Sunday, August 5, 2007

La Iglesia De La Merced

Across Cuba this is what you will see in many churches this morning.

"Iglesia De La Merced" La Habana

Until the middle of the 20th century, this was one of the most ornate churches in the whole city. Its origins date back to 1637, the year in which the so-called, “Monks of Mercy” began to build their convent, a task that would carry on for the next hundred years. It was then left to the Pauline Fathers to put the final touches to the interior decoration, completed in 1867. Esteban Chartrand painted the walls and backdrop of the Lourdes Chapel, and other painting work was carried out by Pidier Petit, Juan Crossa, Manuel Lorenzo and Aurelio Melero. On September 24th, known as the "Day of Mercies", both Catholics and followers of the Afro-Cuban cult, “Santeros” gather in the church, many dressed in white, and pay tribute to the deity Obbatalá.

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