The Paso del Santísimo Cristo del Consuelo, the “Holy Christ” of the ciezanos, is inextricably linked to legend and its extra-wall hermitage, and its evolution over time continues to raise some questions today.
The legend, printed for the first time in the 19th century, which links the arrival of the Holy Christ of Consuelo to Cieza in the year 1606 thanks to a miraculous event (the team of oxen that transported the "Holy Christ" for a population of La Mancha stopped before a hill near Cieza refusing to continue; interpreted the fact as a desire of the Image to stay among the ciezanos, a hermitage was built right there) must be valued in its fair measure, since it is common to many other localities.
The truth is that, in the aforementioned cabezo, originally known as Cabezo de las Horcas (today Barrio de la Horta), there was a simple humilladero built at the initiative of the Franciscan community under the invocation "del Calvario" which as such is recorded in the " Relation” of Felipe II of 1579; This place was accessed by the Camino de Castilla (today the Calasparra road) that ran at the foot of said hill. In 1612, at the request of the Presbyter D. Ginés de Mellinas, the construction of a hermitage began on this primitive humilladero, as well as a Way of the Cross, of which remains are still preserved today, in the section of the Camino de Castilla that led from the population to the aforementioned hill to end on the slopes of the same. That same year D. Diego Padilla pays for the Crucified One who is to preside over said hermitage, possibly made of cardboard, with his own money, so that, thanks to his light weight, the prayer of the Via Crucis can be practiced with him in the early morning of Holy Friday.
The Christ, under a first invocation "of Calvary" is provisionally installed in the parish church of the town while the works of that one are not finished. Finished these at the latest in 1614 (in her will of that year Mrs. Isabel Ruiz bequeathed some money "for the work of the new hermitage that has been made in the head of the gallows"), the aforementioned Crucified was placed in the hermitage and an Image of the Virgin of Good Success. From those dates the hermitage became known indistinctly as the Hermitage of Ntra. Sra. del Buen Suceso (thus, in the testament of Mrs. Ana Marín of 1621, "four prayed masses are established and these are said in the Hermitage of Ntra. Sra. del Buen Suceso of this town in its reserved altar") and as the Hermitage of Santo Cristo del Calvario (as it appears referred to in the Chapter Act of 1745 in which the Virgen del Buen Suceso is named Patron Saint of Cieza), although the Christ will be known popularly as "the Holy Christ" or "the Lord" (thus in the testament of Mrs. Inés Valera of 1624 it is ordered to say "two masses said at the altar reserved for the Holy Christ in the hermitage of Ntra. Sra. del Buen Event”), nicknames that persist for the current Image.
However, at the beginning of the 18th century it also had its own chapel in the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, an important and large chapel in which many residents of the town requested to be buried: this is stated, for example, in the will granted by Mrs. Ana Marín Melgarejo in the year 1722. After the definitive remodeling of the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción at the end of the 18th century, said chapel ceases to be mentioned without any other chapel linked to said chapel having reached us to this day. dedication.
From the hermitage and in the early years of the 19th century, the "Santo Cristo", which in the following decades was now unequivocally called "Santo Cristo del Consuelo", came down in prayer in the years 1800 and 1805, attributing some miracles that increased disproportionately. the devotion and the popular cult to the Image. So much so that in 1807 D. Domingo Morata, Parish Priest of the Parish of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, decided to write a "Novena to the Most Holy Christ of Consuelo, which is venerated in his hermitage outside the walls of the town of Cieza", a Novena that is It has been celebrating in the days preceding the festivity of the Cross on May 3 in the Basilica of
Our Lady of the Assumption. However, the hermitage will continue to be referred to in various documents, sometimes (1846) as "Hermitage of Santo Cristo del Consuelo" and other times (1855) as "Hermitage of the Virgen del Buen Suceso", until between 1864 and 1879, according to the The initial project of the architect Juan José Belmonte, which was completed after his death by his counterpart Justo Millán, is to build the current hermitage on the same site and, as a result of the enormous veneration that the ciezanos professed for it, the latter name is definitively given, being in the year 1888 when Pope Leo XIII granted the consecration of an altar to the Image and indulgences for all those for whom Mass was said on it.
