“As the Image of the Holy Christ of Agony passes by, reverently prostrated on their knees, they can say, without anyone hearing them: We adore you, Christ, and we bless you; because by your holy Cross, you redeemed the world”. The last page of the official program for Holy Week in Cieza 1931 concluded with this admonition, a last page that celebrated and welcomed “a group of believers and lovers of their traditions from Cieza who have requested the necessary authorization to celebrate the Procession of the Silence".
This Brotherhood was born in 1931 (before, in 1896 specifically, there was an attempt to create it, according to two news items that appeared that same year in the local newspaper La Voz de Cieza, the first of which was on March 29: "For another This year there is already talk of a new brotherhood of the Christ of Agony whose precious image was paid for by the respectable old man Mr. Pascual Camacho out of his private pocket and that we have already taken care of, it is sensible not to show up this year in the processions”; second on April 6: "If tomorrow a brotherhood of the Christ of the Agony was made, this one with his image should go last before Saint John and the Virgin."), at a time when the Processional Parades of our The town is in frank decline, since the great surnames that supported with their stipend the greatness, sumptuousness and magnificence of thrones and images have disappeared from the processional scene.
Popularly known as the Brotherhood of Silence (and even, in its beginnings, as the Brotherhood of the Blacks), the procession of the same name, the Silence, is due to it (perhaps inspired by its namesake in Granada established two centuries ago ), which takes to the streets in the last hour of Holy Thursday night and which, since then, except for a few years (1941) in which the Parade was accompanied by the prayer of the Via Crucis, has kept its hallmarks intact.
Such had to be the impact of this Procession on the people of the time, that later Doctor D. Ramón Sánchez Parra, ciezano by adoption, implanted it in 1943 in the capital Murcia for the Brotherhood of the Holy Christ of the Refuge, of which he He himself was founder and first President, and with which the Ciezana Brotherhood was twinned in 2005 on the occasion of its 75th anniversary.
The first statutes of the Brotherhood - of which D. Mariano López Lucas (1930-1934) was its first President and which included, among others, D. Antonio Ballesteros, D. José Maria Guirao, D. Antonio Ortiz, D. Isidoro Gil, D. Diego Jiménez Castellanos (probably also creators in 1931 of the Association of Friends of the Processions, which could have been the seed of the Brotherhood itself) - establish as its purpose to promote as much as possible the cult of the Most Holy Christ of Agony ; By virtue of this and in its beginnings they celebrate a solemn novena annually in which, among others, he preaches in 1935, coinciding with the presidency of D. Antonio Ortiz (1934-1936 and 1939), the future Bishop of Ciezano D. Diego Tortosa.
The Brotherhood, a pioneer in equipping its Pasos with electric lighting, paraded for the first time through the streets of Cieza in 1931, with an Image that, under the invocation of Santísimo Cristo de la Agonía, it carried out in 1895 for the Church of Nuestra Señora de the Assumption, commissioned by D. Pascual Camacho y Cortes, the famous Tarragona sculptor Agustín Querol (some sources specify that this Image was commissioned to replace another of the same dedication made by Roque López in 1793 and which would have disappeared), and It is made on a small throne, in a sober style and in varnished wood, the work of the artisan from Ciez and founding brother Bautista Molina, also author of the Altarpiece of the Image in his chapel of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption ("The 1st of In November 1895, the magnificent Image of the Holy Christ of Agony arrived in Cieza, paid for by Don Pascual Camacho y Cortés and a highly meritorious work by the eminent sculptor Don Agustín Querol. The image cost 2,500 pesetas and it is still venerated in the parish church of Our Lady of the Assumption, in the chapel of the Virgin of Lourdes. It is, without a doubt, one of the sculptures that Cieza has with the most artistic merit.” Ramón María Capdevila, History of Cieza).
The arrival of the Image of the Most Holy Christ of Agony in Cieza hides a story worth telling: “D. Pascual Camacho y Cortes was a member of Freemasonry and founder of the Cartella de Cieza lodge. In 1988 he suffered what we could call a crisis of conscience after attending Christmas services; His confusion grew to such an extent that he cut short forty years of militancy in Freemasonry, converting to Christianity. He then began to build a chapel on his estate at the Fuente del Rey, a chapel that he did not see finished, and he went to Rome expressly to implore Pope Leo XIII for his forgiveness. On his return from this trip he passed through Madrid and entrusted Querol with the aforementioned Image, which he would later deposit in the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción la Asunción in a chapel that he also paid for out of his own pocket."
However, the attribution of the work to Agustín Querol raises some doubt, especially due to how unfamiliar the artist was with imagery in general and with wood carving in particular. Since no photograph of the lost work or any other documentation about its authorship has been preserved, the unknown remains about this size that very few remember with precision.
