A procession for El Señor de los Milagros (Lord of Miracles) takes place outside Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Hopkinsville this past October. COURTESY OF DR. VICKY BARNES
The Lord of Miracles, a Peruvian devotion in Hopkinsville, Kentucky
BY DR. VICKY BARNES, SPECIAL TO THE WESTERN KENTUCKY CATHOLIC
It is with great pride that I write about the legacy of my parents, Pedro and Olga de Montejos. Many autumns ago, a devotion to El Señor de los Milagros (Lord of Miracles) began with a Mass at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Hopkinsville, Ky. It was my father’s dream to start this Peruvian devotion in Kentucky. My dad used to say, “Wherever there is a Lord of Miracles’ brother, there should be a Mass and procession in honor of our Lord of Miracles.”
The devotion to the Lord of Miracles originated in the 17th century in Lima, Peru. The story goes that in the area where the slaves had been brought from Africa, there was a slave from Angola who painted the image of the crucified Lord on a simple rock. It was like a mural for all the slaves to see. There was a very big earthquake in that century that caused almost half of the city of Lima to disappear under the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Only the area of the slaves and the mural of the Lord of Miracles were not touched or damaged by the earthquake.
My father was a member of the Brotherhood of the Lord of Miracles in Lima, Peru. Every year he accompanied the crucified Lord in procession: he was one of the brothers who carried the litter depicting the image of the Lord. He sometimes came with sore and bleeding shoulders, but happy to have been with the Lord.
It was in the fall 2009 that a Mass was offered for the first time to the Lord of Miracles in Sts. Peter and Paul parish. This was done with the help of Libby Downs, Fr. John Thomas, and Fr. Carmelo Jimenez. The first procession took place in October 2010. Unfortunately, my father passed away in March of that year.
Fr. Thomas, Fr. Carmelo, and Fr. Uwem Enoh celebrated the Mass for the Lord of Miracles on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2010. It was then when the entire Hispanic community went in procession for the first time. Later, there was a dinner with dishes from various Hispanic countries. My mother was deeply pleased to see the fruits of my father’s devotion to the Lord of Miracles. She passed away in February 2011.
During the 2019-2020 pandemic we did the novenas via Zoom. We also broadcast the novenas through Facebook. Today, we continue to use Facebook to livestream the novenas and rosaries for the Lord of Miracles. This October we celebrated the 13th anniversary of the Lord of Miracles in Hopkinsville.
Our priests and deacons who have continued this devotion throughout these 13 years are Fr. Richard Meredith, Fr. Al Bremer, Fr. Daniel Dillard, Fr. Basilio Az Cuc, Fr. Michael Charles Obiero, Fr. Jude Okeoma – and our missionary priest who visits from Argentina, Fr. Julio Palarino – and our deacons, Bill Sweet, Roberto Cruz, and Trinidad Soriano. My brother Ivan Montejos and his wife Juanita also work to make it a reality. My eternal gratitude to my beloved husband, Deacon Tim Barnes, for making my father’s dream come true.
Dr. Vicky Barnes belongs to Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Hopkinsville.
Originally printed in the December 2022 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.