He Corpus Christi of Cuenca it was always different. And not precisely because of the sweets and castles, which are that complement that attracts hundreds of people.
Unlike what happens in the world, where Corpus Christi is celebrated only on Thursday or Sunday after the solemnity of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), in Cuenca seven days are delivered to declare faith through the Body and Blood of Christ in front of the Most Holy.
And it is that Corpus Christi has been rooted in the city from its foundations, but see in the books of the Cabildo from 1557 to 1563in which the devotion to the Blessed Sacrament is already mentioned.
Over time, the party took shape until it became the septenary partybecause a day was not enough for Cuenca Catholics to declare their love and faith.
With this sign of religiosity, according to the archaeologist Ernesto Salazarin an article published in 1992, it was said that Cuenca had a “Eucharistic Pact with the Divine Sacrament”, to such an extent that if it broke, punishments would come For the city.
A sample of the sentence was already seen at the end of the 19th century, according to the CIDAP Popular Culture Notebook written by María Fernanda Cordero and published in June 2009. In 1881, the councilors refused to carry the poles of the canopy.
It was then that a strong drought affected Cuenca and its surroundings. The event was taken as a punishment that the parishioners hoped not to experience it again.
a party rooted
Be that as it may, the truth is that Corpus Christi until Today it has a special color. From the day it starts, through its duration, to what is done in the celebrations, Cuenca stands out when the septenary arrives.
“The solemnity of Corpus Christi appears on Sunday in Ecuador’s liturgical agenda, but Cuenca is on Thursday because it has a great history in which the religious part is mixed with the gastronomic part,” Óscar Narváez, chancellor of the Cuenca, told El Mercurio. Archdiocese of Cuenca.
For Narváez, who has closely followed Corpus Christi, the city has experienced it differently. Such is the case that the Apostolic Nuncio of Ecuador, Andres Carrascosaarrived yesterday to see live and direct how Cuenca shows his faith throughout these seven days.
Eucharist, processions and encounters with the Blessed Sacrament are part of what Cuencanos do in the septenario. To see that, it is enough to arrive at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. There are overflowing with believers, who ask, pray, thank, cry.
“These seven days are of great celebration. The seven days are a symbolic number that represents perfection. Cuenca celebrates in a solemn, religious way, it has its particularity,” said Patricia Gualpa, director of the Todosantos Heritage Complex.
Without priostes there is no fireworks or music
Forty years ago, recalls Catalina Limón, who sells the traditional Corpus Christi sweets, in Cuenca you could already see the fireworks and hear the rhythms that fueled the week of faith after each Eucharist.
In the first instance, once the Corpus Christi mass was over, the music bands, those bands that came from the communities and rural parishes, set the rhythm. While the “cueteros lords” were in charge of lighting the rockets and the castles.
But none of this would have been possible without the priostes, another key element in the Corpus Christi party. After religiousness, the celebration in the surroundings of the New Cathedral is a fundamental piece that ignites Corpus Christi even more.
“One saw hundreds in the procession and at the mass. Then the music and the castles that the priostes paid for began. Without priostes there was no party after the celebration in the Cathedral”, recalled Catalina.
For Foreign Minister Óscar Narváez, thanks to the priostes, there are castles and rockets, music and fun that accompanies devotion.
“I believe that we must be grateful to all the priostes, to the institutions, to the parishes, to all the people who have come together to celebrate. Each one of them has prepared to meet later, at the time of the castles, with the band”, said Narváez.
Without the religiosity and without the economic support of the people behind the celebrations, thousands of people would have missed an event that continues to this day and is part of the culture of the people of Cuenca. (YO)