Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Jenny Gamito - Florida Catholic
The festival, which began in the 17th century, centers on an image of Jesus that was painted by an Angolan slave in Peru. The image shows Christ crucified and, just below the cross, the Virgin Mary along with Mary Magdalene.
“This celebration is about sharing. I came with my daughter-in-law, my grandchildren and my son. I have lived in Miami for 54 years and have always celebrated this festival here,” said Eva Mercedes Rondo.
The Oct. 6 Mass was celebrated by Father Jorge Rodriguez de la Viuda of Peru, with the help of the Brotherhood of the Lord of Miracles in North Miami Beach. The brotherhood, founded in 1995, is made of men and women from Peru who help with preparations for the Mass and procession of the Lord of Miracles at Holy Family.
Their efforts won praise from Cielo Cano Gallardo, the vice consul of Peru in Miami, who attended the event.
"Today, we have felt the love of the Peruvians that are devotees of the Lord of Miracles," Cano said. "We are very happy to be close to the Peruvian community.”
Father Rodriguez de la Viuda's homily focused on the gift of faith. He said faith is tested through the difficult times and it is then that we need to be faithful and trusting in God.
“Faith is to live, practice and share God’s word,” he said.
The Mass and procession are part of a monthlong celebration every October in Miami-Dade and Broward, where various Peruvian churches and organizations celebrate the commemoration of the sacred image. The celebrations will conclude with another Mass and procession Saturday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Church in Fort Lauderdale.
The celebration began in 1655 when, after a severe earthquake in Peru, the image remained intact although much of the country was in shambles. Today, millions of devotees worldwide honor the Lord of Miracles.
“It is a blessing to live in this country for so many years and still be able to maintain our culture and traditions,” said Gladys Fernandez Rivas.
“I always come to celebrate the procession of the Lord of Miracles at Holy Family,” said Oscar Santarriaga. "I feel great around my compatriots and my customs. I have a great time every year."