Glorious Saint John the Baptist, who took your earthly life from suffering a painful martyrdom for being faithful to the Truth. That is why we are here today, in your day, venerating you, presenting you with offerings and humbly invoking you to listen carefully to our concerns.

The cult of St. John was born in the city with the arrival of Christianity, between the 1st and 2nd centuries and the creation of your Church outside the city walls. Every June 24, the day began with a party that lasted until the beginning of July. The streets were filled with bouquets, the windows lit up, the music of the drums and bagpipes sounded, and, of course, the bonfires proliferated. The San Juan was festive.

Everything changed in the wake of the attack on the city by the English troops sent by Drake in 1589. Fearful, the notables of the city made a promise: if they got rid of the invasion, they would eternally thank the Virgin of the Rosary. The authorities of the City Council, picking up the popular clamor that La Coruña got rid of the destruction through the intercession of the Virgin of the Rosary, pledged to annually celebrate a feast of thanksgiving, and officially attend the procession and religious services. Originating in this way this Voting Function, which is still held institutionally 5 centuries later as a tradition, as a promise, … as a truth.

A truth of which you are patron, Saint John, origin of our salvation as the first Baptist, together with our Patroness the Virgin of the Rosary.

By presenting the Truth in their day they took away your earthly life, but you did not doubt.

That is why we are here today on the day of commemoration of your martyrdom and, before proceeding to our humble requests, we offer you our work, each in his profession and in his day by day in the best way we can.

Many of us know how to pray and others not so much, but at the moment of truth, and as the verses of the Chapel of the Marín Military School say … “He who does not know how to pray , let him go through these seas, he will see how he learns without anyone teaching him. ” Therefore, we beg you, O San Juan, that you be our teacher again.

Do not judge us by the smallness of the beginnings, a small seed can give rise to centenary trees. Each of us plays the role of a small screw in this great construction that is life. If a screw leaps … Larger parts will be loosened and all machinery will be rendered useless. What a great thing to be a little screw! And you have seen how this brick of imposing grandeur was built one brick and another. Up to thousands But, one by one. And bags of cement, one by one. And workers who work, every minute. By force of small things !!

In the same way it is our day to day, each one in his work, and that is how the current Bonfires of San Juan were reborn and for 50 years the first Meiga, that first screw of this machinery of hundreds of pieces, people and beats, which with their effort and work over the years have made it possible that today we have in our city, a renowned celebration of International Tourist Interest, the only one in our dear Coruña.

We ask Glorious Saint John to guide us in the organization of the coming years of Bonfires and their acts, just as you guided their founders to get this great gift for our city and for all the Coruña.

From the Association of Meigas we venerate you San Juan, year after year as well as the Virgin of the Rosary. Patron and Patroness of the City of La Coruña at different moments in history. Holy man and Holy woman, protecting our Marineda. Many of us are Meigas de San Juan and, at the same time, brothers of the Virgin of the Rosary, and we have for both the same shared affection that professes a father and a mother.

But today we are here to honor you in your day. Saint John, chosen by God to impart the Sacrament of Baptism to Jesus and to all of us sinners.

Many people asked you: “What do we have to do to please God?” And you answered them: «Whoever has two robes, who gives one who does not have, and whoever has what to eat, do the same». To please God you must love other people, share what you have and, above all, what you are.

I ask before you, Glorious Saint John the Baptist, to bless us as brothers we are, despite our differences. As it happens in a family with the brothers: When we were little we didn’t realize it but now, and with the perspective of the years, we look back and see those afternoons of games, those laughs, maybe some tantrum for some broken toy, but … What beautiful memories! They helped us to know what it is to share, what it is to give without expecting anything in return, knowing how to be united in the face of any adversity, knowing how to forgive and knowing that they are always there with us and we with them. Today among people of different concerns, of different political ideologies, of different feelings, there may be small clashes, quarrels and, as I said, some broken toy, but that is when we must lay hold of empathy and remember the love we had, trust, complicity, forgiveness, respect … In short, Love.

A love that is the basis of everything and is what we ask Benigno San Juan. We ask you Love, Empathy to put ourselves in the place of others and above all Patience towards our fellow men to reach understandings.

Guide our paths and those of our rulers so that they find the peace, justice and truth that is so well lacking and that we are the good example of future generations.

I implore you to help us in times of difficulty and indecision. I ask of your mediation so that you never forsake us, so that you may accompany us along the path of good thinking, good feeling and good work.

Protect our families, our jobs and our collaborators. To our friends and those who are dealing with serious illnesses so that they find relief and cure.

I ask you for the eternal peace of those relatives and dear friends, who are with you in your glory, so that they know that we continue to keep them present in our hearts.

We beg you to intercede before God Our Lord to forgive all the faults we have committed and grant us these supplications.

And I humbly want to end this offering and these requests, Oh Glorious Saint John the Baptist, dedicating this poem to you that song many will know, as if it were a spiritual REGENERATION.

“I have died and I have risen

With my ashes I have planted a tree

Its fruit has given and since today something has begun

I’ve broken all my poems

Those of sorrows and sorrows

and I’ve thought about it and today without hesitation I return to your side

Help me and I will have helped you

I dreamed today in another life

In another world, but by your side ”

Lead us by your side, Saint John the Baptist, on your path of faith, so that your example of truth will instruct us and set us free.

So be it.

(Photo: Noni Santos)

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