In the Civil War, the Image of the Holy Christ of Agony, like many others, was burned at the door of the Basilica (an individual was able to save a foot fragment from the flames that a few years ago was donated to the Museum of the Week Saint of Cieza); The same did not happen with the throne, which was kept hidden in the house of the Chambermaid of the Brotherhood, Dª Josefa Carrillo Camacho –succeeded at her death in office by her sister, Dª Visitación Carrillo Camacho, and this in turn by her daughter , Mrs. Encarna Alcázar Carrillo, who sold a farm exclusively to buy the silver lanterns in Granada.
At the end of 1939, a group of founding brothers who had survived the war, including D. Antonio Ortiz, D. José Villalba, D. Manuel Marín Buendía and D. José Maria Guirao, met in the now-defunct Bar Isidoro in order to reorganize the Brotherhood and commission a new Image to replace the destroyed one. They contact Juan González Moreno so that, as far as possible, he makes a replica of the previous one (The commission of the Christ was a personal commitment of the then President D. Antonio Ortiz, well related to members of the artistic circles of the capital of Region, who recommended the young Murcian sculptor). The new Image of the Most Holy Christ of Agony, which was, however, of his own conception and larger, due to the fact that the artist's own brother, José, a man of great physical size, posed for its modeling, and for which the Murcian sculptor earned 7,000 pesetas, he joined the Processions in 1941, parading on a throne, larger than the original one, made of wood by the sculptor Manuel Juan Carrillo Marco from Ciez, a throne that in turn was covered in metal in 1980 by Francisco Penalva, a master goldsmith from Ciez, whose sons, Francisco and Diego, restored it respectively in 1997 and 2008, and which is completed with a set of finery embroidered in silk on velvet. The Image, for its part, was restored in 2005 by the restorer Antonio García Egea from Ciez.
In 1942 the Brotherhood learned that "the Guirao family has the intention that one of the best image makers in Spain carve a sculptural group representing the Virgin with the dead Christ in her arms." The sculpture, the work of José Capuz, will be the Holy Virgin of Mercy, who will parade for the first time on the night of Holy Thursday in 1943, on a throne built in Cieza according to the sculptor's own sketch, accompanying the Holy Christ of Agony in the Procession of Silence. The new configuration of this Procession, however, will not have continuity, due to the desire of the Brotherhood to parade on such a special night only with the Image of the Holy Christ of Agony; Thus, the Paso de La Piedad will be definitively located in the Procession of the Holy Burial on the night of Good Friday, and in the afternoon of that same day, from then until the 1970s, its Transfer from the Convent of San Joaquín and San Pascual to the Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption, where it has its own altarpiece in the chapel of the Head of the Brotherhood.
El Paso, which for some years had its own independent Camarería, became part of the Brotherhood under the Presidency of Mr. José María Guirao Ortega (1940-1954 and from 1954 until his death as Honorary President). This has carried out the restoration and silvering of the throne on two occasions: the first in 1990, carried out by the local artist José Morote Dato, Brother of the Brotherhood; and the second in 1997, by the tronista from Ciez, Bonifacio Pérez Ballesteros; To these is added the new silvering of the arms of light that was carried out in two thousand and eleven by the Ciezano goldsmith Diego Penalva. The Brotherhood also addressed the restoration of the sculptural group, which was carried out in 2002 by Antonio García Egea, as well as the making of silver-embroidered velvet finery by its embroidery workshop in 2007. For many years the cross of El Paso it was adorned with bridal mantillas donated to it by faithful devotees; Currently, she wears a shroud made by sisters of the Brotherhood.
In the years that followed the civil war, the Brotherhood also began negotiations with the heirs of the Marín Oliver family so that they entrust it with their Flagellation Pass, popularly known since long ago as Los Azotes, with the commitment to restore the Images of the Sayones, which the family had saved from the burning of Santos during the Civil War, and to order another Cristo de la Columna to replace the one who disappeared in it. This last sculpture, created by the hands of Juan González Moreno in 1947 and restored by Antonio García Egea in 1990, parades alongside those of the Sayones on a throne made in 1896 by Antonio Gómez Cervantes from Ciez with carvings by the Murcian Fulgencio Fernández (“El On March 14, 1896, the platform for the group of the Scourges was built, financed by Mr. Antonio Marín Oliver and built by the master Antonio Gómez (el Coco), with the carvings in charge of the young and renowned Murcian artist Mr. Fulgencio Fernández”.) , which was restored and gilded again in 1997 by Bonifacio Pérez Ballesteros; The Valencian restoration company Thader, under the supervision of the General Directorate of Fine Arts of the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia, for its part, restored the entire sculptural group for Easter 2009, the date on which The ligatures, very deteriorated, were replaced with identical ones to the Image of the Lord of the Column.
