The sanctuary of the Lord of Huanca is located 48 km from the city of Cusco at 3,100 m.a.s.l. in the district of San Salvador, province of Calca in the department of Cusco.
The Lord of Huanca is an invocation of martyred Christ who is in this town and is revered by Peruvians and foreigners, considered very miraculous.
The festival is celebrated every September 14, characterized by a massive pilgrimage of devotees from Cusco, Peru and even from different places like Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina and Chile, they go to the Sanctuary of Huanca to receive blessings.
The dawn in the sanctuary finds hundreds of pilgrims kneeling in the heat of candles, always hugging an image, a prayer and their faith. There is the painted stone, reason for so much veneration, a Christ overwhelmed by the scourges is the Lord of Huanca.
To get to this sacred place some do it by car, many on foot. The most devout come walking from the Imperial City. 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, take 6 hours of walking to reach the Lord of Huanca and 1 hour by car.
Huanca is located on the slopes of the Pachatusan mountain (in Quechua, “the one that sustains the world”), it is estimated that about 30 thousand faithful pilgrimage to the area, between September 7 and 21.
There are several versions of how devotion to the image of the stone began. There are basically two. The first story was around 1675. Diego, an Indian tired of the mistreatment of the Spaniards, escaped to Huanca and prayed throughout the day so they wouldn’t find him. So it was. Then the image of the bloodied Christ appeared before him. Amazed by the miracle, Diego sent a painter to that precise place to reproduce what he had seen. Where the stone was painted, a chapel was built that would later become the sanctuary.
The other version indicates that a Bolivian named Don Pedro Valero, evicted him, met a foreign doctor who, miraculously, saved him after giving him a water treatment. In return, the doctor, who responded to Emmanuel’s name, only asked Valero to visit him at his home in Huanca. Great was his surprise when, in 1778, he arrived at the place and the villagers told him that there was no one with these characteristics or anything in Huanca, just an abandoned chapel. Insistent, he went to the designated place, but found a stone painted with a whipped Jesus Christ. The incredible thing was that the face of the son of God was the same as the person who had healed him.
In the commercial area there are dozens of stores where they offer the faithful small representations, as toys, of what they want to ask the Lord. Then they carry the objects so that they are blessed by the bishop: houses, vehicles, grocery stores, university titles, millions of soles, dollars and euros, passports for travelers and anything you can imagine and ask for.
In general, pilgrims arrive days before and stay a few more 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 or bathing in this enclosure. Every 14, the image arrives at this place in procession and blesses the water. Then he meets the Sorrowful Virgin on the front of the sanctuary, and then be taken inside the church and saved until next year.