Wednesday, 25 May 2011

St Tropez Bravade







Fr Simon Henry, ECSLJ, & Confrere Matthew Jackson, BLJ, spend last week in St Tropez for the annual Bravade.

Fr Simon:
"The 453rd annual Bravade for the Saint took place over three days. Processions, salutes, Masses and devotions took place all over the town, with many people in traditional Provencale costume. The Bravadeurs all have to be St Tropez born and bred and are technically the private soldiers and sailors of the town. The bust of St Tropez is carried with great honour around the town and saluted with exceptionally loud gun volleys at every opportunity. The Tropéziens take great pride in the Saint and the Bravade and the traditions stretch back 453 years. I was priviliged to take my turn escorting the saint along the port and through part of the town (thus giving the Curé and others a break, as the procession lasts for hours and only finishes at midnight with Benediction in the parish church."
You can read the story of the Saint and his connection with the town here.




Bravadeurs choose local dignataries and others to throw into the air three times on the way from the thanksgiving Mass. Here Fr Peter Watts, Curé of Grimaud and Fr Simon in his cassock are subjected to the tradition!


The Bravadeurs prepare to salute.


The Curé of St Tropez, Fr Michael Hayes, blesses the Bravadeurs.

Clerics processing through the gun-smoke filled square.

The procession sets off around the town.

The sailors salute the Parish Priest.

St Tropez in glory.

Mgr. Domininque Rey, Bishop of Fréjus-Toulon holds the Pax Brede as each of the Bravadeurs comes up to reverence it.


Bishop Rey and the Curé of St Tropez in procession around the town. veryone carries a little bouquet of red and white flowers - the colours of St Tropez. The visiting Bishop Riocreux was also escorted in procession by members of the Military and Hospitaller Order of of St Lazarus.

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