Promises and divine miracles of Christ of Miracles in Bayaguana
As a result of the Osorio historic devastation in the northern region of the Santo Domingo island, the population of Bayahá and Yaguana began, specifically in Puerto Plata, a long pilgrimage to establish the community of Bayaguana in 1606. It had a privileged geographical position in the Monte Plata province, Northeast of the country, which facilitated communication with the North and East towns. Additionally, it allowed exchanges of cultures, habits, traditions, music, and folklore. Now, what is the origin of the Christ of Miracles devotion?
Tradition says that the Santo Cristo image was fortuitously found on Bayajá beaches, close to what today is Fort Libert. It is believed that it belonged to a Spanish ship that threw it into the sea before it shipwrecks, as an invocation against the storm.
Bayaguana citizens still believe that Santo Cristo devotion source comes from the story of a strong drought that hit the region. In fact, some farmers used to donate and offer calves to the Christ of Miracles so that their powers brought rain.
The first populations founded a humble chapel for their Christ, but throughout time and population growth, they decided to build a Sanctuary. Father Ambrosio Caraballo began its building in 1789, but it was finished by Father Juan de Jesús Fabián y Ayala. With a colonial design, the parish was dedicated to San Juan Bautista because of San Juan de la Maguana people who also contributed to its foundation.
The carved wooden image, more than one meter long, represents crucified Christ. His face features were perfectly done, without noticing any disproportion in him. Initially, the figure did not have a cross, but it was thanks to the parishioner’s fervor that a wooden cross was made for him. His arms were made of metal hinges, which indicates it was built to celebrate the Descent from the Cross and the Burial of Jesus.
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TEXT: Francis Torres; IMAGES: Suresh