Lenten exhibit recreates Gospel scenes

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MANDALUYONG City, March 20, 2014—In pious remembrance of Christ’s Passion, the city government of Mandaluyong and a women’s group have partnered to set up a religious exhibit as part of the city’s annual Lenten observance.

“The City Government sees to it that an exhibit like this one is held every year as a way of strengthening the faith of Mandaluyong residents,” Barangka Drive senior citizens’ association head Celso Lumaban, one of the individuals in charge of overseeing the exhibit, explained.

The city government of Mandaluyong and a women's group teamed up to organize an exhibit of religious scenes and statues in time for Lent. (Photo credit: Raymond A. Sebastián)

The exhibit, a joint project of Mandaluyong’s cultural affairs and tourism department, and the Kababaihan Kakaiba ng Mandaluyong, is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and runs until March 22, Saturday.

Dozens of life-size religious statues mounted on carrozas (special floats that carry these statues) owned by local collectors and custodians from the different barangays of Mandaluyong have packed the Mandaluyong City Gymnasium since March 17 in anticipation of the observance of Holy Week.

With Jesus occupying the central role, the religious statues depict important events and highlights in the Passion, death, and resurrection of Our Lord as related in sacred Scripture.

Displayed are some of the more famous scenes from the Gospels and Christian art history like the “Last Supper”, the “Scourging at the Pillar”, the “Crucifixion”, “Stabat Mater”, the “Descent from the Cross”, “La Pietà”, “El Cristo Entierro”, the “Risen Christ”, among others.

The Mandaluyong Lenten exhibit brings together, not just religious statues, but sacred relics as well. (Photo credit: Raymond A. Sebastián)

Aside from the Blessed Virgin and the apostles, the exhibit also includes lesser known Biblical figures like Saints Longinus of Cappadocia, Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, Lazarus, Veronica, Martha, among others.

Visitors hoping to deepen their faith may also see relics at the exhibit like the Ex Ligno Crucis Domini Nostri Jesu Christi, which is believed to be a splinter of wood from the True Cross, and replicas of the “Holy Face of Manopello” and the “Shroud of Turin” which have touched the originals in Italy making them third-class relics.

Each statue and set of statues comes with short background information on what it represents such as biographical details in the case of individual saints, and quotations from the New Testament.

A Via Crucis (“Way of the Cross”) prayer is provided for visitors who may want to say their prayers first before admiring the items on display. Lumaban added that this year’s religious exhibit differs from its predecessors in that it also displays sacred relics. (Raymond A. Sebastián)

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