A group of devoted Roman Catholics were crucified in the Philippines to mark Good Friday. This tradition takes place every Easter annually and sees a number of believers nailed to wooden crosses as they reenact the suffering of Jesus Christ even though the church does not agree with any of it.
58 year old Ruben Enaje, has been nailed to a cross every year on Good Friday for the last 30 years in front of foreign and local tourists in San Pedro Cutud village in Pampanga province. This year is his 33rd time being nailed on a cross. Enaje takes on the role of Jesus Christ, portraying his death at the mock Calvary.
Actors drove four-inch nails through both his hands and feet and then went on to lift him on a wooden cross for five minutes.
Talking to reporters, Enaje revealed that he continues the tradition to remind the world about the plight of Jesus Christ and it’s the only way he finds solace. He said, “More than penance, this is a solace for me. I feel relieved and happy after every crucifixion because I know that I said my prayers in the best way I can.
As I carry the cross and be nailed on it, all I do is keep praying, ask for forgiveness and give thanks for all the blessings I have received for the whole year, and ask for another bountiful year.”
Enaje further said that even though he has put his body up for the last three decades, he cannot handle the pain much more and wants to stop after next year’s Easter. He said, “I am turning 59 years old this coming July. I am getting old and my body can barely handle the physical pain of my penance.
But I have to consider our village officials. They told me that they still cannot find somebody who can replace me for the role of ‘Kristo’. Hopefully we can find my replacement soon because as much as I want to do this, I cannot promise until when my body can take the physical pain.”
A total of nine people in three separate crucifixion sites took part in the extreme Catholic penitence. Dozens of others walked barefoot in the scorching heat as they whipped themselves and carried the large crosses.
Some of the men, wore red robes with their faces covered and hands tied to the crosses, walked for hours along a highway around 50 miles from the capital city of Manila. Others who take part, used bamboo flails to slash their backs.