LIMA, Peru (AP) — Peru’s most popular Roman Catholic procession, the Lord of Miracles, has been canceled for the second straight year because of the coronavirus pandemic, the archbishopric of Lima announced Tuesday.
The procession venerates a 17th century rendering of Jesus Christ and in the past has attracted more than 100,000 people. It culminates when a giant replica is carried to Las Nazarenas monastery in downtown Lima where the original Lord of Miracles mural is.
It is only the third suspension in the history of the procession, following suspensions last year and in 1882 during a war with Chile, the archbishopric said. The Lord of Miracles is associated with protection in times of crisis, curing illnesses to protection from earthquakes.
The archbishopric said the church where the image is kept can be visited by the faithful in October, but they will be able to attend only with a double mask and temperature check.
The procession normally draws jam-packed crowds and snarls traffic on Lima’s streets.
According to Peru’s Ministry of Health, more than 2 million confirmed coronavirus cases have been reported in the country, along with more than 199,000 deaths from COVID-19, giving the South American country the highest death rate in the world.