Lord of Huanca
Señor de Huanca
The Historical Account at Pacha Tusan Mountain
By Kathy Doore
Upon the majestic slopes of Apu Pachatusan, a Quechua word meaning “one that sustains the Earth”, the chapel of The Lord of Huanca erected in 1676 commemorates the appearance of Lord Jesus on this site. High above the Sacred Valley of the Incas, twenty minutes south of Pisac along the Rio Vilconata, on the grounds of the Sanctuary of the Lord of Huanca, two sources of water attributed with miraculous healing properties are visited by thousands of pilgrims annually.
The Lord of Huanca
After the Spanish Conquest, the imperial Incan city of Cusco lost its political and economic supremacy. Forced labor and white man’s dominance over the Indian populace was cruel and humiliating. The natives lived in the worst of conditions. At this time a new religion began to come forth, many converts were made, and Christian cults arose in the whole of Peru. So it was that one of the most famous cults was born to Christianity, The Lord of Huanca.
Dispached from the Vatican to authenticate the miracle as witnessed by Carmen Flores,
Father Felipe, took this extraordinary photograph of an intense rose-colored light descending from the sky
in a brilliant halo-like display.
In the month of May 1675 in the mine of Vasos owned by the Marques de Valle Umbroso, the natives were exploited without mercy in the process of extracting precious metals from the earth. Among the natives working the mine was one Diego Quispe, a humble peasant from the town of Chincheros. He was a rebellious individual who didn’t accept the abuse that led to his current predicament of being locked up. Before he could be severely punished for his transgressions, he took advantage of the darkness of night and escaped.
To return home he had to cross the hills of Pachatusan but the first light of day forced him to hide in an alcove to await the cover of night. Diego made himself as comfortable as he could among the craggy rock and spent the day in prayer, he was quite sure that if he were captured, he would die. At nightfall, due to the excessive darkness and helpless to manage his way back down the mountain, he returned to the alcove and fell asleep. During the night Diego was awakened by a brilliant light illuminating the dark cavern where he slept, there within the light was the image of a man whose body was bloody and beaten. In awe and bewilderment, Diego suddenly recognized the man who stood before him and who then spoke to him.
I have chosen you to be a Dove.
A messenger of my kindness and mercy.
This place has been chosen to be
a volcano of love and a refreshing spring of pardon.
Go to your town and present yourself to your Priest, then return.
I will be here.”
It is said that Diego left a simple silver cross before departing for his home. A few weeks later, Diego Quispe completed his mission. A small group from Chinchero left for Huanca, including family members, and the town Priest. When the party passed the mine of Vasos, Diego kept silent, avoiding detection by the overseers who were keen to recapture him. The small caravan crossed under the gulch of Calca to the properties of Villar and Uchumaca, continuing up Pachatusan toward Huanca, where it is said they once more beheld the manifestation of the Lord. Diego Quispe was brought before Father Mercedario to inform him of the extraordinary event. A renowned painter, who belonged to the famous Cusquenean School of Art, was enlisted to depict the details as recalled by Diego. The image was painted directly onto the very rock itself, at the exact spot where the event took place. So began the tradition of pilgrimage commemorating the Lord of Huanca.
100 Years Later – Cochabamba, Bolivia
In July of 1775 a rich miner named Don Pedro Valero suffered from sharp pains that kept him bedridden and near death. The finest doctors could not cure him. His family was desperate. Nothing could alleviate the wealthy Bolivian miner’s illness. But there was one last hope. A foreign doctor, whose fame as a gifted healer, had arrived. He was summoned to Valero’s home. The doctor emanated a tremendous peace and it was said that Valero was subjected to a treatment of healing water for a period of five days. After which, he was able to stand on his own and eventually he recovered.
Believing he was living proof of a miracle, and eager to repay the foreign doctor for his miraculous cure, Valero eschewed, “My wealth is at your feet!” But the doctor would not accept it. Instead, he said, “If you want to do something special for me, visit me in my home. I live in Huanca, near Cusco, my name is Immanuel.” Soon after he disappeared without leaving word.
Don Pedro Valero’s gratitude was immense, and so, three years later he set off for Cusco to visit the doctor, who had saved his life. In 1778 Don Pedro Valero arrived in Cusco, but soon become disillusioned. Nobody knew the place called Huanca. Even fewer could give any account of a doctor named Immanuel. Valero rented a room near San Blas, where he remained for several months. He was resigned to return to Cochabamba without having located his benefactor, when by chance, he overheard the owner of the house conversing with a native selling firewood.
