Following the conquest of Málaga in 1487, the Catholic Monarchs informed the Pope to tell him of the significant extension of the Christian faith that had been achieved in the south of Spain. The Pope responded by thanking them for their efforts and proclaiming that two young people who were martyred at Málaga in 305 during the persecution by the Roman Empire were to be city patrons. These were Saints Ciriaco and Paula, who died at the site now known as Martiricos.
In 1548, the Catholic Monarchs built a temple dedicated to these two martyrs and 18 June 1582 was declared a religious festival day, the feast of Saints Ciriaco and Paula. With the passage of time, the festivities of the patron saints fell into disuse, although in recent years the Royal Congregation of the Holy Martyrs has recovered much of the splendour of this festivity. Currently, around the patron saints' day, a festival, religious cults and a solemn procession through the main streets of the Historic Quarter are celebrated.