Bogotá, Aug 9 (EFE) .- The image of the Fallen Lord of Monserrate began a pilgrimage through Bogotá this Sunday in the Cathedral of Colombia to unite the congregation in prayer and ask for the end of the coronavirus, a pandemic that is leaving the country 376,870 infections and 12,540 deaths.
The Archbishop of Bogotá, José Luis Rueda, explained that the image that is usually in the Cerro de Monserrate, in the eastern mountains of the city, will be taken for a week to the different basilicas of the Colombian capital.
The tour includes the Archdiocese of Soacha, the Diocese of Fontibón, the Cathedral of the Engativá neighborhood, the Castrense Cathedral, in the North Canton; and on August 16 the image will return to the Primada Cathedral.
“It will be a special message to renew his life, his faith, to strengthen himself in the encounter with the Lord who has told us: ‘I am with you every day until the end of the world,’” said Monsignor Rueda.
This is the seventh time that the image has left the Monserrate hill, called the tutelary mountain of Bogotá and which has been a place of pilgrimage since colonial times.
The sanctuary, whose construction was completed in 1920, rises in the same place that occupied, at the beginning of the 17th century, a hermitage and a monastery of the Carthusian monks.
The auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Bogotá, Monsignor Manuel Salamanca Montilla, told Efe that “the people of Bogotá have always shown a very deep devotion to the Fallen Lord of Monserrate and that thousands and thousands of Colombians have approached this image in moments of anguish and pain “.
As the temples are closed, due to the restrictions decreed by the authorities to contain coronavirus infections, the pilgrimage will be broadcast through the Cristovisión television channel and social networks because, Monsignor Salamanca emphasizes, what is required at this time is “take care of life and avoid any crowding”.
The image of the Fallen Lord of Monserrate weighs about 150 kilos, is made of wood and cast metal, is the work of the sculptor Pedro de Lugo y Albarracín, who lived in Bogotá around 1660.
The first time that the image fell from the hill of Monserrate was in 1916 due to a drought that resulted in hunger and poverty for the population of that time. Another was on June 10, 1952 to ask for peace in the country, the same as in 1998.
In this century they have been twice: in 2009, during Holy Week due to the impossibility of accessing the hill due to the fact that the paved road was in danger of landslides, and in 2014 for the celebration of 450 years of the Archdiocese of Bogotá.
(c) EFE Agency