According to the official website based on the book “History of the Saint Christ of Daule, the Lord of Miracles” written by priest Hugo Vasquez y Almazan, the history of the sanctuary of the Lord of Miracles or Black Christ dates back to XVII century in the year of 1650, when it was built by Spanish citizen Isidro de Vienza y Mora, owner of large agricultural properties in Daule and Balzar, in gratitude for a miracle. Tells the story that the landlord was blind and accidentally found the image of the Black Christ by the Daule River; when he touched it, he recovered his vision, and in retribution, he freed the slaves he had working in his properties and built the chapel with the image of the Black Crist carved in wood, at its existing place.
The legend of the Black Christ goes back to the colonial times; according to the “Ecuadorian Encyclopedia” written by historian Efren Aviles Pino, the morning of February 13, 1648, during the time when the subdued people wasn’t allowed to enter the churches, a black slave entered the first chapel of the then called Santa Clara Villa to pray and touch the image of the Lord of Miracles ans asked for some favors when he was caught by the sacristan who beat him with lashes in the Public Square and sent him to prison as punishment. The next day, the image of Christ, who was white, became black as the skin of the slave, which was interpreted as a predilection of the Lord towards the less fortunate and a protest against such an injustice.
Another chronicles published in several newspapers of the country, tell the same story but the location changes, since they narrate that the event didn’t happen in the church but in the street, and during Holy Week, after the image was removed from the altar to be restored and shown to the public. A third version published in the Tourist Guide of Guayas, says that the event took place on September 14, same date of the procession.
The plaster image of the Crucified Black Christ, nailed to a marble cross with a crown of thorns made of wood and a white skirt, which has two marble angels at each side wearing a robe. Another attractions are: the Way of the Cross panels, which are hanged across the church; the images of the Virgin Mary, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Angels.
River Procession of the Lord of Miracles
Every September 14, approximately 50 vessels depart from the Daule pier to the Naupe village. The tour comprises 14 stations in which the penitents receive the blessing from the priests while praying and showing the image of the Black Christ. After reaching the Naupe Village, the procession continues by foot for 3 kilometers until arriving to the Sanctuary of the Lord of Miracles.