The pilgrimage of the Lord of Huanca in Perú is an important celebration that takes place in Cusco and has as its central date September 14. It is a journey that the people and the faithful devotees of the Lord take from their different towns to the same Sanctuary that is located in a place that responds to the name of Huata Piedra Negra.
There are different stories about the origin of this Christ that would have appeared in the seventeenth century, the most prominent of the stories tells that one day an Indian named Diego, who was already tired of the mistreatment of his employers (some say he was a miner) decided To escape from them, it was then that Diego reached Huanca where he prayed all day and all night not to be found. It is said that when night fell this Indian had a revelation, in front of him was a Bleeding Christ; The man was then filled with emotion and decided to call a painter, one of the most prominent in the town, to immortalize the image that he had just seen, in stone.
The Lord of Huanca in Perú is an invocation of the martyred Christ that is venerated in the Cusco town of Huanca and is venerated by Peruvians in Peru and abroad for being considered miraculous.
The festival of the Lord of Huanca in Cusco is celebrated every September 14, characterized by a massive pilgrimage of devotees from Cusco, Peru and even from different places such as Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina and Chile, they go to the Huanca Sanctuary to receive blessings.
Dawn in the sanctuary of the Lord of Huanca in Cusco and the light finds hundreds of pilgrims kneeling by the warmth of candles, always embracing an image, a prayer, their faith. There is the stone painted with the reason for so much veneration: a Christ overwhelmed by the lashes, the Lord of Huanca.
In this traditional pilgrimage, it is not strange to be able to also appreciate the sale of different replicas made of this Holy Lord, nor is it surprising that people make their pilgrimage on foot from places farther away than the City of Cusco itself, since it is the faith the one that moves this extensive journey either in gratitude or request of the Holy Lord of Huanca.
The festival of the Lord of Huanca in Perú is celebrated every September 14, characterized by a massive pilgrimage of devotees.
The Lord of Huanca in Cusco is the image of the martyred Christ that causes great fervor and devotion among the Catholics of Cusco and Peru. Every year in the month of September the faithful go to Huanca, a place located about 50 km from the city of Cusco and which according to the devotees, is the place that God chose to live.
Many stories have been written about the Lord of Huanca in Cusco:
History tells that in 1675 the Marqués de Valleumbroso discovered a rich vein in the Yasos mine. As was customary in times of Spanish rule, the Andean natives were subjected to exploitation in different mines, and Yasos was one of those mines.
One day Diego Quispe, one of the exploited peasants in the Yasos mine, came out in defense of one of the mine workers who was being punished, for which the foreman ordered his confinement, giving instructions for him to be punished the next day. . During the night Diego escaped from his confinement and decided to take the road to Chinchero, for which he had to go through the Huanca sector, but it was already dawn and the day was going to give him away, so he decided to seek refuge. He found some rocks that served as a kind of very safe cavern, where he took refuge and began to pray that they would not find him.
After nightfall, Diego prepared to resume his path, but he realized that there was no moon and suddenly a light of surprising clarity illuminated his face, at last when he could distinguish, it was Jesus Christ bleeding from the blows received. Diego almost beside himself, adoring his redeemer. Jesus Christ gave Diego a message: «Diego… I have chosen you to be a dove, a carrier dove of my goodness and mercy, this place has been chosen to be a volcano of love and a refreshing spring of Sorry, go to your town, introduce yourself to the priest, make your communion and come back, I’ll be here. Depart at dawn”.
In June of that same year Diego made his first pilgrimage together with a small group of people and the priest of Chinchero, arrived at the place, Diego first entered seeing Christ who was in the cave with fresh wounds after having been scourged and then he called the others so that they can also see the apparition.
Since then he began the cult of the Lord of Huanca, which with time would converge with thousands of souls who consider him as the father and consoling doctor of all pain.
The wealthy Miner Don Pedro Valero was very ill and many doctors had already tried to diagnose his illness without any luck. Suddenly, a foreign doctor arrives in the city, preceded by a great fame, they immediately communicated with the famous doctor under the slogan that it did not matter what he asked.
The mysterious foreigner responded to the call, according to the story Don Pedro was subjected to a water treatment for five days obedient to the doctor’s recommendations. After the treatment, Don Pedro healed of his illness and did not hesitate to put his wealth in the hands of the doctor, he said: «If you want to do something nice for me, visit me at my house.» Don Pedro went to Huanca, entered the altar, and discovered that on a rock, the image of his savior was imprinted.
Pilgrimage to the sanctuary
The sanctuary of the Lord of Huanca is located 48 km from the city of Cusco at 3,100 meters above sea level in the district of San Salvador, province of Calca in the department of Cusco.
To get to this sacred place, some do it by car, many on foot. The most devout walk from the Imperial City, which takes four to six hours. For this reason, and due to the number of faithful it has in Peru, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia and Chile, the pilgrimage to the Lord of Huanca is one of the most significant in the country and, also, one of the most anticipated.
From Cusco, it takes 4 to 6 hours of walking to reach «El Señor de Huanca» and 45 min to 1 hour by car.
The pilgrimage, however, does not end at the sanctuary. The religious festival will continue in the corners of the temple and will be expressed in different ways. Visitors will enlist their property titles, their most valuable items and even their vehicles for the blessing with the faith of the Lord of Huanca.
Nearby there is a dripping water fountain and an empty swimming pool. There, dozens of men and women will gather to bathe with the holy water that, the religious say, comes from the bowels of the Pachatusan. So don’t be surprised if visitors collect the blessed liquid in bottles or buckets.
In general, pilgrims usually arrive days before and stay some after September 14, the central date of the celebration. They sleep in tents, near Siloe Park, where the water of the Lord of Huanca rests. More than one is convinced that they were miraculously healed after washing their heads in this room. Every 14, the image arrives at this place in procession and blesses the water. Then she meets the Sorrowful Virgin at the front of the sanctuary, to later be kept until next year.
Requests at scale
In the commercial area where dozens of stalls offer the faithful small representations, like toys, of what they want to ask the Lord. Then they bring the objects to be blessed by the bishop: houses, vehicles, grocery stores, passports for travelers, university degrees, millions of soles, dollars and euros; medicine cabinets, cell phones and anything you can think of, anything you can ask for.
Mass is about to end and all present await the blessing: the human avalanche launches after a drop of holy water. There is not for everyone, but that does not matter because they will still leave with the grace of the Lord of Huanca.
Very close to there, after climbing some steps, there is a special passage where the devotees leave plaques in gratitude for the blessings granted by the Lord of Huanca.
The route: From the city of Cusco there are two ways to get to the sanctuary of the Lord of Huanca. The first is on the Cusco – Oropesa – San Salvador highway. The trip lasts 50 minutes. Another way is through a walk that lasts between 5 and 6 hours, for which you will have to start from the San Jerónimo district in the Imperial City.
Touring Cusco is discovering endless mysterious places, with hidden stories in corners that you may have never seen before stepping on this country. We recommend you to visit another impressive destinations in 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 Perú, 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.