Lord of the Miracles Procession
Lord of the Miracles ProcessionBy: © Paul Dodson 2014
Each year Peru plays host to literally thousands of religious processions and festivals. The largest and arguably most spectacular of these is the annual Lord of the Miracles Procession which sees tens of thousands of devotees take to the streets of Lima to carry a painting of Señor de los Milagros - The Lord of Miracles, also known as the Purple Christ - between the Church of Las Nazarenas to the Church of La Merced in Barrios Altos.
The painting is reputed to have been created by an Angolan slave in 1651 on a wall where the church of Las Nazarenas stands. Despite irreparable damage being done to the surrounding area of the Church of Las Nazarenas over the centuries - including an earthquake in 1746 which levelled the surrounding buildings - the painting survived.
Each Ocotber since the 18th century a religious brotherhood has arranged an annual procession of the painting in honour of the Lord of the Miracles. During the procession, male devotees organized into squads of bearers carry the icon through the streets of Central Lima. The procession sees tens of thousands of purple tunic clad believers take to the streets, sing hymns and pray as the two ton painting is held aloft during its journey.
The procession also marks the beginning of the Lima Bullfight season. At the Acho Arena in Lima local toreadors compete for the highly prized, Golden Cape of Our Lord of Miracles.