Scouring themselves with whipcord in memory of Christ's Passion about one dozen Spanish penitents went in procession on Good Friday (March 31) towards the village of San Vicente de Sonsierra in the north of Spain, near Logrona.
GV Procession towards village
SV People carrying statues & cross
SV PAN Black virgin statue to woman following with feet chained
SV Statues in procession
SV Penitent kneels before statue of Christ (3 shots)
SV People watching
SV Penitent beating back (3 shots)
SV Penitent leads procession, still beating self (5 shots)
SCU Back being pricked with glass (2 shots)
TV Penitents flogging as procession continues (2 shots)
Initials SGM/1718 SGM/1736
This film carries actuality sound of the chantin, flagellation, crowd accompanying the procession.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Scouring themselves with whipcord in memory of Christ's Passion about one dozen Spanish penitents went in procession on Good Friday (March 31) towards the village of San Vicente de Sonsierra in the north of Spain, near Logrona.
The procession - in which life-size statues were carried on platforms, as other penitents walked barefoot in chains - was followed by a crowd of devout faithful and awed onlookers.
After five minutes' beating, the backs of the penitents are pricked with glass to draw blood. the wounds are later washed in holy water from a nearby hermitage.
First records of this procession appear in the fifteenth century. The tradition of the penitents - known as Picaos - passes from father to son, it is rare for anyone from another village to take part.
Similar penitential rites are used elsewhere is Spain on Good Friday - notably in Seville.
SYNOPSIS: In the north of Spain a Good Friday procession vividly recalls events of Christ's Passion...
Behind a statue of the Virgin Mary penitents in black walk barefoot and in chains along a path known as the Way of the Cross towards their village - San Vicente de Sonsierra.
About a dozen penitents act the most dramatic part of the ritual, baring their backs and beating themselves with bunches of whipcord under the gaze of devout believers and awed onlookers.
The men doing this are following a tradition which goes back at least five-hundred years......
The tradition of acourging themselves in the procession in handed down from father to son in the village. It's rare for outsiders to take any part in it....
When the backs are covered in bruises assistants use glass to break the skin and draw blood. The penitents are then led to a nearby hermitage where their wounds are washed with blessed water...