The Church of the Nazarenas is a religious complex dedicated to the cult of the Patron of Peru, the Lord of Miracles, run by the Nazarene Discalced Carmelite Mothers. It is located in the rectangle whose contour includes Avenida Tacna, Jirón Huancavelica, Jirón Chancay and Avenida Emancipación, in the old area of ??Pachacamilla, then Cuartel Primero, in the Historic Center of Lima, Peru.
The history of the Church of the Nazarenas, which today houses the sacred image of the Lord of Miracles, is almost as old as the image itself. As recorded in the story of the Lord of Miracles, the sacred image was painted on the humble and rough wall of a barrack by an Angolan slave. In 1655 a strong earthquake devastated Lima causing considerable human and material losses. The precarious dwellings of Angolan slaves fell to the ground. But miraculously the wall where the image of the Purple Christ was embodied was left intact.
Don Sebastián de Antuñano y Rivas was the true promoter of the construction of the Sanctuary of the Lord of Miracles. Appointed the fourth steward of the sacred image in 1684, he bought the land surrounding the area – where it is venerated until today – and built the first church of the Cristo Morado. It suffered serious damage due to the onslaught of time and earthquakes. This first building – which required to be practically demolished in 1746 – will be followed in importance by the one built in 1771 at the initiative of Viceroy Amat. This temple has suffered, to this day, as many renovations as earthquakes have endured the City of the Kings. What began as a small chapel is now an imposing temple of beautiful architecture, and that, contrary to what happened with other monuments, has been progressively embellished after the many reconstructions and arrangements that it has undergone. Year after year the sanctuary receives thousands of faithful devotees of the Purple Christ, who can admire – in the central place of the church – the miraculous image painted by a pious brown hand centuries ago and that miraculously remains to this day bearing witness to the eternal divine mercy.
On the side of the temple is the monastery of the Nazarenas. In October 1700, the builder steward of the first church made a donation of it and the adjacent lands to the Blessed Nazarenas. They wore the purple habit, thus giving rise to the habits of that traditional color that devotees wear in the month of October. These blessed women took the Carmelite as their rule and thus managed to raise the beguinage to the status of a monastery. Currently the Nazarene-Discalced Carmelite Mothers – who continue to wear the purple habit instead of the traditional Carmelite brown – are the guardians of the Lord of Miracles. In 1966 the old monastery fell into disrepair due to a strong earthquake. Two years later a practically new one was erected, in which the «Faithful Guardians and Caregivers» of the Lord the Earthquakes live dedicated to prayer.
As a consequence of the large number of faithful who come to the church throughout the year and that in the month of October turns into a true human tide, the Nazarene-Barefoot Mothers sought to expand the capacity of the temple. Thus, between 1987 and 1989 «the Chapel of Reconciliation» was built. The modern construction – which has won important awards for its beautiful architecture – is a complex with more than 2,500 square meters and with capacity for 500 people. It has 8 confessionals and its nave is presided over by an imposing Mannerist-style Christ. From October to October this building receives thousands of penitents who come to receive the sacrament of reconciliation – hence the name of the chapel.
Located next to the temple, the monastery of the Nazarenas is the refuge of the Nazarene Discalced Carmelite Mothers. On October 12, 1700, Sebastián de Antuñano, promoter of the first church, donated both the Church and the adjacent land to the blessed women of the old Institute or Nazarene Beaterio, who wore the purple habit, which gave rise to the traditional color habits used by the devotees of the Lord of Miracles.
These blessed women took the Carmelite as their rule and thus managed to raise the beguinage to the status of a monastery. Upon the death of Mother Antonia Lucía del Espíritu Santo, founder of the Beguinage, she appointed Sister Josefa de la Providencia as superior who, after 18 years of struggle, succeeded in 1720 that the King of Spain, Felipe V, and Pope Benedict XIII, in In 1727, they granted the license and approval for the foundation of the Monastery of the Nazarenas and its transformation into the cloistered monastery added to the order of the Discalced Carmelites, the Monastery being officially inaugurated on March 11, 1730.
Currently the Nazarene Discalced Carmelite Mothers – who continue to wear the purple habit instead of the traditional Carmelite brown – are the only guardians and custodians of the Lord of Miracles.
Due to the strong earthquake of October 17, 1966, the old monastery was in a state of ruin, so two years later a practically new one was built, in which the «Faithful Guardians and Caregivers» of the Lord of Miracles live dedicated so much to the contemplation and prayer as at the service of others. The history of the Temple of Nazarenas, which today houses the sacred image of the Lord of Miracles, is almost as old as the image itself. As recorded in the story of the Lord of Miracles, the sacred image was painted on the wall of a barrack by an Angolan slave. In 1655 a strong earthquake devastated Lima causing large human and material losses. The precarious dwellings of Angolan slaves fell to the ground. But miraculously the wall where the image of the Purple Christ was embodied was left intact.
Mass schedule at Church of the Nazarenas.
Monday to Saturday: 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 a.m; 5, 6, 7 and 8 p.m.
Sunday: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 a.m. and 12 m; 5, 7 and 8 p.m.
Confessions: Every day from 8:30 a.m. at 12 m. and from 4 to 7:30 p.m.
The 10 most important churches in Lima
You do not get to know Lima, if you do not know at least some of its most recognized churches. Take a day and leave the five-star hotel to visit the most important historical religious sites in the city.
Lima cathedral is considered one of the most important architectural works in the city and reflects the importance of the Catholic religion in the founding of Lima.
Convent of San Francisco
Convent of San Francisco is one of the most recognized historical monuments of colonial architecture in Latin America.
Church and Sanctuary of Santa Rosa de Lima
Santa Rosa belonged to the Dominican order, and is recognized for establishing within her own home, a hospital for the poor. It is here where she built a life dedicated to prayer and where she cared for the sick, often forgotten.
Church of the Nazarenas
The home of the Lord of Miracles, it is an architectural piece that combines the rococo style and gemstones.
Santo Domingo Convent
Inside the Santo Domingo Convent, we can find the oldest choir balconies in Lima and the famous statue of the Virgen del Rosario.
Convent of the barefoot
Located leaving the Center of Lima and at the foot of the San Cristóbal hill, this convent was founded in 1595 as a space for the spiritual retreat of the friars, it used to be surrounded by large vineyards and fields.
Church and Convent of San Pedro
The arches and altars of the Church and Convent of San Pedro are lined with gold. Another interesting point is that it has an incredible collection of religious paintings from colonial times.
Church of La Merced
This church was originally built in wood and dates from before the founding of Lima. Here the first Eucharist was held in Lima in 1534.
Church of the Virgen del Pilar
This baroque-style church has a main altar decorated with a colonial altarpiece from the eighteenth century.
Church of San Agustín
After the war, this church was rebuilt following the original design. Today you can see the beautiful reconstruction work in its arches, balconies for the choir and the incredible sculpture of «Death» carved in wood.
If you travel to Perú, we also recommend you to visit another impressive destinations in the city of Cusco like the tour to rainbow mountain peru or the humantay lake tour from cusco, which only takes one day. But if you are gonna to stay more days in Cusco, other archaeological places you can know will be the choquequirao trek peru, the salkantay trek to machu picchu, and the classic inca trail 4 days 3 nights.