On Good Friday, April 7, the parishioners of Corpus Christi Church in Miami will once more reflect on Jesus' Passion as they walk through the streets alongside the only sculpture in the world, Cristo de la Misericordia (Christ of Mercy).
Cristo de la Misericordia
According to the Florida Catholic, the sculpted image of Christ bears around 500 wounds over both his front and his back.
"It captures that pain, shown by his sweaty face, his fractured nose, and his left cheekbone swollen from the blows," explained Fabian Sanchez, a member of the parish's Brotherhood of the Virgin of the Macarena and the liaison between the parish and the sculptor.
The renowned Spanish sculptor Juan Manuel Miarro, an expert on the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo, reportedly created the life-size and lifelike depiction of Jesus Christ crucified during his final hours of the Passion out of cedar.
Moreover, it is the earliest sculpture to portray the body with the lance completely penetrating it, as described in the Gospel of St. John.
According to Father José Luis Menéndez, who serves as the pastor of Corpus Christi, "the Christ of Mercy is the man of the Holy Shroud; this is him."
As reported, to create the sculpture, Miarro prepared clay molds and spent several months searching for the ideal human body position on the cross, such as arms drooping and knees unable to hold a dying body's weight.
Also, he sprinkled Jerusalem sand, porous from many falls, on the knees.
Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ every year on Good Friday, the Friday preceding Easter.
From the earliest days of Christianity, Good Friday has been reportedly marked as a day of grief, penance, and fasting, a fact reflected in the German phrase Karfreitag, which translates to "Sorrowful Friday."
As mentioned, the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic faiths perform liturgies on Good Friday that commemorate Christ's crucifixion with readings and prayers.
Good Friday services are reportedly held in Protestant churches as well.
Corpus Christi Church
The parish of Corpus Christi has as its goal the accomplishment of the task that Jesus Christ delegated to his disciples, which is to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, which has already come to earth in the person of Christ.
They believe He is the one who invites them to take part in the satisfaction that comes from serving others.
Because of this, the people who are a part of Corpus Christi desire to spread the happiness that comes from the love and forgiveness of God so that others may experience the fruits of peace and hope.
The church community also desires to be a community that is comprised of other communities, one that is not constrained to gathering solely on Sundays around the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.
Rather, it is a community that, in everyday life, fosters familial relationships among its members, prays, and communes with God through the embodiment of His Word in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.
Furthermore, they aspire to be a group that lives out their Christian beliefs in close-knit neighborhoods and sees selfless service to others as a guiding principle for how they should live.
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