Díaz Cassou, in his book Pasionaria murciana, affirms that when Salzillo carved the group of The Flagellation for the Brotherhood of Jesus of Murcia, it sold, in 1793, of the ancient Images that could have made up the Passage throughout the last century. , his old Image of Jesus Tied to the Column, of which the authorship is unknown, to the town of Cieza for a value of three thousand reales of fleece. Whether this was the case or not, the truth is that the Image of Jesus Tied to the Column already appears in the General Procession at the end of the 18th century or the beginning of the following one.
Until the middle of the 19th century, when the Paso also began to parade in the Procession of the Penitent on Good Friday morning, the references alluding to the Paso mention only the Image of Jesus Tied to the Column, but not the Sayones (attributed by tradition to Roque López), whom the town would baptize as Los Judíos de Mateos for keeping the Paso on Calle Larga in the garage of D. Antonio Marín, "Mateos", from where the Paso was incorporated into the Traida de los Santos for his participation in the General Procession, the only one in which he participates today.
Whether the Marín family was the owner of the Paso or simply the one in charge of its arrangement for the processions, it was linked from its origins until the civil war to the Brotherhood of Jesus, which covered the expenses derived from its maintenance and to which they pay their tarja the anderos of The Flagellation. Thus, in the Account Book of the Brotherhood of Jesus, successive restorations of the Paso are reflected, such as those carried out in 1856, the year in which glass eyes were placed on the Images of the Sayones and the sculptor Santiago Arroyo restored the Paso, or in 1869, when the litters are repaired and painted; and in which a note from 1853 could even be indicating the date and the author of the same: “To the cabinetmaker Sangloni? for composing and painting the Jews of Colugna Pass, 200; To the same for assembling, securing and painting the litter of this step, 70”.
Regarding the preservation of the Sayones during the civil war, the popular oral tradition says that "they were pardoned in the burning of Santos because someone pointed out that, precisely because they were whipping the Lord, they did not deserve to be destroyed." It is ironic that thanks to such a curious justification these magnificent carvings have been preserved to this day.
The electric lighting that was introduced to the throne, after its remodeling once the Civil War ended, put an end to its peculiar green bombs, some strange green glass lampshades to which the flaming of the candles inside gave " a disturbing color and a spectral hue that surrounded the two silhouettes of the Jews".
From the fifties the activity of the Brotherhood is channeled towards its definitive consolidation under the successive Presidencies of D. Antonio Gómez Marín (1954-1959), D. José Villalba Martínez (1959-1973), D. Pablo Galindo Tormo ( 1973-1978) and D. Joaquín Jordán Pérez (1978-1988), who will begin a new stage at the head of the Confraternity reforming its Statutes and thus solving its first article to accommodate women who as Sisters wish to belong to it, which until then had not been allowed, and undertaking the restoration of the Chapel of the Holder, in whose restoration and remodeling the Brotherhood is working again today.
In 2000, under the Presidency of D. Manuel Verdejo Miñano (1988-2005) the Brotherhood acquired its fourth Paso, Jesus on Calvary, popularly known as the Christ of Thirst, a sculptural group made up of two Images (Crucified Christ and a Sayón who offers him the sponge with vinegar) carved in wood by the Murcian image maker José Hernández Navarro and who parades on a golden wooden throne of which Bonifacio Pérez Ballesteros is the author. The new Paso was located in the Procession of the Penitent on Good Friday morning, thus replacing the Paso de La Flagellación, which that same year was incorporated into the Arrest Procession on the night of Holy Tuesday, a Procession in which participated until 2008.
So that the children of the Brotherhood can participate with their own Children's Paso in the Parade of the Children's Tercios on Holy Saturday afternoon, a wooden replica and to scale of the Paso La Flagellación was contracted with the young local sculptor Antonio Jesús Yuste Navarro. the artist made between 2007 and 2009.
Since 2004, the Brotherhood has added to its 1948 script embroidered in silk on black velvet a banner painted in oil and acrylics on black velvet by the painter Juan Ruiz Tortosa from Ciez, and two tercio lanterns, made of silver-plated metal by Francisco Penalva that same year. On the other hand, in 2006 the old staffs that Master Penalva made for the Third of Nazarenes (penitents) of the Brotherhood around 1970 will be replaced by others made by his son Diego according to the design of the Brother Francisco José Martínez Perpiñán.
The Brotherhood recovered for its anderos in 1993 the traditional ciezano mucus cap and changed its wool cinctures for silk ones in 1995; and under the mandate of Mr. Antonio Lucas Parra, who has been its President since 2005, renewed the andero's wardrobe by installing the verduguillo cap. As far as the Nazarenes are concerned, the Brotherhood incorporated in its beginnings, and to the detriment of the traditional costumes for Holy Week in Ciez, a new model of clothing with a markedly Sevillian cut that it still preserves today: black tunics without tails and graceful white capes with pointed hood also black.
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