With the construction of the new Hermitage, the practice of the Via Crucis fell into disuse until it disappeared in the early years of the s. xx. In this way, the Stmo. Cristo del Consuelo, who had occasionally participated in the Holy Week Processions, will begin to do so uninterruptedly since then in the General, Penitent Processions (in this one until 2009, since in 2010 and by his own decision he stopped doing it -by virtue of the agreement of reorganization of the Processions, one of whose premises limited the number of processional exits to two-) and of the Holy Burial. And for its participation in them, the Paso has been moved from its hermitage on the afternoon of Palm Sunday at least since 1932, but until that date its Transfer took place, at least since the construction of the Hermitage, within the framework of of the "Bringing of the Saints" on the afternoon of Holy Thursday, having also been carried out occasionally (1943) on the night of Holy Tuesday.
It is evident, on the other hand, that in the course of the years the Brotherhood of the Stmo. Cristo del Consuelo endorsed some characteristics and uses of the disappeared Brotherhood of Blood; Thus, just as the Brotherhood of the Blood carried out a procession in the Procession of the Holy Burial from its origins with the Cross alone, after unnailing the Christ to place it in the urn of the Holy Sepulchre, also the Brotherhood of the Holy Christ of Consuelo will procession with the Paso de the Holy Cross until the mid-1970s of the last 20th century (currently, due to its deteriorated state, it does so with the holder), in turn unlocking the Image of Christ (this is confirmed by a chronicle of Holy Week in 1893 published in the newspaper El Orden: “In the Processions of Holy Thursday and Good Friday in the morning... holding a rich embroidered shroud of nipis... which was brought expressly from Manila for this image by its generous donor D. Pascual Arce A native of Cieza, Christ was on the Cross, whose arrangement is in charge of Mrs. Luisa Fernández de Castro, widow of Marín-Blázquez... In the Good Friday Procession at night, the Holy Cross formed, standing alone and upright preserves the shroud already mentioned..."). Finally, it should be noted that, since then, in addition to admitting plainclothes penitents into its procession, the Brotherhood maintained the custom that the Nazarenes of its Tercio, some of them barefoot, parade with wooden crosses in the Procession of the Penitent, Friday holy in the morning,
As for the connections between the Images themselves, and although the invoice of what could be the Cristo de la Sangre is unknown, these must have been quite obvious since the Image of the Santísimo Cristo del Consuelo has always been accompanied by the small sculpture of a angel who once carried a chalice in his hand, a frequent iconographic representation in the Pasos with the invocation of "the Blood".
At the end of the 19th century, the Marín-Blázquez family would have constituted the Brotherhood with an eminently devotional or cult character, and oriented above all to the Transfer of the Paso for the Holy Week Processions and the organization of acts (novena and procession) on the occasion of of the festivity of May 3, Day of the Cross, in which the Image returned to its hermitage; at the head of the same figure as the first Big Brother D. Manuel Marín-Blázquez y Marín-Ordóñez, and as the first Waitress Ms. Concepción Marín-Blázquez y Capdevila, a role currently performed by Ms. Piedad Marín-Blázquez. As such, the Brotherhood is recorded in various notes in the Account Book of the Brotherhood of Jesus: "For the loan of ten pounds of wax to the Brotherhood of Santo Cristo"; but an article that appeared in 1892 in the local newspaper El Enredo, whose author complained that "some Brotherhoods, such as the Santo Cristo Brotherhood, do not admit Brotherhoods into their bosom", goes to show that, as far as Weekday Processions are concerned, Santa is concerned, the Brotherhood was actually a Camarería; Furthermore, the fact that it was not among the constituents of the Board of Passion Brotherhoods in 1914 suggests that even on these dates the Paso del Santísimo Cristo del Consuelo participates in the Holy Week Processions without its own Brotherhood.
