Sunday, April 5, 2015

La Via Crucis Vivente on Good Friday

Il vigile (town constable) "taken" by Roman soldiers
An apostle

This passion play--Easter pageant--takes place in towns throughout Italy. Apparently it is the first time ever, or for awhile, that it was presented in our village of 1200 people. It is a dramatic reenactment of the final days and hours of the life of Jesus.  It is called La Via Crucis Vivente in Latin or the Way of the Living Cross.
Since we are non-Catholics and pretty secular by nature, we know the story from early training or films like Ben Hur. We enjoyed the pre-event time as much as the performance itself. This was sponsored by Pro Loco (equal to Chamber of Commerce), and volunteers from Protezione Civile – the folks that do local first aid, fight small fires, etc. 

I enjoyed seeing so many people I know or at least recognized from our village. It was fun to watch all the players in their period clothes slipping into the nearest bar for caffe’ before things began, or catching the last puff of a filtered cigarette (they only had Lucky Strikes or Gitane back then right?) 

Ponzio Pilato releases Baraba and retains Cristo for punishment
I think there were about 350-450 people following the procession thru town and that also made it difficult to see (photograph) all that happened. The actors all did a great job and Francesco, playing Ponzio Pilato (Pontius Pilate), was bravissimo. I saw him studying his lines! I had to ask his father-in-law, our next door neighbor, what that name is in italiano.

Behind Ponzio is a soldier with a whip - our plumber Jonas

When Ponzio called down to the crowd and asked if he should spare Cristo or Baraba, the crowd shouted out Baraba – just like in the film!

I decided to stop taking photos after 2 hours with a sore back. I remember the end of the story from the movie...Di being the more serious thinker between us said she felt that the beauty of the story and principles embodied in it make it moot whether it actually happened this way or not...

It was impressive that so many people followed along to be part of the re-enactment to the end. We read that there was to be a similar Good Friday Via Crucis in Roma attended by Papa Franceso.

It seems to us that Pasqua is the most important holiday to Italians based on how many of them return to Santa Domenica to be with their families. Or is it that la casa di nonna è troppo freddo in dicembre? (Grandma's house is too cold in December)...

Buona Pasqua , Diana e Guido

Gesu' after being found guilty

Jesus may have come from outside the village... didn't recognize him.


  1. Wow, what a great spectacle! It's wonderful that so many people participate. Very interesting post. :-)

    Happy Easter!

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