Jaw dropping photos have emerged which show a group of Catholics in the Philippines actually nailing themselves to wooden crosses to mark Good Friday.
This gruesome annual tradition is widely looked down upon by church leaders. However, this did not stop five committed Catholics from nailing themselves to crosses this year, some sporting crowns of twigs on their head.
Over one thousand people visited the farming village of San Pedro Cutud, north of Manila on Friday April 19, to witness the ‘crucifixion’ of four men and one woman. Other villagers wore Roman Centurion costumes to partake in the horrifyingly realistic reenactment.
Prior to the crucifixion itself, dozens of Catholics flogged themselves with bamboo sticks and pieces of wood. Others even went as far as to cut their bare backs with razor blades.
Those who partake in this gory ritual believe it will cleanse their sins, result in blessings and even cure illnesses.
The Catholic church reportedly does not care for this tradition, and would rather their followers celebrate Lent through prayers and charitable acts. The Philippines is the largest Catholic country in Asia, and is home to many far less shocking Lenten traditions.
As reported by Crux Now, one man had participated in this ritual each year for 33 years, the alleged length of the lifetime of Jesus Christ himself.
59-year-old painter Ruben Enaje revealed he was determined to complete his 33rd crucifixion in order to give thanks for having survived a fall from a building:
Next year, I’m going to be a senior. Our bones are a bit different, you start to get hurt. I’ll just pass down (this tradition) to someone younger than me.
— Happs (@HappsNews) April 19, 2019
According to Crux Now, another long-time regular by the name of Mary Jane Sazon, had celebrated her 16th crucifixion.
Mary explained why she goes to such extreme measures in the name of her faith:
When I do this devotion, my prayers come true. Then I stopped. I started having health problems again, so I joined the crucifixion again. I felt that through my devotion, whatever illness I feel goes away.
The four-inch nails used during the crucifixion are reportedly sterilized before use. After the participants are taken down from the cross, they are examined by medics to ensure their injuries have not led to complications.
Please, please – for the love of God – don’t try this at home…
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.