Señor de los Milagros, Lord of Miracles, is celebrated throughout October in Lima, Peru. The processions that take place throughout the month are among the largest processions in the world. Faithful believers carry a two-ton altar with a depiction of the painting of the Lord of Miracles throughout Lima on four dates in October. Those who take part in the procession wear purple. We have a wonderful opportunity to celebrate alongside our fellow Catholics in Peru with a special procession here at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton on Oct. 15, beginning at 3 p.m.
This devotion originated in the 1600s when an Angolan slave painted an image of a black Jesus Christ. The painting survived earthquakes in 1655 and 1687. In 1746, an earthquake and tsunami destroyed Lima, yet the statue remained. It’s believed that the Lord of Miracles protects from earthquakes and sicknesses. This devotion is a huge part of Peruvian culture.
In 2015, Ines Becker got a group together to plan a procession here at the parish. Despite a few years of interruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has commenced ever since. This year, a potluck with Peruvian dishes will follow the 5 p.m. Mass on Oct. 15.
“Through fundraisers, we were able to buy an image of our Lord of Miracles from Peru,” Ines says. “It’s a special image.”
Ines moved to the United States from Peru in 1988, but she has fond memories of the processions in Lima. Her mother would take her, along with her aunt, to the procession. Her mother would wear a purple dress with a white belt all month.
The procession also occurs at other churches around the United States, including St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Here at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the procession goes from the front of the church, through the parking lot, and to the street. Fr. Jose will speak, and there will also be dancers. Then the devotion will conclude with a 5 p.m. Mass. In past years, upwards of 400 people have been part of this event.
“This devotion is something Peruvian Catholics have grown up with,” Ines says. “We have faith in the Lord of Miracles. There are many, many miracles attributed to this devotion.”
Ines wants to invite everyone to participate in this event — it’s not just for Peruvians.
“I want to get people to know this devotion,” she says. “It’s very important to me. I will continue to spread it as long as I can.”
Be part of the Lord of Miracles procession on Oct. 15. Bring a dish to share during the potluck and celebrate this special devotion with our parish family. All are welcome.