Ruben Enaje, 52, has been crucified 27 times.
The Filipino man portrayed Jesus Christ for the 27th time yesterday during a Good Friday crucifixion re-enactment in the Pampanga province of the Philippines.
Enaje said: “We do this because of our faith not because we’re paid… Two years ago, I said it would be the last time I’d do it. But every time I say that, my wife gets sick. I guess God wants me to continue this sacrifice as a lifetime vow.”
Reuters reports that along with Enaje, about two dozen other Filipinos were crucified yesterday for the ceremony, which attracts thousands of tourists to the region.
The festival may attract thousands of curious tourists but Archbishop Jose Palma, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, said that crucifixion did not represent the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Palma said: “We are aware that this has been practiced long before… but we still hope that this will not be done any more. We should all concentrate on prayers.”
Despite the church’s objections, Enaje, and a handful of other devout followers, had five inch nails driven through their hands and feet and were hung from wooden crosses.
Here’s a video about the festival from National Geographic.
The Times Dispatch reports that the crucifixion festival began in the San Pedro Cutud village about 60 years ago.
Dita Tittesass, a tourist from Denmark who witnessed the crucifixion, said: “It’s intriguing and fascinating what makes people do something like this, how you can believe so much that you make yourself suffer to that extent.”