Monseñor Carlos Castillo, the Archbishop of Lima and Primate of Peru, celebrated mass in the national cathedral on June 14, with 5,000 photos of those who have died as a result of COVID-19 in the country filling pews and posted on columns. The mass was broadcast live, and the pictures are stunning – a reminder of the human face of the deadly pandemic sweeping the planet. They show Peruvians from every walk of life: doctors, police officers, firefighters, street cleaners and children.
In his service, Monseñor Castillo called for Peru to come together, warning “even harder times are coming” with the economy expected to contract by 12 per cent this year. “It would be terrible if in the times to come we have thousands of these photos – but of people who died of hunger,” he said. At least 6,800 people have died of COVID-19 in Peru, according to official statistics, but reliable source in Peru estimate the real total as closer to 10,000.