Filipino Catholics observe Lent with gory rituals

A penitent prays before whipping his back during Maundy Thursday Lenten rites in Mandaluyong city, metro ManilaMABALACAT, Philippines (Reuters) - Hundreds of barefoot Filipinos marched on roads, carrying heavy wooden crosses and whipping their backs until they bled on Thursday in an annual gory religious ritual as the mainly Catholic Philippines observed near the end of the Lenten season. Many Filipino devotees perform religious penance during the week leading up to Easter Sunday as a form of worship and supplication, a practice discouraged by Catholic bishops, but widely believed by devotees to cleanse sins, cure illness and even grant wishes. …

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