El Señor de los Milagros, the Lord of Miracles

by admin on October 22, 2009

Peruvians celebrate many Christian holidays and festivals each year. In Peru, October is known as el mes morado, or “the purple month” because religious Christians wear purple as they take part in processions celebrating El Señor de los Milagros, the Lord of Miracles, a Peruvian image of Jesus Christ. It is said that in 1651, a newly converted African slave painted the image on the wall of a building in the Pachacamilla area of Peru. Other slaves started to flock to the painting, leaving gifts and praying in front of it. In 1655, an earthquake hit the area, destroying all of the walls of the building except the one with the image of Jesus Christ, but it went unnoticed by the general public. In 1670, a local man found the image and built a shrine around it, and was reportedly cured of a life-threatening tumor due to his devotion. At that point, the public began to worship the image, and church authorities began to worry it would negatively affect the order within the church. They ordered several painters to cover the image, but none of them could bring themselves to do it, so they eventually built a church at the site, which is now called the Las Nazarenas Church. Supposedly, another earthquake hit the area in 1687, and again the one wall with the image survived. A painting of the image was taken out for a procession for the first time in October of that year. “El Señor de los Milagros de Nazarenas” was named the patron saint of Lima in 1715, and is still celebrated each October. If you travel to Peru during this time, you may see the processions of Christians wearing purple, celebrating this miraculous image.