Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mes Morado

Photo by Javier Delgado
October is here once again, and in Lima, Peru, it brings with it the month long rituals of the procession of the crucified Christ. The effigy that is El Senor de los Milagros (Lord of Miracles) has been carried on the shoulders of Catholic devout for centuries through the streets of the capital city.
Tomorrow, Sunday October 18, 2009, at 6 a.m. the painted image created by a black slave will start it's two day journey through all the major points of Lima. Schools, hospitals, churches and cathedrals are all the main stops of this procession.
Photo by Jose Davilla Jr.
Before the sun rises, thousands of faithful followers gather in front of the church and convent of Nazarenas hoping to get a glance of the miraculous Christ. This is a site to be seen, as the doors open fire truck sirens go off, flowers are thrown in the air, and saumadoras sing hims and prayers, their voices rising in the air with the smoke and smell of incense.
Photo by Jose Davilla Jr.

Photo by Favianna Rodigrez
Preparations start days in advanced. Flower and colored saw dust carpets are laid down. This process could take up to twenty four hours, a long time of intricate hard work that will be stepped on and ruined by the procession. These are offers made by businesses, institutions, and neighbors, all asking for better health and prosperity.
Photo by Favianna Rodriguez
The procession nears, and through the narrow colonial streets of old Lima the faithful push their way. It's a suffocating crowd, the pressure of bodies pressing on one another causes some to faint and collapse.
Photo by Favianna Rodiguez
Saumdoras in the front pave the way, while in back a band plays slow and sad music. Different fraternities of carriers enclose the gold and silver plated painting by forming human chains around it, as they try to control the strong crowd walking in this day long act of devotion.
Photo by Favianna Rodriguez
Thousands come to be a part of this. Many travel far from home to ask for a miracle in their life. The procession of El Senor de los Milagros is recorded as the largest in the world. In a country such as Peru, all that people have is their faith to get them through the hardships that faces each and every one of them as members of a poor society.
Senor de los Milagros, New York, NY by Luis Colan
Tomorrow the city of Lima will continue this long religious tradition. Other cities across the world will also hold their own procession, in New York City things will be no different. The procession starts at St. Patrick's Cathedral and it makes it's way down 51st street across town to 9th Ave.

No comments: