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Monday, April 22 2019 @ 12:05 AM UTC

Pilgrims Visit the Jesús Nazareno de Atalaya

History & Reference By DON WINNER for - Starting today you might begin to see people walking along the Inter American Highway, dressed in purple robes. They are pilgrims who are on their way to celebrate their devotion to the "Jesus of Nazareth of Atalaya" in the province of Veraguas in Panama. Between today and Palm Sunday some 200,000 people are expected to make this trip. Believers think the statue of Jesus in the Minor Basilica of Jesús Nazareno (Parroquia San Miguel) has special powers to answer their prayers and perform miracles. Many Panamanians participate in this pilgrimage every year, some of them walking all the way from Panama City, for example, as an expression of their devotion. While the exact date of the start of this tradition is not known, historians have been able to determine that a similar tradition has been practiced as far back as 1730. Devotees come to pray and ask for things such as help through economic hardships, or healing or health for themselves or loved ones. In 1964 the church of Atalaya was designated as a Minor Basilica by the Vatican, only the second in the Republic of Panama after the Basilica of Don Bosco, located in Calidonia in Panama City. This tradition is similar to those who believe in the powers of the Black Christ of Portobelo, whose celebration is in October every year. Anyway, if you see people wearing purple robes walking down the highway at this time of year, they are on their way to Atalaya.

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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