I almost forgot, today is the central day of Señor de los Milagros.
The procession of Señor de los Milagros in Cusco passed by our house last night. Peruvians worship Señor de los Milagros (Lord of Miracles) as it is believed he protects them from harm. An excellent explanation of the tradition from Kleph blog:
According to tradition, in 1651 a slave who had converted to Catholicism painted the depiction of Christ on the cross on the wall of a building in the outskirts of Lima where new devotees to the faith gathered to pray.
When a devastating earthquake struck the city four years later the entire building collapsed except for the wall adorned with the painting. Over the next several decades, the image became associated with miraculous incidents. More and more people, particularly the descendents of slaves, began to worship at the site.
This concerned both the church and Spanish authorities and, in 1671 the image was ordered destroyed. According to legend, workers were not able to do so. But, for whatever reason, officials eventually relented and built a proper church on the site – the church of Las Nazarenas.
When another huge earthquake struck Lima in 1687, the chapel was destroyed but, once again, the wall adorned with the painting remained standing. This cemented the importance of the image to the faithful and church leaders ordered a painting of the image to be taken out in procession that October – the tradition that continues to this day.
Here in Cusco the celebration of Señor de los Milagros is less elaborate than the mes morado (purple month) celebration in Lima. I imagine the simpler celebration in Cusco reflects the fact that Señor de los Milagros is native to Lima and Cusco has other typical celebrations of Señor de los Temblores during Holy Week (Semana Santa) and Señor de Huanca during the month of September.
The annual procession of Señor de los Milagros was held on Oct. 12 in our neighborhood. Here in Peru, much of the month of October is devoted to Señor de los Milagros. It is believed that Señor de los Milagros protects the Peruvian people from dangers and fears. I found some great info on the legend of Señor de los Milagros at kleph.com and also at americaninlima.com and Peru food.
Here’s a picture of Señor de los Milagros passing through our neighborhood in Wanchaq and also in front of the Policia Nacional (PNP) at the plaza Tupac Amaru in Cusco.
Separation of church and state is less stringent here in Peru than in the US. At the police station, there was a brief ceremony asking Señor de los Milagros to protect the police officers while on duty, as it is believed he accompanies the faithful and protects them from harm.