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SHADES OF CORPUS CHRISTI
IN CUSCO

ARTICLES PERU

by
Enjoy Peru


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Enjoy Peru Articles


SHADES OF CORPUS
CHRISTI IN CUSCO


Saints Stories

Cusco is all celebrating. It is smartly dressed with balconies arranged with tapestries and multicolour altars. And everything is not enough to celebrate the miracle "taytas" (father in quechua) and "mamachas" (mother in quechua) who go along the Main Square in June as the tradition of the Corpus Christi states in order to adore the blessed and represented Christ Body at the Holy Eucharist.

The Sacred Form is the main reason for the Catholic World celebration, but in the Archaeological capital of America the representations of the saints, lovely virgins or Gospel martyrs, have become into the main characters.

The Corpus
Christi would not be the same without the parade of the "Mamapacha" Belén dressed with refined dresses and valuable jewels given as gifts by her Faithful. Or the Patron Santiago who dares to enter on his white horse admired due to the elegancy of his festive uniform and the temerity of his sword, or Saint Sebastian the patron of soldiers and army officers.

Stories of caprices and sacred rebelliousness. The "Mamapacha" Belén only allows being carried by her devotees. If others try, the litter becomes heavier and it is impossible to lift it. "It is true" affirm the people in Cusco when they remember a group of soldiers who were unable to lift the Patron of the ancient Inca Empire.

But the story is even more fascinating as the origin of the image is very especial. It is said that it arrived in a place called Piti Piti, at Callao Port, holding a written message forbidding its transfer. Those who found it obey that.

If the Virgin of Belén is jealous with her porters, the images of Saint Sebastian and Saint Jeronimo inspire their parishes a deep desire of competence. As the officials, the porters, the faithful and the whole community are involved in a constant race.

In many opportunities, the believers of Saint Jeronimo have hiden the litter in a truck to cheat the severe vigilance of the people of another temple during its way of 10 kilometres towards the center of Cusco.

But these are not the only Saints, we have also the Saint of Marriages: Saint Antonio, the Saint of artisans: Saint Blas, and the "Immaculate Virgin" also known as "the pretty", as well as others beautiful, elegant and huge images carried by sweaty devotees.

The saints are competing among them talking with the "mamapachas" or the "Señor de los Temblores". They are indulgent, stubborn and even spoiled. They have become humans to be closer to their people who celebrate squandering faith, happiness and joy.

There is nothing missing in the Corpus Christy celebration. The body is fed with good food and endless drinks. The soul is fed with prayers and requests. Then the dairy routine comes back until next year celebrations.

Texts and photographs: Rolly Valdivia Chavez


Click to see more images at our Cusco Peru Pictures - Photos & Multimedia Gallery

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“The catholic saints and virgins scour the Main Square, as the inca mummies, in beautiful litters of precios metals, did before, during a ceremony made in honor to the Tayta Inti or Sun God.”


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