At this time the official death toll is 510, the injured are 1,150 and those left homeless are 80,000.
Rich and Wanda Ferguson
An update from AGRelief can be found at http://www.agrelief.net/peru/reports-peru.cfm
On August 2, 1635, a woman found a small, black stone carving of Mary holding the baby Jesus on top of another stone. She took it home and hid it in a basket. The next day she found a black carving of a snake in the same spot. She took it home and, when she went to put it in the basket with the statue of Mary, found the original statue missing. The next day she found the statue of Mary back on the rock. She took it home and found the statue of the snake missing. After this happened a few more times, it was concluded that Mary wanted a Cathedral built on the spot. So, the cathedral of "the Virgin of the Angels," was built and now houses the statue. There is a small stream nearby which is believed to have healing powers. In 1824, the Costa Rican government declared the statue to be the patron saint of Costa Rica.
It's important to note that the idol is in the center front of the church. The church, even though Catholic, does not revolve around the image or story of Jesus. The church revolves around the adoration of a small stone statue. When I ask Costa Ricans if the statue is Mary or what the meaning of the statue is, they don't know. Latin culture is far less interested in making things make sense than North American culture. They don't care that their patron saint was never actually a person, since Mary is not the patron saint. Rather, the little black statue "La Nagrita" is the patron saint.
The fact that over a million people endure difficulty to beg a stone statue for a blessing is evidence of spiritual hunger. It is continued evidence of the need to bring a message of power and hope to this hungry people.
What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore come out from them and be separate,” says the Lord. “Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,” says the Lord Almighty. 2Co 6:16-18