Some walked barefoot on the hot summer pavement, others marched on their knees, others blindfolded and walking backwards, and there were faithful Catholics who carried crosses or dressed as angels during the traditional penitential Way of the Cross in Managua, which commemorates the ordeal of Jesus Christ before being crucified, according to Eph.
Nicaraguan Catholics relived the last hours of the Nazarene in a massive procession that left the outskirts of a hotel in Managua towards the Metropolitan Cathedral, on a one-kilometer route, guarded by hundreds of policemen, and after two years of absence of faithful due to the covid-19 pandemic.
This time the devotees carried on their shoulders a painting with a painting of the image of the Blood of Christ, and at their feet, in a glass urn, an image of the face of that venerated image burned on July 31, 2020 in its chapel. in the Cathedral of Managua in an involuntary fire, according to the authorities, in a terrorist act, according to the Catholic Church.
The parishioners, many of them dressed in white clothes, called for the end of the pandemic that has affected the world for two years, for peace in Nicaragua and on planet Earth in the midst of the war that Russia decreed against Ukraine almost two months.
MIGRATION, HEALTH AND STRENGTH
Other devotees, such as Katherine Soza, who made the journey on her knees, told Efe that she asked the Lord for “a better job” for her husband, who migrated to the United States, in the midst of the crisis that Nicaragua has been experiencing since April 2018.
“I pay a promise for my mother, that I have her very sick, and the Lord is the one who takes care of her, so I thank Him who keeps her alive for me,” María Jesús Rodríguez told Efe. , another promisee who was blindfolded and walking backwards towards the Managua Cathedral and facing the painting with the image of the Blood of Christ.
Luisa del Carmen Chavarría, another promisee, blindfolded herself and walked barefoot for a kilometer, and once in the temple, she did so on her knees.
“I am beginning to pay a promise today for the eternal rest of my father, who has been deceased for five days, and so that the Lord gives me the strength to move forward and for our family,” he explained.
The priest of the diocese of Managua, Miguel Mántica, celebrated the massive participation of Catholics in the procession.
“This is the strength of the faith of our Catholic people!” exclaimed Mántica, who highlighted that the original image of the Blood of Christ, absent in the procession for the first time in “hundreds of years”, the Catholic people of Nicaragua “He carries it in his heart.”
FIRST TIME WITHOUT THE IMAGE OF THE BLOOD OF CHRIST
The Nicaraguan Cardinal, Leopoldo Brenes, decided that the relic of what remained of the ancient image of the Blood of Christ should remain in the Managua Cathedral to keep it intact.
“This painting does not come to replace our historical image burned by hatred,” said Brenes, also Archbishop of Managua, last Friday during the consecration of the new image.
The burning of the image of the Blood of Christ, with 383 years of history and representing Jesus crucified, was preceded by a wave of desecrations against Catholic temples in Nicaragua, which aroused suspicion in the leaders and with it another chapter was opened disagreements with the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN).
Brought from Guatemala on July 4, 1638, the image of the Blood of Christ, made of polychrome wood and which was initially praised as “The Lord of Miracles”, was venerated by Saint John Paul II in 1996, when it was knelt and prayed at his feet, during his second visit to this Central American country, with a Catholic majority.
Catholic believers went as a family to the processions or dramatized versions of the “passion of Christ”, including the fourteen stations that Jesus made when he found his death on the cross, in the 153 municipalities of Nicaragua.
With 58.5% of parishioners, the Catholic Church is the most followed in Nicaragua, according to official data.