Cofradía del Tercio Romano del Santo Sepulcro

Foundation year: 1701
Nazarenos: 120.
Children: 12. Collaborators: 60.


Historically, although not as the Brotherhood of the Roman Third of the Holy Sepulcher, it was always linked to the Image of Jesus Nazareno and the Arrest, for whose organization it was responsible; Despite being a recent Brotherhood due to its name, its background must be found in the Brotherhood of the Convocation of Jesus, which, as such, appears in 1914 in the Constitution Act of the Board of Passionate Brotherhoods of Cieza. Their perseverance, which has allowed them not to miss any of the annual appointments with our Holy Week, has made them one of the most deeply rooted traditions in our city, where they are popularly known as "los Armaos".

The presence of the Brotherhood of the Convocation of Jesus has been known at least since the beginning of the 19th century, although its origin may be earlier, due to the long tradition already attributed to it in that same century; It could even have been in its beginnings a filial Brotherhood of the Brotherhood of Jesus Nazareno, due to the strong link between one and the other, or an integral part of that, which would also explain why it does not appear in the catalog of Brotherhoods made as a result of the Decree of the Count of Aranda at the end of the 18th century. Its name undoubtedly derives from the fact that she was in charge of summoning the entire town for El Prendimiento, an act whose existence is verified at least from the same period.

The Brotherhood of the Convocation, deeply rooted among the less wealthy social groups, was, on the other hand, a pioneer in carrying out functions of a social nature; As the 19th century progressed and similarly to the disappearance of the guilds, some Brotherhoods, which by their very nature had been combining their spiritual and cult purposes with certain social work derived from it (such as the accompaniment and payment of burials), began to assume other competences more typical of those old trade associations by directing part of their tasks towards social protection, constituting at the end of that century in a kind of primitive mutual societies, in such a way, says D. Francisco. J. Salmerón Giménez in his article A society divided around land ownership (History of Cieza Vol. IV: Cieza in the XIX century), that the members of such Brotherhoods begin to find in them also a response to "the need to insure their lives and those of their families in case of illness or death”. In this sense, in 1916 D. Mariano Ruiz-Funes in his work Derecho consuetudinario y economía popular de la provincia de Murcia specified that "the most important of all these Brotherhoods is the Convocation of Jesus, from Cieza, which helps with one peseta daily and medical assistance to sick members. They form its Board of Directors: An Elder Brother, President, a Secretary, a Mandatory (collector), six Members and several inspectors of patients. They are paid: 7.50 pesetas of entrance fees, 3 tarja for processional expenses and as many distributions per year, at a rate of 25 cents, per brother, as many sick as there are to help. He has a doctor, who provides assistance to the partners and their wives. When an associate falls ill, the Inspectors of the sick, after notifying him, send the doctor to verify the illness. Once the doctor testifies, they themselves go to the brother's home to see if the doctor's statement is true. If the disease forces the patient to stay in bed, making him absolutely unable to work, they help him; but if he can stay on his feet, able to do paid manual labor in the local lees industry, he is denied medical and economic assistance. In the event of providing assistance, they do so in the manner that we have indicated; and if after three months the ailment has not been resolved, they cease to protect him. If the patient dies, he informs the Brotherhood, and it sends the necessary wax to veil the corpse; then he pays for the burial and masses for his soul”.

"Los Armaos" constituted a highly hierarchical group: at the highest level was the figure of the chief or king, today Captain of the Tercio, to whom the oral intervention in the Arrest corresponds by right and around whom the rest of the group is made up. the troop. Sometimes they were seen entering the neighborhood tascas in pairs and they were recruited right there. The troops then searched for the king, since he could not move from his house without an escort; Shortly after, they began the Parade with high notes of fanfare, resounding of drums and strong steps in a martial gesture.

Summoning the people to the Holy Week Processions, his Band of drums and bugles would leave the Friday of Dolores at night from their rehearsal place (as was heard to say "five days before the arrest they were going in search of the Lord"), and such was their constancy in targets and parades that gave rise to the saying "you are more tender than the Armaos"; in this sense, the local newspaper El Combate stated in its chronicle of Holy Week in 1891: "The Roman or armed soldiers, like the vulgar call them, they have filled their noisy functions with all seriousness, making their excursions multiplied through those streets, to the incessant roll of their drum bands and enduring shrillness of their indefatigable bugles, which this neighborhood has continuously in the ears since Wednesday in afternoon until this very morning. There are those who dislike this continuous drumming and this persistent bugle call; and we find it pleasant, because it is perhaps the only note that stands out, characteristic, classical, typical of the Processions of Cieza: that the Armed ones with their bands of drums and bugles are suppressed, and it will seem as if the Holy Week festivities in this town have lost their life and animation. We must admire these men who, without remuneration of any kind, rather spending money for it, and spending many days some learning their marches and rolls, others their evolutions and exercises, then spend three deadly days with the helmet and their armor on their backs, without giving rest to their feet, hands or lungs, multiplying tirelessly everywhere: they are meritorious of the processions and save for the historical truth of their clothing, they play a good role in them, with their chief at the head”.

