Following the burning of the revered image of the Blood of Christ in 2020, the Good Friday procession has changed in Nicaragua. The Archdiocese of Managua has had to make modifications and adapt after the “attack” of July 31, 2020, which left the image that led the penitential Stations of the Cross charred.
This year there will be an oil painting of the Blood of Christ that will accompany the Catholic parishioners of the Archdiocese of Managua in the traditional penitential way of the cross on Good Friday that runs along a section of the highway to Masaya, from the Teresian College to the Managua Cathedral.
The painting of the Blood of Christ was blessed by the Archbishop of Managua, Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes Solórzano, this Friday, April 9, prior to the fifth penitential Stations of the Cross in the Managua Cathedral.
During the blessing of the painting, the archbishop explained that it does not replace the revered image that was “calcined by hatred.” The painting has three gold crosses and a relic of the burned Blood of Christ. The decision to create this painting, according to Brenes, was made after several consultations with the priests and the faithful.
The “attack” on the Blood of Christ
The image of the Blood of Christ, one of the most revered in Nicaragua and 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 Church Catholic, arrived in Managua 384 years ago.
According to the Archdiocese of Managua and witnesses, an unknown person, in a planned action, launched an artifact that caused the incident.
The National Police, led by dictator Daniel Ortega’s in-law, the sanctioned commissioner Francisco Díaz, concluded that the fire was caused by a candle, as the vice president and first lady, Rosario Murillo, had anticipated, minutes after the event.
The burning of the image was preceded by a wave of desecrations of Catholic temples in Nicaragua, which aroused suspicion among the leaders of the Church and thus opened another chapter of 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 mostly Catholic Nicaragua.
In 2021, in other municipalities of Nicaragua, Catholicism celebrated masses without temples crowded by the pandemic, and in some places there were processions that relived the last hours of the life of Jesus Christ.