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Pentecost 2018 and 2019

Many European nations, including the tiny city-state of Monaco, have Pentecost as a public holiday.

201821 MayMonWhit Monday
201910 JunMonWhit Monday

Over 80 percent of Monaco’s 40,000-strong population identify as Christian, most of them being Roman Catholic. And, in fact, Roman Catholicism has the status of “official state religion” in Monaco, though other faiths are not at all persecuted.

In Monaco, it is Pentecost Monday that has the public status, though Pentecost Sunday is also observed by some. The date of Pentecost Monday will vary from year to year, since it is dated to fall 50 days after Easter, which itself is a movable holiday. In 2016, Pentecost came on May 16th, and a date in May or June is typical.

In masses and church services of Monaco, there may be special services either on Pentecost Sunday, Pentecost Monday, or both. The day is a commemoration of the coming of the Holy Spirit on the gathered disciples in Jerusalem, 10 days after the Ascension of Christ and the giving of the Great Commission. Sermons and singing will often focus on the importance and mission of the Church in the world, including spreading the Gospel to people of all nations and languages.

There are not many Pentecost events in Monaco, aside from church services, but here are some ideas on what to do should you tour this tiny tourist magnet on Pentecost:

  • Attend Pentecost services at the Saint Nicholas Cathedral, an architecturally impressive building and the seat of the local archbishop. On the inside, be sure to notice the white-marble altar piece and the over-sized organ. Also on-site is the burial ground of Grace Kelly, a famous actress who became Monaco’s princess.
  • Explore nature’s beauty at Exotic Garden, famous for its cacti collection and its thousand other species of plants. Also at the garden is a deep subterranean cave to explore and the scenic beauty of La Condamine’s Cliffs.
  • Spend some time relaxing at the Princess Grace Rose Garden, often cited as a haven of tranquility in the midst of Monaco’s fast-paced lifestyle. The garden is relatively small but holds a large variety of colourful, aromatic flowers. It is also filled with olive trees and palm trees and is near to Fontvieille Park, with is “sculpture trail,” as well.
  • Stop by The Prince’s Palace, where the Grimaldi royal family has lived for some 700 years. You can witness the changing of the guard ceremony every day at 11:55am sharp. The palace itself is quite impressive to look at even from the outside, and you can tour the interior as well if you wish.

Monaco is a small “micro-nation,” but it offers an overabundance of tourist attractions. Those who take time to remember the meaning of Pentecost in a Monaco church service can find plenty more to do during the rest of their stay.