Christians Trace The Steps Of Jesus As They Mark Good Friday

Mar 29, 2013

It's Good Friday, one of the holiest days of the Christian year, when tradition holds that Jesus was crucified and died.

Pope Francis is marking the day at the Vatican by reciting the story of the hours before Jesus' death, says CNN. In Jerusalem's Old City today, Christian pilgrims traced Jesus' steps, pausing to pray at 14 stops and concluding their walk at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The church's tradition holds that the grounds are the same site where Jesus was both crucified and entombed.

Earlier this week, the pontiff washed the feet of some imprisoned young people; in Britain, Anglican bishops from the Church of England decided to shine the shoes of strangers. Bishop Tony Porter said, "It's all done with a light touch and plenty of banter, but it is very effective."

In the Philippines, some marked the day with a painful ritual — more than 20 people were nailed to crosses as they re-enacted the crucifixion, Reuters reports. The ritual draws crowds, and local Catholic leaders say they cannot stop the practice. Auxiliary Bishop Pablo Virgilio David told the news service that it was "folk Catholicism" and that the church shouldn't close its doors to people who are attracted to it. Other male pilgrims in Pampanga province beat themselves or carried wooden crosses as tourists watched.

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