In fact, it was not until 1932 when D. Manuel Marín-Blázquez promoted an assembly in the now-defunct Galindo Theater in order to establish the current Brotherhood of the Holy Christ of Consuelo, as a subsidiary of the cult Brotherhood of the same name, to take over of everything concerning the participation of the Paso in the Holy Week Processions (in 1968 the two will merge into a single Brotherhood). The impulse that he received at that time was important, reflected in the making of his own costumes, in the commission to Ildefonso Montejano of staffs for the Tercio de Nazarenos in 1934, and in the creation of his own Band of bugles and drums that would quickly become a traditional element of our Processions for their interpretations and for their costumes.
Regarding the authorship of the Image, it is possible to think that, both for aesthetics and for the dates of its realization, it could have been one of the three (the other two went to the cities of Caravaca and Murcia, respectively), which in the same way series was composed by the sculptor of Andalusian origin who settled in Murcia Cristóbal de Salazar. The venerated Image was destroyed at the beginning of the civil war, but in 1940 D. Antonio García Salmerón acquired for the Brotherhood, in exchange for a Sacred Heart, the second Image of the series, which was kept in the Hermitage of La Reja de Caravaca, under the invocation of Christ of the Good Death; Repaired by Sánchez Lozano, who added two larger angels than the ones he already had, it was held in procession on Palm Sunday of that same year. Restored on various occasions by Master Manuel Juan Carrillo Marco, the last intervention was carried out in 1991 by the restorer Antonio García Egea from Ciez.
The throne on which the procession is carried, built between 1874 and 1875 by the master carpenters Pedro Herrera and Juan Moreno Rodríguez according to a design by José María Punisse and gold adorned by Ignacio Amoraga Latorre, as well as its famous red "bombs" were made under the stewardship and camaraderie of D. Mariano Marín-Blázquez and Marín-Blázquez and his wife Ms. María Luisa Fernández de Castro and Martínez-Illescas respectively, who had succeeded their first Big Brother and Waitress and to whose family El Paso is still linked today day; renovated by Pujante in 1940 and gilded again in 1987 in Murcia in the Lorente Brothers workshops, in 2003 it underwent a final restoration and gilding intervention by the local artist D. Bonifacio Pérez Ballesteros, who also cleaned the Images of the Ángeles and made for himself two years later a set of carved wooden and gilded rod tips; The work on the Throne was completed with a metal bell holder made by the Ciezano goldsmith Diego Penalva and with the gold embroidery on red velvet of a new set of finery for the Religious Justinian Mothers of God of Murcia.
Since 1970 and under the presidency of D. Antonio García Moreno, the Brotherhood has been enlarging the procession of its Third of Nazarenes with the inclusion in it of various ornaments: gold embroidered banner and rhinestones on red velvet in 1988 in the Convent of Santa Clara de Cieza; Tercio lanterns made in 1975 by Maestro Penalva, to which are added two others made by his son Diego in 1996; censers, also the work of Maestro Penalva in 1977, and guide cross; and two new models of staffs: the first, crowned with a cross, made in the Workshops of Master Penalva in 1971 to replace the primitive ones; the second ones, which simulate the chapel of "Santo Cristo" in his hermitage, have been on parade since 1996 and were in turn made by his son Diego. Added to this Heritage is that from donations and offerings, mostly the typical “barrels” for the Image, the last of which was embroidered in gold on red velvet in 2007 in the Murcian workshops of La Egipcia.
Finally, in 2007, under the Presidency of D. Luis Carlos Navarro, the Brotherhood recovered for its Tercio de anderos the traditional mucus cap, made of red satin, and two years later, in 2009, He incorporated a medallion into his processional attire.
But undoubtedly the most important achievements of the Brotherhood in recent times have been the repair and restoration of the Hermitage of the Holy Christ of Consuelo (thanks in large measure to the collaboration of the City Council and the ciezanos), whose work was completed in 1994 and which was blessed on May 3 of that year by the former Bishop of the Diocese D. Javier Azagra; as well as the construction of the Casa de la Cofradía, which was inaugurated in 1999.
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