The Independent War marked the history of Santa Maria and after the freedom of the village on March 28 in 1809, Viguean people attributed the victory to the Christ image which was sanctified in his temple. Thus, in the morning of June 11th, 1809, the town council, on the Viguean people’s name and on the name of the people surrounded, it was decided to give” thanks to the powerful God in a solemn Te Deum and a Mass, with the company of the Military Counselors created to defend, the specialized marine body and much more to defend the troops and its people, and also the amount of crowd of their environs, imploring all the continuity of the divine assistances and the conservation of the government”.
During the festivities of the so called “Landlord” of the place, the town council was the one in charged of the civic-religious events. Originally, every fist took place at l Monte del Castro and at Campo de Granada, which was illuminated with Chinese lantern papers at the Venetian style. Nevertheless, with the of the Ensanche de García Olloqui, not only the procession travel was modified, but these events were transferred to be celebrated in 1881 at (Plaza de Compostela)Grove and at the streets surrounded the mole.
Initially, the procession left in March 28 commemorating the Reconquered of Vigo, but the constant rains and the coincidence with the celebrations of Holy Week obliged to change it continually to the first Sunday after Easter Day. But this change was not enough because at that time rains were heavy and avoided the departure of the procession. For this, in 1809, the town council decided to transfer the procession for June.
For those primitive processions, a proclamation was edited which was fixed in public places some days previously requesting the collaboration of the people to keep the streets clean and the houses dandified. The entire town collaborated voluntarily or by request of the civil chapter. Moreover, it was allowed the passing of animals by the streets while the procession was taking place. Men were in lines in front of the vicars and the women were after them. They were properly dressed according to the occasion.
The celebration lasted four days and began with a travel by the streets of giants accompanied by the music. In the afternoon, the solemn evening prayer services were sung in la Colegiata. The following day was consecrated to music and religious events, appearing the image in procession by Méndez Núñez streets, Constitución, Imperial, Antequera and Triunfo squares. The rest of the days were dedicated to the delivery of prices intervened for the occasion, regattas….
However, the history itself manifested that it was either the best time for the celebration of the procession due to the persistent rains, and finally in 1883, it was transferred to the first Sunday of August.
In 2009, the 200th anniversary will be held.