celebration, tourism

Purple Reigns in Peru this Month

October is the purple month. In it, all Peru´s social classes gather, it is thought, under a single faith and devotion to the Lord of Miracles, also known as the Lord of Pachacamilla. His traditional procession will take place from the 18th to the 28th of October every year. Though this image is from the coast near lima, this Lord is celebrated throughout the country and every year it seems there are more faithful who accompany him and pray to his image, asking for miracles and desires to be met.

In Cusco’s streets you can see how this Lord’s faithful wear their purple robes during the month. Women go out with their variously designed purple dresses, on their chest they have an emblem of Christ and around the waist they have a white rope. The white and purple make a powerful combination. Men wear purple capes around their shoulders and carry on their chest the image of the Purple Christ.

People sit with the images of Christ in their homes and businesses as well as in public and private establishments. The devout pray, light candles, and fill the air around with the scent of flowers. At the same time, they make promises and ask for miracles.

This faith in the Lord of Miracles is not just lived throughout Peru but also claims a place in other countries wherever you find Peruvian communities. Their devotion and faith the to Purple Christ grows all over the world.

Devotion to the Lord of Miracles
Devotion to the Lord of Miracles

On the day of the traditional procession in Cusco, all the streets of the monumental core are filled with great multitude of people. From the plaza’s balconies and all along the way people toss flowers on the image. The police accompany the procession, forming a security zone in which only the brotherhood of the lord can get close to the image. In each stop where the image rests in order to give blessings, you can hear the prayers of the priest for all the public present.

The story of the image that people venerate begins early in Peru’s experience as a colony. A black slave, Pedro Falcón, painted the image of the purple Lord on a wall in an old building in Pachacamilla, Lima. Most people gave it no heed. The artist had painted it with great faith even though he did not know artistic technique and only had his faith. After a terrible earthquake hit Lima November 13th of 1655 causing the collapse of churches, houses, mansions and creating much devastation, the wall on which the Lord was painted remained intact with the image clearly visible. This appearance in the face of so much destruction caused people to have much faith in it. They began to replicate the image and spread its devotion elsewhere. In Peru it is the most widely venerated image. Its main altar is found in Lima in the Sanctuary of the Nazarenes.

Because his devotees use the color purple in their devotion he is known as the Purple Christ. This month, the leading soccer team, Alianza Lima changes the color of their uniforms to purple, while the rest of the year they wear dark blue and white. Purple identifies them as followers of the Lord of Miracles. ‘

During the month of October, people tend to eat the turrones of Doña Pepa. This pecial desert was created for this day and people sweeten their palate with it in faith and devotion. You will find it in fairs and stores throughout the country. The purple month claims Peru.

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