On Saturday, February 12, the inauguration of the new Bishop of Orihuela-Alicante, Don José Ignacio Munilla Aguirre. It will be a very intense day for Monsignor Munilla who will experience a protocol and historical ceremonial whose origins go back to the creation of the Bishopric of Orihuela, by its first prelate Gregorio Gallo de Andrade, in 1566.
Your first stop, following tradition, will be Cox, where the new bishop is expected to arrive mid-morning to visit the parish of San Juan Bautista and the Diocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
It will be around 3:00 p.m.
Don Jose Ignacio Munilla take the road to Orihuela visiting the towns of Callosa de Segura and Redován.
Stops that have their historical origin, according to the researchers of the Diocesan Archive Gemma Ruiz and Mariano Cecilia, because “the prelate’s trip to Orihuela used to be quite slow and tedious, both because of the inconvenience of the roads and the transport used, usually carriages, and therefore had to make numerous stops during the itinerary. For example, in the case of Fray Andrés Balaguer, his transfer was carried out for six days, spending the night in Monforte and Albatera, stopping beforehand to eat at Elche and in later days in Redován».
Likewise, it is expected that the new bishop of the Diocese will arrive in Orihuela around 3:30 p.m., going first to the hermitage of San Antón. And from there it will depart towards the historic gates of the city on the back of a white mule, fulfilling once again the tradition. Around 4:30 p.m. you will cross the emblematic Puerta de la Olma and from there you will go on foot taking a tour of the most emblematic streets of the old town, until you reach the Cathedral of El Salvador and Santa Maria, where at 5:30 p.m. the celebration of the Eucharist will begin with the swearing-in rite or beginning of his episcopal ministry.
The next day, Sunday, February 13, will be the reception of the new bishop in the city of Alicante. Monsignor José Ignacio Munilla, already as bishop of the Diocese, will be welcomed in the Plaza del Abad Penalva and will then celebrate the seasonal mass in the Co-Cathedral of San Nicolás, at 12:00.
The public entrances of the bishops were common in all Spanish episcopal sees, but today they are only preserved in Sigüenza and Orihuela.