Basilica of Nuestra Señora de la Merced (Lima)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Main entrance of the Basilica of Our Lady of Mercy in Lima built in 1614 by Father Pedro Galeano and foreman Andres Espinoza

The Basílica Menor y Convento de Nuestra Señora de la Merced (Basilica and Convent of Our Lady of Mercy, in English) is a religious building in Peru which was built by Fray Miguel de Orenes in 1535, taken by the holder to the Archangel Michael.

In the Basilica is dedicated to the patron of the Armed Forces of Peru.

Location in the city[edit]

The Church of Our Lady of Mercy is located at the junction of the block 6 of Jirón de la Unión (Street La Merced) with the first block of Jirón Antonio Miro Quesada (Street Jesús Nazareno), in the Historic Centre of Lima.

History[edit]

Detail of the Tower, main gate and side door of the Church of Our Lady of Mercy in the 19th century

As old as the city of Lima are the Convent and the Church of La Merced. According to ancient chronicles, the Convent and Church was built on the land that belonged to the Mercedaria order. It happens that the April 13, 1534, Captain Francisco de Becerra donated to this lot, plus six thousand pesos to the Convent of the Nativity of Our Lady, which later was called the Convent of the Mother of God of Mercy. In the preparatory Crypt beside the sacristy, are the graves of the famous donor with his wife. The Mercedarios is one of the religious orders that came to catechize the conquered peoples in Peru. A year before Francisco Pizarro, down here, while the founder of Lima was Cusco and Jauja. The first church was wooden, the current is the second, made of adobe and brick, its baroque facade was carved in 1591 by Cristóbal Gómez.

The Venerable Padre Urraca[edit]

Fray Pedro Urraca was born in the town of Jadraque in Aragon, Spain, in 1583, came from Spain at age 19 and fate decided his vocation. They say that the ship he was traveling was about to sink because of the presence of a great storm that endangered the lives of the crew, then Pedro Urraca gave his life to the Virgin if he could save himself, suddenly calmed the sea, and the boat trip to Quito continued peacefully. In this city Pedro Urraca began his novitiate. From this place he was sent to Peru. During his lifetime use sackcloth and iron chains on the body to do penance. After thirty years he plowed into the meat producing to deep wounds, the doctor removed by order of the confessor. After many years he returned to Spain, where he became spiritual director of Queen Elisabeth of France. Although he was asked to stay on the court, he chose to return to Lima where he died on August 7, 1657 at 74 years of age. His remains are located on the floor of the church, in the nave of the Epistle, there exists an inscription that reads: "In and under the earth lies the corpse of the servant of God Fray Pedro Urraca of the Blessed Trinity". His cause for beatification began in Rome on April 29, 1682. His heroic virtues were proclaimed on January 31, 1981 and was declared Venerable by Pope John Paul II then.