Sanctuary of Lo Vásquez
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Review of "Sanctuary of Lo Vásquez"
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Sanctuary of Lo VásquezThis rather pretty little Catholic church would normally not even be given a second glance as you drive past on the road from Santiago to Valparaiso. Luckily our guide stopped by the side of the road and told us how important this little church was to the catholic population in the Santiago area.
Apparently this church is a reconstruction of the original 1846 church which was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. From the outside it looks fairly ordinary, attractive, small and white but nothing flashy. Indeed inside it is not the usual gold ornate icon filled place that so many Catholic churches in South America are.In December , on the 7th and 8th to be exact, many pilgrims walk to the church from Santiago along this same road that we drove along. They do this in order to celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. While they are making their pilgrimage people along the way offer drinks and food to those passing by. The pilgrims start off after the main heat of the day on the 7th and walk over night to arrive on the 8th December.
On the 8th mass is held throughout the day for the faithful. This pilgrimage is known as a 'manda' which is a promise to God to say thank you for something or to ask for his help in healing a family member of similar.This is a fifty mile trek and once these pilgrims arrive they crowd into the church and buy religious souvenirs and paraphernalia such as candles, icons, rosaries etc from the stalls that are all along the side of the highway.
Some years over a million people make their way to the church for this celebration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and police are needed to control traffic and crowds. Most walk, some come on bicycles, some dive and some even crawl on the knees if they are very traditionally religious.This must be a sight to see but if you are not interested in seeing this pilgrimage then I suggest you avoid driving along this route on those days in December.
If you are driving along this highway then take a few minutes out of your day to stop and look at this little church at the side of the road as it is an attractive building and does have an interesting story to go with it.
Product Information : Sanctuary of Lo Vásquez
Manufacturer's product descriptionAttraction
Listed on Ciao since: 27/01/2014