The origin of the pilgrimage is intertwined between history and legend as has happened with many of the country’s religious traditions.
On one hand, it is claimed that the image was found on the banks of the river of Jesus, located a kilometer and a half from the town, however others maintain that the image was brought by the Spaniards, as a fulfillment of a promise of battle. This second version is sustained on the basis of the book of Monsignor Pedro Mega and testimonies collected by Fr. Juan José Cánovas in 1912 where it is reported that: “Due to the quarrels between the indigenous chiefs and the Spanish, there was a war between both groups The Spaniards promised that if they won the war, they would donate an image of Jesus Nazarene to the aborigines. And so it happened, the Spaniards won the war, they brought the image, we do not know where, they gave it to the natives, who set up a straw ranch and began devotion to the Miraculous Christ, to this day.
Pope Paul VI granted the temple the dignity of Minor Basilica in 1963 and on July 28 of that year, the Archbishop of Panama Monsignor Francisco Beckman, consecrated it in an act of religious grandeur.
Patron Santiago Apostle
The name Santiago comes from two words Sant Iacob. Because his name in Hebrew was Jacob. The Spaniards in their battles shouted: “Sant Iacob, help us”. And after repeating these two words, they united them into one: Santiago.
He was the brother of St. John the Evangelist. He was called the Elder, to distinguish him from the other apostle, Santiago the Younger, who was younger than him. He lived with his parents Zebedee and Salome in the city of Bethsaida, next to the Sea of Galilee, where they had a small fishing company. They had workers at their service, and their economic situation was quite good because they could absent themselves from work for several weeks, as their brother Juan did when he left to spend a season in the Jordan listening to Juan Bautista.
Lord of Miracles
In the Center of the town, the Church of San Marcelo rises, a building constructed by its own settlers and their inhabitants converge there for religious celebrations such as dominical, Holy Week, (Christ of the Miracles of Buga); which receive thousands and thousands of pilgrims from all regions of the Republic and abroad.
Thousands of Anditas
The bishop of the Diocese of that province, Audilio Aguilar, said that it is a great joy to celebrate the saint, and explained that what was given was a manifestation of faith of the people of Santiago: “We are Marians and that is a testimony of faith”.