Lima (Agenzia Fides) - On the occasion of the Solemnity of Cristo Negro, El Señor de los Milagros, one the national Catholic feasts most loved by the people of Peru, the Catholic Bishops of Peru addressed a special message to all Peruvians abroad urging them to treasure and maintain their Catholic faith and identity. The message which bears the title “The Lord of Miracles helps Integration” was issued by the Peruvian Bishops’ Commission for Human Mobility. Last year in January the Bishops declared Señor de los Milagros, Patron of Peruvian emigrants.
The message recalls that devotion to Cristo Negro “has grown, winning all hearts and has now crossed boundaries”. Celebration of this feast “is a demonstration of faith and spirituality and also a Catholic expression, an opportunity for those who have left homeland and family for many different reasons to strengthen hope and reaffirm profound faith in Jesus Christ”. The Bishops urge all Peruvians working in distant lands to treasure and maintain the Catholic faith and identity. The Bishops assure the emigrants of their prayers and affection: “remember you are part of our country, no one must feel separated from our history or the maternal affection of the Church you are all loved and remembered".
On the central day of the feast of Señor de los Milagros, 28 October, the Holy Image is brought out of the Las Nazarenas Shrine at 6am and welcomed by a large crowd. At 6.30 Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, Archbishop of Lima, presides a special Mass followed by a procession. There are celebrations for this special feast all through the week in dioceses all over the country. (RG) (Agenzia Fides 28/10/2006; righe 22, parole 295)