Saturday, July 18, 2009
July 19: Visit to Senhor Santo Cristo Portuguese Parish for the Procession and Festival
Today, I will attend the National Capital Region’s Portuguese Parish for their annual festival, devoted to their parish patron the Lord Holy Christ, SENHOR SANTO CRISTO, whose image is venerated in the Azores, the land of origin of many Ottawans who came here from Portugal.
The tradition of a procession in honour of Our Lord dates from the late 17th century and is held in thanksgiving for the many graces, blessings and even miracles received by those who venerate the image of the bruised figure of Christ as preserved in the convent of Our Lady of Hope (Nossa Senhora da Esperança).
The procession in Ponta Delgada, which dates from several centuries ago, even nowadays follows the same itinerary. As the procession there counts some tens of thousands of the faithful who come from every island in the Azores, the Azorean communities spread over the world and other origins celebrate it locally on a Sunday or other day when good weather may be anticipated (here in summer).
I shall be accompanied by Msgr. Jose Bettencourt, a son of this parish ordained for the Archdiocese of Ottawa in 1993 and, having been released by my predecessor to serve the Vatican, has been in the Holy See’s diplomatic service in recent years. Currently based at the Secretariat of State, he is home for a summer vacation these days.
Some photos from the Festival: