During the first two weeks of March, to coincide with the Novena of Grace, thousands of pilgrims from all over Navarre fill the roads leading to the Castle of Javier
to revere the Saint. Some of them are driven by religious belief and others by a sporting spirit, but the one thing that is never missing is good humour, which is essential for covering, for example, the more than 50 kilometres that separate the city of Pamplona from Javier.
The origin of these marches goes back to the 19th century. In 1885, a cholera epidemic devastated the region and the Regional Government invoked St. Francis Xavier
to free the Navarrese people from this dreadful affliction, offering in exchange the pledge that everyone would make a pilgrimage if their pleas were answered. The Saint responded to their entreaty, and thus this popular tradition was born, which today is known by the name of 'Javierada'. After the long and arduous walk, all the pilgrims congregate on the esplanade of the castle to celebrate a Mass presided over by the Archbishop.