Juan de Arce first mentioned this pilgrimage as a village vow “dating far back” to pray for good rains the following year. This reference tells us that the prayer, mass and procession have been held at least since the 15th century.
Poverty and famine forced the city to make this a festival focusing on giving alms of bread and cheese to the least fortunate.
In the early 18th century, between 1708 and 1715, the prayer to St. Turibius fell on hard times due to the frictions between the Council and the Canonry. After several meetings, they reached an agreement that the secular expenses, most notably the bread and cheese given to the pilgrims and poor, would be covered by the City and the religious ones, for worship and the hermitage, by the Canonry.
For added splendour, the City Council commissioned the workshops of Medina de Rioseco to create a new statue of St. Turibius and on 16 April 1716, the new likeness left the Cathedral to carry out the village vow in procession to the hermitage of St. Turibius (this statue is the one used in the processions to this day).
The City Council further strengthened the legend of St. Turibius, suggesting the Northern Railway Company name some of the trains that had just arrived in the city after him. Plus, famine and economic crisis made this celebration unique when they started to ‘stone’ the people with bread and cheese, thrown from the balcony of the St. Turibius hermitage/home on the side of the Otero knoll.
With the celebration in decline, the dictatorship decided to start using bags as propaganda.
Mayor Juan Mena de la Cruz decided to overcome the differences with Victorio Macho, honouring him after his exile, and got the people of Palencia to accept the statue of Christ.
The Christ neighbourhood, supported by the parish priest Don Lucinio, take advantage of the pilgrimage to demand improvements in the neighbourhood. A milestone that led the Cathedral Chapter to modify the procession and the rogation of the festival and to the creation of the Asociación de Vecinos del Cristo, the first in the city.
With Francisco Jambrina at the head of the Palencia City Council, the brotherhoods were asked to take part in the prayer when bearers were needed. The St. Antoninus brotherhood answered the call. Neighbourhood residents decided to create their own brotherhood, dedicated to St. Turibius, which was inaugurated with the blessing and pilgrimage of 1982.
After a failed attempt, the St. Turibius Pilgrimage was declared a Celebration of Regional Tourist Interest.