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11/13/2012 4:58:00 PM
Peruvian diocese notes 475 years
Catholic News Service
Traditional conch shell blowers from San Jeronimo take part in the celebration of Mass marking the 475th anniversary of the Diocese of Cusco, Peru.
Catholic News Service
Traditional conch shell blowers from San Jeronimo take part in the celebration of Mass marking the 475th anniversary of the Diocese of Cusco, Peru.
Catholic News Service


The Mass celebrating the 475th anniversary of the Diocese of Cusco, Peru, attracted 8,000 people.

Songs in Quechua and Spanish filled the coliseum as people celebrated the the first Catholic diocese in South America. About a dozen men dressed in colorful ponchos and hats blew into conch shells, and church bells rang. Local men called Pablitos, known for being disciplinarians, were invited to the Mass to keep order in the large crowd.

Many came to the Mass to see Our Lord of the Earthquakes, the patron saint of Cusco. During an earthquake in 1650, the image was taken from the Cathedral of Santo Domingo into the streets, abruptly stopping the earthquake. Usually the image is only removed from the cathedral on Monday of Holy Week, but the anniversary celebrations merited its inclusion in the procession.

After more than 300 years of devotion, smoke from candles and incense have colored the image black.





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