Religion in peru: Virgen del Rosario Festivities in Peru
7 October 2019
For the Catholic religion, the Virgin Mary and the Catholic Rosary are intricately linked together in the figure of Our Lady of the Rosary, who is celebrated by devout Catholics around the world each year, on October 7th. Our Lady of the Rosary is of course celebrated in Peru’s deeply Catholic religious culture.
The date is also related to a military victory, that of the Holy League over the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. But the origins of devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary come from the early thirteenth century, from Prouille, France in the year 1206.
There, a young priest, later canonized as St. Dominic, encountered a vision of the Virgin Mary who offered him a rosary to convert heretics to the Catholic religion.
From then on, an enduring Catholic method of prayer developed among St. Dominic’s followers following this legendary encounter.
Later, in 1571, a fleet of ships of the Holy League, a coalition of European Catholic states, and under guidance of Pope Pius V, set sail to rescue Christian settlements on Cyprus that had been invaded by the Ottomans. The Battle of Lepanto pitted the Catholic ships against a huge Ottoman fleet.
The Pope ordered prayers to be offered to the Rosary across Europe. Somehow, at Lepanto the smaller Catholic fleet was able to repel the Ottoman forces, thus avoiding a possible invasion of Italy, which certainly would have changed world history.
At that time, Our Lady of the Rosary was also declared Our Lady of Victory. Since 1913, Our Lady of the Rosary’s day has been celebrated on October 7th as the Feast of the Holy Rosary.
Our Lady of the Rosary is the patron saint of many cities and churches around the world, including in Fatima, Portugal. In Peru, Lima and its neighborhood of Chorillos, the cities of Huamanga in Ayacucho, Tacna and many other cities venerate the Holy Virgin as their patroness.
In Cusco, the Catholic Church’s Dominican Order holds a devout celebration of Our Lady of the Rosary at the Church of Santo Domingo, a block away from the main Plaza de Armas. At this impressive colonial church, the faithful celebrate with the beautiful songs of youth choirs and traditional Andean dances, followed by a procession of the saints along the streets to the Plaza de Armas.
Our Lady of the Rosary is also venerated in the colonial town of Checacupe, two hours south of Cusco, near the Ausangate region. The Church of Checacupe, one of the most beautiful churches in southern Peru, also has an image of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception.
Find out more about Cusco’s religious celebrations and colonial churches. Reserve your acclimatization tour at andeanlodges.com, to get a privileged look at the Cusco region’s most important historic and archeological sites.