“What good firewood you have, where does it come from,” the landlord inquired?
“We have brought it from a remote place, Huanca,” responded the Native. Don Pedro’s heart jumped. He implored the natives to take him there. “Senior, nobody lives in Huanca but the pumas and deer. It is a wilderness place,” replied the native.
Valero was not discouraged, and convinced the native to take him there. Upon arriving in a nearby village Valero was informed that, indeed no one lived in this place called Huanca, much less a doctor named Immanuel. The only thing that existed there was an old broken down Indian chapel.
That night Don Pedro slept restlesslessly. He’d nearly lost hope of ever seeing the doctor again. But his miners curiosity impelled him to visit the old mines nearby. The next day he examined several of the abondoned mines and then continued down the Valley. All at once one of the natives pointed to a small hut, and excitedly exclaimed, “Tayta, there is Huanca!” Valero answered, “Let’s go over there, they say there is a painted rock inside.” The hut was abandoned and in terrible disrepair. Valero’s curiosity had increased, and he desired to see the mysterious painting. The door was open and the interior overgrown with vegetation. Valero worked hard to remove the vines, and soon began to expose the painted rock.
“It’s him! It’s him!” exclaimed Valero, excitedly pointing to the painted figure on the rock. The figure emerging from beneath the vines was none other then that of the miraculous healer, Immanuel.
The Bishop of Cusco, Don Juan Moscoso Peralta, named a diocesan commission to study the events relating to Don Pedro Valero’s story. Tradition says that an immense crowd coming from Cusco and other bordering places accompanied the offical party to Huanca and the Bishop officially recognized the cult. From that moment on the devotion to the Lord of Huanca increased throughout the years. Today it numbers in the thousands.
Pilgrams traveling to the site carry small stones embued with their prayers which they leave as offerings to the Lord of Huanca in hope that their afflictions might be cured. In the central part of the Sanctuary are located three sacred holy fountains dedicated to Jesus, Mary and Joseph from which pilgrims can attain special healing waters. A popular tradition from earlist times mentions four additional fountains located behind the Sanctuary at the foot of four boulders. These fountains emerging from the earth form the springs of “Mamacha Virgin Mary,” whose water is said to make one more holy and to heal fatigue, especially in older persons.
The second fountain is dedicated to the farmers and is called “San Isidro Labrador.” It is a blessed spring from which the pilgrim can fill his container and then toss it into the irrigation ditches to bring fertility and regeneration to his crops.
The third fountain is that of the Archangel, and is devoted to children.
It is said to heal parasites and skin ailments.
The fourth fountain carries more water then all the others. It belongs to the demon “Saqra” whose water is not for drinking as it carries a curse. Only “brujas” (witches) can drink this water which allow them to make sorcery.
Touch the Painted Stone
In an area alongside the chapel, the rock protudes in a small public alcove where access is granted the public. A metal frame encloses the niche where the painted rock of Señor de Huanca may be touched. Here, a magnetic resonance is reported by sensitive persons near the rock of Señor de Huanca, San Salvador, Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru.
Feast of the Lord of Huanca
The feast of The Lord of Huanca is held on September 14th every year during which the Novena, a time of prayer, is conducted for nine days. It is said that when Jesus appeared in a cave to Diego Quispe, his story inspired one of the best painters of the time to reproduce the image on the exact spot. The very stone where the miracle took place. The worship, recognized in 1779, reaches its climax every year on Septermber 14th when the faithful arrive by the tens of thousands from all over Peru and Bolivia in search of cures for their physical and spiritual afflictions. In the nearby village of San Salvador a fair is organized with cattle, agricultural products, and handicrafts. Nearby, is a small chapel devoted to the “Virgin of the Rosary” situated on the hillside directly across from The Lord of Huanca, celebrated every October 7th.
Crosses of Light (a dove) appears in photo of the Julian Francia family in the gardens of the Lord of Huanca.
Photo adorns the wall where the public may touch the Painted Rock.
A scintillating cross of light appears during the pilgrimage of singer, Irene Cara.
Cross of Light manifests following peace prayers at Machu Picchu, late September 2001.