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Shades Of Corpus Christi In Cusco

When The Saints Talk

It is said that in the Ancient Capital of the Inca Empire, the Saints and the Virgins would talk during all the nights of the octave of Corpus Christi. It is also said that the images, serene and quiet along the day, spent hours planning the future of their parishes. Evidently, everything happened when there was not an awaked Christian in the Cathedral of Cusco.

    The Saints and the Virgin did not keep silent during the octave of the Corpus Christi. They talk, chat, they maybe even joke but they do it with low voice to avoid waking up their loving officials who stay at the Cathedral in order to take care of them and be with them though they always fall asleep.

    The images are indeed well known and have conversations "really long and interesting" when the Faithful leave and close the doors of the temple. However, it is very difficult to know what they talked about, but the conversations must have been quite important: heaven and God issues of bishops and priests, complex things as Saints issues.
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    The conversations are really long and maybe amusing. The fifteen images coming from different temples of the Imperial City are welcomed by the "Señor de los Temblores" (The Lord of Tremors) host of the Cathedral and Patron of Cusco who according to the parishioners takes the pricked nails out, jumps out of the crucifix and goes to the temple of "Nuestra Señora de Belen" to visit his mother when it is possible.

    This just happens at nights, as in the mornings the saints stay rigid listening to Quechua prayers with indulgence or hearing the shrilling fireworks that explode in the sky of Cusco during the processions of the Corpus Christi celebrated 60 days after the Sunday of Resurrection.

    In this Celebration of Faith, there are always dancers and the enthusiastic rhythms of the musical bands. There are also groups of "Ñustas" and angels, thousands of Faithful and tons of eager officials who are in charge of all the details so the pass of the Saint or Patron of their community will be unforgettable.

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" Belen 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" Belen only allows being carried by her devotees. If other people 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 obeyed.

    If the Virgin of Belen 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 hid the litter in a truck to cheat the severe vigilance of the people of another temple during its way of 10 kilometers 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 or they talk 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.

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