The 3.7-magnitude tremor struck Lima, and quickly subsided, this morning.
Dogs barked and car alarms sounded, but no damage or injuries were reported.
The earthquake hit less than 10 minutes before the Lord of the Miracles was carried at 6 a.m. from the Church of Las Nazarenas for its third and longest processional route through Peru’s capital city.
As they have done every October for centuries, the Catholic devotees flooded the streets, clad in purple tunics, burning incense and reciting prayers to the venerated image of Jesus, which dates back to the 17th century.
It is believed to protect Lima from devastating earthquakes. The 7-hour route will wind through Lima’s historic center before arriving at its destination, Our Lady of Carmen Church. Tomorrow, the effigy will be solemnly carried back to Las Nazarenas.
The story of the The Lord of Miracles dates back to Colonial Lima, when it was painted on an adobe wall in tempera by an Angolan slave, whose identity has been lost to time. The painting depicts Christ on the cross, with the Virgin Mary and Saint John standing at his side. On Nov. 13, 1655, at 2:45 in the afternoon, Lima was truck by a devastating earthquake that leveled the city, leaving thousands of dead and homeless.
But the Jesus image emerged unscathed.
On October 20, 1687, Lima was once again struck by several powerful earthquakes, and once again, the painting survived unscathed.
In 1715, the Jesus image was declared the official religious patron of Lima.
On October 28, 1746, one of the most destructive quakes on record hit, triggering a massive tsunami that engulfed the adjacent port city of Callao. Once more, the painting survived, establishing for the last 250 years some of Peru’s most enduring Catholic lore.
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