During the last quarter of the last century they have their stage of flowering, due to the good work of D. Pedro Marín Martínez, promoter of our Processions. It is then when the charismatic figures of Maestro Muñoz appear, "Captain Centellas" and "Requeñín", faithful valet of the former, whose parade aroused admiration and respect among the people, and who became the legend of the best "Armaos "for their enthusiasm and way of experiencing the events of Holy Week as genuine Roman soldiers; his presence gave the precise touch of tradition and distinction thanks to that aura of mystery, martiality and firmness of his gestures.

The men of the troops, on the other hand, with their false beards, their tin armor or simple tunics, and their typical bullfighters' pink stockings, sometimes drooping, other times filled with sawdust as if trying to give an idea of strength, sometimes presented a an aspect so opposite to that of authentic Roman soldiers that an 1893 chronicle in El Orden described them as "those who, dressed in the costume of Judean soldiers, impatiently awaited the moment to arrest Jesus."

The splendor of a later era with Comino, king in his time, did not last long, to whom we owe another genius of our popular knowledge: "you are more constant than Comino", and in which the parade of the Armaos also incorporated horses (1904-1905 ). In the years that preceded the civil war, they tried hard to improve the costumes, but the truth is that, once it was over, the "Armaos" still sought their consolidation, sometimes subsidized by the City Council, others by the Board of Directors itself. processions. Thus, in 1947 the Board agreed to "authorize Mr. Julián Pérez Cano together with Mr. Antonio Pérez Gómez to manage the acquisition or manufacture of the Armaos suits so that in successive years they remain the property of this Board, in the proportion of about fifty numbers with their accessories, committing the Board of Processions not to use for their benefit the subsidies that the Municipality grants in successive years until the Armaos are not in the splendor that we all want, and that the Board agrees". Three years later, the City Council will be responsible for the expenses that their outings could cause, including the rental of said costumes and their accessories, which sometimes, like those helmets with a visor typical of a knight from the Middle Ages, did not correspond to the time to which they should refer.

However, this unsatisfactory situation led in 1952 to a small group of enthusiastic ciezanos to form the current Brotherhood, completely independent of any other.

The first expenses of the reborn Brotherhood were covered thanks to the raffles and the generous donations of numerous ciezanos and official entities, highlighting the great help provided by D. Eulogio Marín Camacho, who was deservedly named Honorary Elder Brother. Presided over by D. Manuel Montoya Nieto, the group begins to outline what was to be its backbone: an initial number of forty-three members, to which in 1954 their own Band of bugles and drums was added. Since then, and except for some sporadic occasions, such as that same year 1954, when the Armaos escorted the Paso de La Flagellación and the Paso del Santísimo Cristo del Consuelo in the General and Penitent Processions respectively, their place has always been behind the Paso de Jesús Nazareno and, in the Procession of the Holy Burial, after The Holy Sepulchre, also maintaining its participation until the end of the seventies of this century in the Procession of Risen Jesus as a breaking group of the same.

In the 1950s, the Brotherhood made a wardrobe of artistically embroidered satins, silks and velvets; embossed metal helmets, breastplates and weapons, the work of Maestro Penalva, insignia carved in wood by the sculptor Juan Solano, legitimately made bugles and several chariots, items to which in 1971 would be added a new banner embroidered in gold by the embroiderer from Cartagena Consuelo Escámez: this is how the hundred people who make up the procession on the morning of Good Friday in 1954 allow themselves to embroider the traditional "Caracola" at the entrance to San Sebastián street, a peculiar network of twists and turns of the men of the Tercio on the march, which It had been its own distinctive since time immemorial and today it continues to be another of the great attractions of Ciezan Processions. Since then many names have followed this part... "El Nene de la Murciana", "El Morena", "El Cabo Vázquez" or "El Flecha", which is still active.

Precisely in the last decade of the 20th century, when D. Carmelo Ramos was president, the Brotherhood began to address the restoration of its belongings; thus, in 1997 the ciezano goldsmith Francisco Penalva made new quivers for the cohort of archers and restored the fascios, while the local artist Bonifacio Pérez Ballesteros did the same with the Tercio Insignia. Starting in 1999 and with its President, Mr. José Gómez Sánchez-Fortún, the Board of Directors of the Brotherhood intensified this process by acquiring new cloaks, capes, breastplates and accessories for the Heads of cohorts, renewing the tunics and capes of the troops, as well as the costumes (capes, tunics and breastplates) of its also renewed Band of bugles and drums, for which the embroiderer from Ciez Concepción Fernández Yuste, according to a design by Mariano Rojas Marín, made in 2002 a new flag embroidered in cotton thread. gold on red velvet and in which for the first time in 2006 and until 2010 musical instruments were introduced. Finally, in 2009 the local restorer José Javier Bernal Morote restored the quadriga.