On Saturday the 29th March 1493, the remains of Centurion Marcellus, found at Tangier, the place of his martyrdom, were brought to León by Ferdinand V. His tombstone said that he was from León, where he had been venerated for several centuries. The remains were placed in the church bearing his name. Since he was made Patron Saint of the City, the Corporation has commemorated the day, which, so that it would not clash with Holy Week services, was moved to the Tuesday of Easter week. The people honoured the saint’s festivity with the greatest of events, a fair. The document of concession signed by Heny IV in 1466 states that it “begins fifteen days before All Saints’ Day and finishes fifteen days afterwards”. The festivity was included in the fair and given two names: St Marcellus’ Fair and All Saints’ Fair. In the 18th century it was the most important one in the city. Veneration of St Marcellus and the involvement in it of the Corporation centre on two important dates: the papal bull fixing the saint’s day in October and the meeting of a committee for the Corporation’s attendance at the city’s religious festivals, including St Marcellus’ Day (30th October).
Today, celebrations include the Corporation going to the Cathedral atrium, where they are joined by the Chapter, and the two bodies proceed solemnly to the church bearing the saint’s name. After venerating the relic, the two bodies take their leave of each other amid signs of mutual courtesy.