Se–or de los Temblores Procession

Se–or de los Temblores Procession

Monday before Easter
There is a legend in Peru that early in the 17th century, some men from the port city of Callao discovered an unusual box while out fishing. The shape of the floating box led them to believe that a crucifix might be concealed within, and they brought news of their discovery to Lima church authorities. The church authorities wanted the box brought to them, but it was so heavy that no one was able to lift it. When they resolved to have the box taken to Ayacucho, the box also became mysteriously heavy. But when someone suggested it be sent to Cuzco, the box suddenly lightened—which all present interpreted as a sign that the image in the box desired to go there.
Shortly after it was installed in a chapel of the unfinished cathedral in Cuzco, the city was hit by the terrible earthquake of 1650. The earth shook for three days, and it didn't stop until the crucifix was taken from the undamaged church and carried into the streets. Thereafter, it was called el Señor de los Temblores (Lord of the Earthquakes), and the people believed that it protected Cuzco from earthquakes for almost 300 years.
To commemorate this event, the Quechua Indians of Cuzco take the Lord of the Earthquakes out in procession every year on the Monday before Easter. Before it leaves the church, however, it is carefully dusted and dressed in white, lace-trimmed panties, which are then covered first with a white loincloth and then with a black velvet one. The statue wears no clothes on its arms or chest, although it wears a curly wig topped by a gold crown. It is carried in the procession by 30 men bearing a heavy litter made of solid silver, and Quechua Indians carrying lighted candles lay down a "carpet" of red flower petals for the Señor to pass over. With church officials bringing up the rear, the procession stops at various churches throughout the city, where the litter enters the church. Few brave a look directly into the Señor's face, as tradition holds that a single glance from the statue indicates that one will die in the year to come.
Although Cuzco suffered a serious earthquake in 1941, the Indians maintain faith in the image's power to protect them.
CONTACTS:
Commission for the Promotion of Peru
Calle Uno Oeste No. 50, piso 13th
Urb. Corpac
Lima, 27 Peru
51-1-4224-3131; fax: 51-1-224-7134
www.promperu.gob.pe
SOURCES:
FiestaTime-1965, p. 64