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October 3, 2013
Seven-hour trek to reach Andean ceremony

CUZCO, Peru (AP) -- Every year, thousands of faithful trek for seven hours up to the foot of Peru's Pachatusan mountain to pay homage to the Lord of Huanca -- an image of Jesus Christ, scourged and bleeding, that tradition says was painted in a cave 339 years ago.

Believers say Jesus appeared to a native who had been forced into mine work and then fled, taking refuge in a cave to escape punishment by the Spanish. The man later described his vision to an artist who painted the image in a cavern in the Huanca region near the Andean city of Cuzco.

Devotees hike up to the sanctuary at night, carrying candles and flowers.

(14 images)




Faithful light candles the Lord of Huanca Sanctuary, at the foot of the Pachatusan mountain, near Cuzco, Peru on Sept. 14, 2013. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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A woman combs the hair of a girl after taking a bath in the waters near the Lord of Huanca Sanctuary, near Cuzco, Peru on Sept. 14, 2013. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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Devotees gather near the Lord of Huanca Sanctuary, near Cuzco, Peru on Sept. 14, 2013. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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Vendors, tents and vehicles dot the foot of the Pachatusan mountain, where people have arrived to visit the Lord of Huanca Sanctuary, near Cuzco, Peru on Sept. 14, 2013. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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Pilgrims walk towards the Lord of Huanca in Cuzco, Peru on Sept. 14, 2013. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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A pilgrim sleeps on a gravel pile outside the Lord of Huanca Sanctuary, near Cuzco, Peru on Sept. 14, 2013. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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A man reaches out to touch a statue of Jesus Christ outside the Lord of Huanca Sanctuary, near Cuzco, Peru on Sept. 14, 2013. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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Women cook cuy chactado or fried guinea pigs to sell to pilgrims making the trek to the Lord of Huanca Sanctuary, at the foot of the Pachatusan mountain, near Cuzco, Peru on Sept. 14, 2013. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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Play money with images of religious icons are displayed at vendor's stall outside the Lord of Huanca Sanctuary, at the foot of the Pachatusan mountain, near Cuzco, Peru on Sept. 14, 2013. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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Pilgrims bathe in the waters near the Lord of Huanca Sanctuary, near Cuzco, Peru on Sept. 14, 2013. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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Devotees look for a space to dress after taking a bath in the waters near the Lord of Huanca Sanctuary, near Cuzco, Peru on Sept. 14, 2013. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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A woman stands outside the Lord of Huanca Sanctuary, at the foot of the Pachatusan mountain, near Cuzco, Peru on Sept. 14, 2013. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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A beggar stands outside the Lord of Huanca Sanctuary, at the foot of the Pachatusan mountain, near Cuzco, Peru on Sept. 14, 2013. AP / Rodrigo Abd
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Pilgrims attend a Mass at the Lord of Huanca Sanctuary in Cuzco, Peru on Sept. 14, 2013. AP / Rodrigo Abd

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