Cult of Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres
The First Procession
In 1700, the island of São Miguel was shaken by strong and repeated earthquakes. These had been going on for several days, when the Mesa da Misericórdia and a large part of the nobility of the city, verifying that the earthquakes did not cease, decided to go to the Monastery of Esperança entrance to take, in procession, the image of the Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres.
In the early afternoon of April 11, 1700, confraternities and religious communities joined. Likewise, all the nobility and innumerable crowd who, with living faith, trusted, would appease divine indignation at the sight of the holy image.
The procession was already walking, everyone was barefoot, and as soon as the venerable image was seen at the entrance, there was so much commotion in everyone that it was translated into tears and sighs, irreparable testimonies of the contrition of hearts.
The people of Santo Cristo took the most qualified people in nobility. As the procession went on, the venerable image entered all the churches where, in concert choirs, the psalms “Miserere mei Deus” sang to Him.
Leaving the Church of the Jesuits, and walking to that of the religious of Santo André, despite all the security and the caution with which they carried the holy image, with astonishment and admiration of all, the image fell out of the altar to land. It was this mysterious fall, because the image did not fall on any side of the altar, as was natural, if not, by the upper part of the canopy.
The people were afflicted with such strange event. Some wounded their breasts with stones; others, put their mouths on the ground, believing that was sanctified when in contact with the holy image, asked God for mercy; these, taking the instruments of penance, gave themselves hard and merciless blows, watering the land with the blood of their veins; those, loudly published their faults, as causes of the Lord’s indignation, and all, with cries and tender sighs, asked God to suspend the demonstrations of his just revenge.
They verified, then, that the holy image was not experienced damaged from the fall, since only a bruise was observed in the right arm.
The image was washed and cleaned in the Convent of Santo André and, placed carefully, on the altar, and the procession continued, in which the tears and sobs of the afflicted people choked out the prayers, until, well into the night, gathered at the Esperança Convent.
And, divine wrath has subsided.
(text from that time)