Holy Christ of Miracles is a statue of sacred art of Our Lady of Hope Convent in Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Azores. The statue displays an image carved in wood representing ECCE HOMO, Christ presented to the crowd, on the balcony of the Praetorian, after the scourging. The image contrasts sharply the violence suffered by Christ with the serenity of His face.
The Vatican offered the image to two sisters who went to Rome in the first half of the sixteenth century to obtain authorization for the first convent of the island of São Miguel in the Caloura site. A group of sisters settled in 1541 in the Convent of Hope, in Ponta Delgada, because the Convent of Caloura was very exposed to pirate attacks in the Azorean sea. Mother Inês de Santa Iria, originally from Galicia, joined the group and brought the image of “Ecce Homo”.
The cult of the Holy Christ of Miracles developed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Sister Teresa da Anunciada entered the Convent of Hope in the seventeenth century, and developed deep devotion and surrender to the old image of “Ecce Homo”. Teresa da Anunciada struggled to embellish the image, and managed the construction of an appropriate chapel to the image, which was adorned with all majesty insignia. She had the support of King Pedro II of Portugal and believers throughout the territory including the colonies. This chapel no longer exists, and the current chapel was built later and was blessed on March 5, 1771. This image is guarded in a chapel of the convent, opposite the main altar of the church, separated from the nave by a railing.
The first procession in honor of the Holy Christ had the initiative of Sister Anunciada, with the support of the population of the island, after a prolonged seismic crisis. When the image appeared at the church door the people were shaken and the seismic crisis stopped. The procession has occurred annually with rare exceptions due to weather conditions. The feasts of the Holy Christ of Miracles occur around the fifth Sunday after Easter, the day of great procession, the celebrations constitute the largest and oldest Portuguese devotion attracting annually thousands of Azorean and their descendants, mostly from the United States and Canada.
The treasure of the Holy Christ of Miracles includes a vast array of jewels and jewelry adorning the image, and multiple layers decorated with threads of gold and silver adorned with countless jewels. It is one of the greatest treasures of the Iberian Peninsula accumulated over the centuries, with donations from the people, the nobility and the Portuguese Government, often in fulfillment of promises.