Italian flagellants – Every year Verbicaro, Calabria, hosts a gruesome procession.
During the night between Thursday and Good Friday, some penitents, completely dressed in red, with barefoot and bare legs, beat their legs with a piece of cork on which are stuck five sharp bits of glasses, until they bleed.
Then the flagellants run around the town for three times, marking the streets with their blood.
At three in the morning kicks off the procession of the Mystery of the Passion of Christ with statues and tableaux inspired by the Stations of the Cross and the Mystery of the Passion.
Flagellants are practitioners of an extreme form of mortification of their own flesh by whipping it with various instruments. Flagellantism was a 13th and 14th centuries movement, consisting of radicals in the Catholic Church. It began as a militant pilgrimage and was later condemned by the Catholic Church as heretical. The followers were noted for including public flagellation in their rituals. [Wikipedia]
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