Lord of the Blow
By Jesús Aguado
This is the first procession of Holy Week taking place on Wednesday, March 23. It leaves from the church of St. Raphael, adjacent to the parish church of St. Michael the Archangel, at 5pm.
This event was started around 1750 by Father Luis Felipe Neri de Alfaro, who at that time ordered the placement of quarry crosses in the existing church—one for each station from the Way of the Cross.
The religious images are taken in a silent procession from El Oratorio church to the church of St. Raphael at 4:30am. It goes through Pepe Llanos, Reloj, and Portal de Guadalupe. At each station a prayer is said by a priest from the Oratorio, who also gives a sermon. The procession is headed by a high cross and followed by little angels (girls dressed in white) carrying 1.5-meter-high angel sculptures. The angels carry in their hands insignias of the passion—crown of thorns, dice, and nails, and others. Behind them appear little girls carrying baskets and spreading mint, mastranto, and chamomile, while preparing the path for the Lord of the Blow.
The sculpture of Señor del Golpe (Lord of the Blow) is called that due to the wound on his left cheek. The image is dressed in a purple tunic with gold accents. Our Lord of the Blow is borne on a platform adorned with natural flowers and carried by 12 men.
The Christ, as in other processions, is followed by the Virgin of Sorrows with a sword piercing her heart. The Virgin is followed by St. Joseph of Arimathea and Mary Magdalene. The procession goes through calles Correo, Corregidora, San Francisco, Juárez, Mesones, and Núñez towards calle Calvario—the upper area on calle San Francisco. There, Catholics turn around and go through San Francisco, Juárez, and Pepe Llanos to end up at el Oratorio