.
The most important day of the year for the fishermen of the Ribeira ends in the courtyard of the church, with a ritual that symbolizes a bow from Our Lady to all those who honour her.