Pope Pius IX declared Santa Maria de la Victoria the main patron saint of Málaga and the diocese on 8 December 1867 although her cult had already long been widespread throughout the city. The image, a gift from Emperor Maximilian I to King Ferdinand the Catholic, was kept in the private chapel of the king during the siege of the city. Once Málaga had been conquered, a sanctuary was built at the place where the camp had stood and the image was placed there. Santa Maria de la Victoria was canonically crowned by the papal nuncio on 8 February 1943.
Her feast is celebrated on 8 September. Because of this, on the morning of the last Sunday in August, the Virgen de la Victoria is moved from her shrine to the Cathedral where a novena is held in her honour. Finally, on her feast day, a Mass takes place in the most important temple of the diocese and then a floral offering is made in front of the main façade of the Cathedral while groups dance and sing traditional songs from Málaga. In the afternoon, the image returns in a procession to the temple accompanied by the city authorities the brotherhoods, sisterhoods, clergy and thousands of locals and visitors.