A man portraying Jesus is heckled during the 2015 reenactment of the Crucifixion of Jesus in downtown San Antonio. Photo by Scott Ball.
A man portraying Jesus is heckled during the 2015 reenactment of the Crucifixion of Jesus in downtown San Antonio. Photo by Scott Ball.

Hundreds gathered in Milam Park this Good Friday morning to start off the Easter weekend with The Passion of Jesus, the reenactment of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, a San Antonio tradition common in predominately Catholic European countries, but performed in few U.S. cities.

The downtown park was temporarily transported from modern day San Antonio to biblical Jerusalem – full of outraged townspeople and sarcastic, cackling Roman soldiers. Spectators followed a bloodied Jesus reenactor through closed-off streets to Main Plaza, while soldiers lashed him with a cat o’ nine tails whip and acted out biblical stories along the way.

The event was organized by Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller and other clergymen. Between those that followed the actor portraying Jesus Christ on his slow walk and those that awaited his arrival, nearly 1,000 people attended the event.

“The cross has been a symbol we place in our churches, on our tombstones, on the walls of our homes,” García-Siller said to the crowd. “The cross that was once a horrifying symbol of shame and death was changed by the lord Jesus into the tree of life.

“We are not ashamed of the cross of Jesus as a sign that identifies us, even when the world does not understand.”

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Scott Ball

Scott Ball is San Antonio Report's photo editor and grew up in San Antonio.