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16 devotees ‘crucified’

RUBEN Enaje grimaces in pain while being nailed to the cross for the 30th straight year during the annual Senakulo or the commemoration of the passion and death of Jesus Christ yesterday in San Fernando, Pampanga. (Mark Balmores)

RUBEN Enaje grimaces in pain while being nailed to the cross for the 30th straight year during the annual Senakulo or the commemoration of the passion and death of Jesus Christ yesterday in San Fernando, Pampanga. (Mark Balmores)

While acknowledging the Catholic church’s discouragement on the ritual, 16 devotees, four of them faith healers, went on with their annual holy week devotion of being nailed to a wooden cross.

Reenacting the passion of the Lord Jesus Christ, the four faith healers were “captured” by local residents playing the roles of Roman centurions and then made them carry wooden crosses in Paombong, Bulacan.

The four were led to a man-made Golgotha located beside a chapel, with one of them being crucified last Maundy Thursday while the three others did the reenactment on Good Friday.

All four, who refused to be named, also whipped themselves before being nailed, a ritual which they said was a fulfillment of their yearly vow of penitence.

In Pampanga, at least 12 devotees were ‘crucified’ which was witnessed by about 40,000 local and foreign spectators.

San Pedro Cutud in San Fernando City is said to be the most popular site among Catholic faithfuls and observers mainly because Ruben Enaje, touted as the ‘lead Kristo’, had himself nailed to the cross for the 30th straight year.

Earlier, Castro estimated there were around 5, 000 devotees from Pampanga’s 329 barangays who participated in self-flagellation or self-punishing rituals. (Freddie C. Velez and Franco G. Regala)

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