Skip to comments.Traditional Catholic Devotion Alive in Peru (Pictures)
Posted on 10/18/2004 12:56:13 PM PDT by Pyro7480
Thousands of believers dressed in purple congregate to pay homage to Peru's most revered Catholic religious icon, 'the Lord of the Miracles,' in a major procession through central Lima, October 18, 2004. Thousands of Roman Catholic faithful make the annual procession through the streets on the feast day of the saint, also known as the 'Purple Christ.' REUTERS/Pilar Olivares
Peru's President Alejandro Toledo, right, prays in front of image of 'Lord of Miracles' during a procession along Lima's streets on Monday, Oct. 18, 2004. Thousands of pilgrims flocked to Lima to celebrate the principal day of the 'Lord of Miracles', patron saint of most Catholic Peruvians. (AP Photo/Eric Danino)
A group of women dressed in purple and white, congregate to pay homage to Peru's most revered Catholic religious icon, 'the Lord of the Miracles,' in a major procession through central Lima, October 18, 2004. Thousands of Roman Catholic faithful make the annual procession through the streets on the feast day of the saint, also known as the 'Purple Christ.' REUTERS/Pilar Olivares
A group of women called 'saumeadoras' carry incense as they follow the procession of the Peru's most revered Catholic religious icon 'the Lord of the Miracles', in a major procession through central Lima, October 18, 2004. Thousands of Roman Catholic faithful make the annual procession through the streets on the feast day of the saint, also known as the 'Purple Christ'. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares
Looks like blue and white to me, but then I think the Cardinal's purple is red.
And one that needs to be shared with others.
During the month of October close to two million people most of them dressed in purple filled the streets of downtown Lima, Peru's capital, to celebrated the Lord of Miracles, the most popular religious icon in the country. The icon kept in Lima's Nazarenas church is worshiped by a multitude of people united by the common hope that the Lord will protect them against diseases and accidents and give them strengths in their daily lives.
The story of the image goes like this: in 1651 an Angolan slave painted a picture of a colored Jesus Christ crucified on a wall. Four years later on Nov13, 1655, an earthquake struck Lima. It leveled most of the city, but that image of Jesus was undamaged. It's believed that this image has been the occasion of many miracles. People believe that the closer they get to the image, the better chance of getting their miracle granted. Since the 18th century a religious brotherhood has arrange annual processions in the honor of the Lord of the Miracles in the month of October, during which male devotees organized in squads, carry the icon through the streets of central Lima. Currently, there exist 20 such squads in Lima, each squad covers about 300 yards of the procession. In addition to the bearers there are: sahumadoras (women who carry large censers ahead of the procession), musicians and singers, a cerero who attends to candles placed on the litter, a mixturero who tends flowers on the litter, and of course vendors offering all manner of refreshments and religious articles.
Looks great. I really wish there still were religious processions in this country. Yet one more of the criminal acts of the post Vatican II generation of Church leaders in doing away with these beautiful and uplifting acts of devotion.
I know of one in my hometown of Wilmington, DE. Every year, St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, which is the Italian church in town (in fact, the neighborhood is called "Little Italy") has a huge Italian festival during the week of St. Anthony's feast day. On the last Sunday of the week, they have a religious procession through the neighborhood. They carry the statues from the church through the streets. I have found memories from my childhood of this. The parish is well-connected to both sides of my family. My grandparents settled in the neighborhood when they came here from the Phillipines in the 1980s, and both my sister and mom went to the parish high school.
People gather Sunday around a float bearing a statue of parish patron St. Anthony of Padua in preparation for the Procession of Saints, held each year on the last day of the festivities.
There is a procession of a statue of Our Lady in Cleveland's Little Italy as well.
I miss it, since moving to Detroit.
"The icon kept in Lima's Nazarenas church is worshiped by a multitude of people"
Whoops, except it's not "worshipped," right? It's venerated as a representation of Our Lord, touched perhaps by His Grace.
The word worship means to venerate or to hold in high esteem. In other words, worship simply means to respect something or someone. (This is why certain of the nobility are addressed as Your Worship.) It has nothing to do with worship as the term is generally used today.
When we worship God, we respect and esteem Him, of course, but we do something more we adore Him. Adoration means to identify something or someone as being God, and to acknowledge our submission to same. Obviously, no orthodox Catholic thinks that a statue of Jesus or a saint is God; that would be the act of a pagan or a madman. We Catholics worship these images in the traditional sense of the word we show them respect but we do not worship them in the sense of worshiping God, which is adoration.
It may help those who feel uncomfortable with people bowing before a mere wooden carving or painted picture to think of these images as being sort of like Old Glory, our national flag. Just as the U.S. flag is merely a piece of cloth, the picture or statue of our Lord or an angel or saint is merely a chunk of wood, stone, or painted surface. Obviously, these things possess no power in and of themselves. Instead, we show respect (worship) to statues of Our Lord and His angels and saints in the same way patriotic Americans show respect to the Stars and Stripes: as a symbol of the object of our devotion. Just as we patriots take care to show honor to the flag (a symbol of our country) by not allowing it to touch the ground, by saluting it, by carrying it in parades, and so forth, we Catholics show honor and love for the Lord and His holy ones by saluting (bowing to) crucifixes, statues and pictures (symbols of Our Lord and His angels and saints). of them, by carrying them in processions, by praying before them (not to them, of course), and the like. We show honor and deference to these symbols because the things or Persons they represent are powerful, sacred, beloved, and (in the case of Our Lord, His angels and saints) holy.
How beautiful to see such devotion to Our Lord!
You're right, of course.
I mentioned it in the attempt to forestall the charges of "idolatry" so often leveled against us Catholics.
Oh yeah, I figured as much. I just thought I'd post the info to spare any of our Protestant or Evangelical brethren a shock. Their concern about images is usually well-intentioned, but is often based on incomplete or incorrect data. Thanks for the post!
It's astounding!! Thank you for the post!
Agreed. Processions have faded. I always loved the May processions.
The key distinction lost on my Protestants (I should know, I am one, though Anglo-Cathlic) is that "worship" (latria) is reserved for God alone, but His saints are worthy of "veneration" (doulia). It's another case of the English language not have quite enough words to fully address the concept.
Let's not be too surprised when, in the name of ecumenism, this icon is eventually given over to some heretical sect, just like the icon of Our Lady of Kazan...
Ain't it the truth!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.