The Império do Espírito Santo do Outeiro, is located in the parish of Nossa Senhora da Conceição, municipality of Angra do Heroísmo, located in Rua das Maravilhas, in the place of Outeiro.
Its construction dates back to the 17th century, to the year 1670.
The empire of Outeiro is considered the oldest on the island, according to tradition and there is a notable memory of which the government of the Nation was neither strange nor indifferent, signing King D. José a special charter that grants him an honorable privilege distinguishing his crown of all those on the island.
“The Doctor. Alfredo Sampaio, in his book «Memoirs on Terceira Island», copying Drumond and Pinheiro, tells us that, when in 1761 the fire broke out behind the Picos Gordos extending to the place called Mystério Velho, where it took eight days to divide in three streams, one of 330 meters to the place called the Flame, another in the extension of 2000 meters reaching Tamujal, and the third to Biscoito, in a extension of 6000 meters, with great underground roars and explosions that threw stones of extraordinary grandeur and rains of sand and ash that spread across the island and the sea, many processions, with various images, left from various parishes with prayers and litanies imploring divine protection; however, the most notable were those who carried wreaths of the Holy Spirit, which is why Matias Silveira, a rich man from the parish of Biscoitos, promised to build and built a hermitage next to his houses.
The crown of the Empire of Outeiro was the first to arrive there, running the traditional version that the people have been leading to us, that the fire ceased after its approach, which was attributed to a miracle of the oldest crown of the island.
Ferreira Drumond, in his Annaes, only says, when referring to the case: «Other events were told, as always happens, worthy of occupying the devotion of the people, but that brevity does not allow me to report». What he did not archive, tradition passed on. That’s why D. José ordered in a charter, that the crown of the empire of Outeiro should take the right to the others, when in procession.
It is these strong reasons that make this Empire last through centuries, when others ended up falling into oblivion of the people.
The crown of the Empire of Outeiro is the oldest monument of the devotion of the people of Terceira to the Divine Holy Spirit, which managed to cross the centuries preserving popularity, respect, public devotion in particular relief”.
Angra do Heroísmo, May 1941.
(Original by Gervasio Lima)
The Outeiro empire celebrates its feast on Pentecost Sunday, on the 1st bodo.
As part of the festive programme, the crown is changed on the Sunday before the feast to the empire, where at night and during the week the rosary is recited by people who wish to do so. In the middle of the week, meat and bread alms are distributed. It is also customary, whenever possible, to include singing in the program with the best improvised singers.
On the day of the bodo, that is, Pentecost, the procession takes place in the morning, accompanied by a philharmonic, from the empire to the Ermida do Desterro, where the coronation mass is celebrated, after which the procession returns to the empire. It is customary to close off a street, on which several tables are placed to serve a lunch/function to the children and young people of the place, as well as to those who are present.
In the afternoon, there is an arraial, offering auctions, whose profits revert in favor of the empire. Whenever there is financial availability, a music group is invited to liven up the festival. At the end, the commission for the following year is appointed and the portfolios are drawn.
The festival, whenever possible, usually ends on the following Saturday, that is, the day before Trinity Sunday, with a rope bullfight.