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Guatemalan Community Mass 2019 – “El Cristo Negro”

August 17, 2019

In March 2019, families in our Guatemalan community blessed us with the gift of a replica of “el Cristo Negro” (the Black Christ). It resides in the little chapel on the 2nd floor of the parish center.

On Saturday, August 17, 2019, we formally welcomed this beautiful icon to the prayer life of St. Giles Parish. The evening began with MASS (in the Church) at 6 pm, followed by procession (with the image) to McDonough Hall. There was HOME-MADE FOOD, courtesy of the Guatemalan community, cultural exhibits including traditional folk dancing, and music by Marimba Luna Maya.

A BIT OF HISTORY – Originally known El Señor Crucificado de Esquipulas, this beautiful representation of the crucified Christ was carved in wood by a Portuguese immigrant in Antigua in 1594, and enshrined in a small church in Esquipulas in 1595. Since the early 1600’s, many miracles and healings have been recorded at the shrine (twenty-eight were reported between 1880 and 1911 alone!) Every year, over 4 million pilgrims from across Central America (and beyond) travel to the city of Esquipulas, to pray at the shrine. About 1.5 million make the journey to celebrate the patronal feast on January 15.