Jesús Calonge

Los Picaos

Spain: Via Crucis procession "Los Picaos" in San Vicente de la Sonsierra (La Rioja)

Via Crucis procession of Good Friday in San Vicente de la Sonsierra (La Rioja, Spain) also known as "Los Picaos procession". It is the only penance of this type currently in Spain. The procession consists in various images from their church, and the autorities from it guides a group of penitents on their way to calvary. The group of penitents are also known as "disciplinants" (disciplinantes). They go from the village church to a mountain with olive trees. The disciplinants self-flagellate in the back continuosly with a skein, then the priest punctures the blisters produced by the puncture and bleeding occurs. The disciplinants do this as an act of faith, voluntary and anonymously, capping during the whole procession the face and body, only with the back free. The go barefoot and carry chains tied to their feet. The reasons of the disciplinantes are diverse and anonymous. (To redeem sins, for promises that have been fulfilled…)