On Holy Monday the Lord of Temblors Comes Out

Holy Monday, Lord of the Earthquake Procession (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

After Palm Sunday in Cuzco, Holy Monday is an important day at the level of religious faith, but it is even more in Cuzco since it reminds us of a terrible incident that took place in the city many years ago.

The earthquake of 1650 destroyed much of the city, temples among the houses and public buildings. The earth would not quit shaking and with faith people brought out images of Virgins and saints to try to calm the earth with prayer. But the earth continued its shaking.

Then they brought out the image of a crucified Christ and at that moment the earth quit its shaking. Peace and hope returned to people. From that moment on they named him the Christ, Lord of Temblors, taytacha (dear father) of Temblors, and Holy Patron of the city of Cuzco.

Since then, on that day, every year, they bring the Lord of earthquakes out of the Cathedral in procession, to remember that terrible happening and for people to always have faith and hope. In this way the image of the Lord of Temblors makes a round through the city so that people can see him and make prayers and offerings to him.

The Lord of temblors begins his journey each year by exiting the Cathedral. A great quantity of persons fills the center of the city to witness the image of the Taytacha de los Temblores.

The National Police of Peru and the Company of Firefighters are also present to make sure the public is secure.

The clergy, comprised of the bishop, priests, acolytes, and more walk before the image. With songs and prayers the procession advances. At specific points it will stop to change bearers.

The people who are in charge of carrying the image on their shoulders are the different public and private institutions who patiently await their turn. On the other hand the image also enters several churches to have its clothing changed and to recharge the lights of the litter in case such is necessary.

Always present in the procession is the ñuqchu. This is a native flower of the city. People toss the flowers on the image who becomes red with them. From balconies and high places people throw the flowers as the Lord of Temblors passes.

The hours pass and as evening falls in Cuzco it is very sad to see the image of the Lord of Temblors enter the Cathedral once again and to not see him in our streets for another year. The procession is converted into a sea of tears. The sirens of the ambulances begin to sound as do the bells of the Cathedral.

The last blessing of the Lord is so that people do not lose faith and hope and so they can go home in peace. The commotion to see the image enter the Church is really very dramatic and all ends when people return to their homes.



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