During Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of Lima, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne prayed to the Lord of Miracles for protection of “the lives of the weakest and most innocent, of those who are in the wombs of their mothers.”
In the presence of Peru's President Alan Garcia and other officials, the cardinal said, “The world is going through a very particular situation. Lord of Miracles, protect the wombs of these mothers, protect the legal realm, confuse those who threaten human life in order to prevent them from causing harm.”
Cardinal Cipriani also prayed for family unity, “which is essential for seeking peace, justice and for affirming the identity of the nation in the Latin American region. We implore your blessing upon the Peruvian nation. Help us to understand that we are all Peruvians, there are no second-class Peruvians,” he prayed.
The cardinal also raised his prayers to the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Lord of Miracles, that she might care for and protect “marriage which unites one man and one woman for their entire lives; and also that she might strengthen family unity in these times in which the education of children is a primordial task.”
History of the Lord of Miracles
The Lord of Miracles image was originally painted by an unnamed black slave from Angola on the wall of a building on the outskirts of Lima. The anonymous slave and his fellow prisoners were being held in the building before they were sold into slavery.
In 1655 an earthquake demolished the entire wall, with the exception of the painting. Seeing that the image survived the earthquake unscathed, slaves developed a devotion to the image.
According to tradition, the King of Spain's local representative tried to have the image erased, first employing Freemasons and later soldiers. When both groups tried to carry out the viceroy's command, they were paralyzed and unable to accomplish the job.
The incident with the viceroy led Church and political authorities to change their minds and declare the image miraculous.
After a second earthquake devastated part of Lima, the image was painted on a canvas and taken out in a procession in the mid 16th century, a practice that has continued ever since.
The Feast of Our Lord of Miracles is celebrated on October 28.