“La Sangre” Brotherhood
The Saintly Christ
of the Blood
Author: Francisco Palma Burgos
Date: 1940-1941 | Restorations: 1993, 2010 and 2019 by the restorer Estrella Arcos Von Haartman
Its blessing was the 5th April, 1941 (Passion Saturday before Easter) in this church, Santa Cruz and San Felipe Neri. This Image replaces the previous one, which was anonymous and dated around the second third of the XVI (16th) century. It was lost in the sacking and burning of Churches and Convents occurred in Málaga in May 1931, before the Spanish Civil War. The Sacred Image represents the body of Jesus Christ died in the Cross after being lanced by the Roman “Longinos”. The Brotherhood celebrates its feast day the first Sunday of July, coinciding with the Most Precious Blood of Christ celebration. In Easter, the evening of Holy Wednesday, the Saintly Christ participates in a procession with other different images which represents the Sacred Spear Wound mystery.
Saintly Virgin Mary
of Consolation and Tears
Author: Anonymous, attributed to Fernando Ortiz, though it has suffered different transformations
Date: XVII-XVIII (17th-18th) century | Restorations: 1929 and 1932 by Francisco Palma García. In 1972 by Luis Álvarez Duarte. In 2019 by Francisco Naranjo Beltrán
María Santísima de Consolación y Lágrimas was blessed on Sunday, 10th March, 1929, by Saint Manuel González, bishop of Málaga. The Image is an anonymous statue from the 18th century attributed to Fernando Ortiz. Nevertheless, after the restoration carried out in 2019 by Francisco Naranjo, the authorship of the Virgin could be attributed to Antonio del Castillo. Thus, the Image would be dated in the 17th century. The Brotherhood celebrates its feast day the first Sunday of September, coinciding with Our Lady of Consolation celebration, which is the 4th September. The Image of the Saint Virgin participates in a procession in the evening of the Holy Wednesday, behind the Christ.
The devotion and worship to the Gorgeous Blood of Jesus Christ are strongly rooted to the history of the Catholic Church, reaching a huge peak in the Medieval times. This devotion is introduced in Málaga by the Mercedarian Order, which is established in our city in 1499.
In 1507, the Order gets a site in front of Puerta de Granada, in the suburb of the cattle, and its church is consecrated in 1509. The foundation of this Brotherhood of the Blood in Málaga is linked to the Mercedarian community in these years. The primitive constitutions of our Confraternity date from 1507. Therefore, the foundation of the Brotherhood goes back to the late 15th century or the early 16th century, being one of the most ancient brotherhoods in the city.
At the beginning of the 17th century, the Brotherhood is such relevant in the city that it acquires the title of “Archconfraternity” thanks to its antiquity and the different papal privileges acquired over the years, such as the aggregation to different brotherhoods from the Papal States, indulgences, etc. Furthermore, during this century, three filial brotherhoods appear in our Confraternity, which will be independent some years later: the Brotherhood of Llagas y Columna (1634), the Brotherhood of the 72 brothers of the Saint Shroud (1644), which is nowadays incorporated in our Confraternity; and the Brotherhood of Our Father Jesus of the Humility (1694).
At the end of the 18th century, the Mercedarian Order builds a new temple and our Brotherhood builds an own chapel. In the 19th century, in 1835, our Confraternity experienced difficult moments with the confiscation. In 1858, the sculptor native of Málaga, Antonio Gutiérrez de León y Martínez, which was a brother of our Confraternity, carved and donate an Image of the Virgen de los Dolores. However, the procession of the Maundy Thursday in 1867 was the last one of our Brotherhood in the 19th century. At the end of this century, the political issues impeded the external worship, so we were forced to cancel the processions, like the other brotherhoods done, though the internal worship continued.
At the beginning of the 20th century, thanks to the enthusiasm of several brothers, the worship to the Christ is intensified. The procession is resumed in the Holy Week of 1919. In 1920, don Antonio Baena Gómez become the president of the Brotherhood and one of the most magnificent periods for the Confraternity begins. During his mandate, new processional belongings were made and the image of the Roman “Longinos” on horseback and an executioner were incorporated on the throne (the structure were the sacred statues are carried). In 1929, the second throne is incorporated to the Brotherhood procession with the Virgin of Consolación y Lágrimas, which was blessed by Saint Manuel González García, Bishop of the Diocese.
All this period of brightness was truncated by the sacking and burning of Churches and Convents in 1931 and the Spanish Civil War in 1936. The Brotherhood lost almost all its patrimony and did not recover the external procession until 1941, with the new statue of the Crucified Christ, which replaced the primitive one (burnt in the fire of 1931). In the last decade of the 20th century, the Brotherhood started again a process of regeneration of all its patrimony. In 1996, the new throne of the Saintly Christ is made, and a year later, in 1997, the Sacred Spear Wound mystery is completed. During the 21st century, in 2008, the new throne for the Virgin was presented and, in 2012, the embroideries for the canopy were renewed. The Virgin’s processional cape is the longest of the Holy Week in Málaga and it was used for the first time in 2016. Its mauve colour is so original and different from the other Virgins.
One of the most important aims of our Brotherhood is to foster the public worship to our Sacred Statues, el Santísimo Cristo de la Sangre, María Santísima de Consolación y Lágrimas, and the Santo Sudario. The most distinguished worships that our Brotherhood celebrates are:
During the third weekend of Lent, we celebrate a Solemn Triduum in honour to our Sacred Statues, finishing on Sunday with the Solemn Mass of Institute. Along this Mass, the medals of our Brotherhood are laid to the new brothers and several distinctions are given to some brothers and personalities. The Christ and the Virgin dominate an altar prepared specifically for these Solemn Worships.
The procession that our Brotherhood carries out the Holy Wednesday evening each year is the highest expression of public faith and worship that the brothers offer to the Christ and the Virgin. For this reason, the Governing Board and each brother that participates in the procession guard their behaviour for the honour and heaven of our Sacred Statues.
On July 1st, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. For this reason, our Brotherhood celebrates on the first Saturday of July a Solemn Liturgical Function in honour of our Christ, in which he dominates a worship altar. The Christ is also exposed to foot-kissing, as a gesture of veneration by all the brothers and believers.
On September 4th, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Consolation. For this reason, our Brotherhood celebrates on the first Saturday of September a Solemn Liturgical Function and song of the Hail Mary in honour of our Virgin (Consolación y Lágrimas). She dominates a worship altar prepared for the celebration and she is exposed to hand-kissing.
In October, which is the month of the Saint Rosary, we celebrate a Solemn Mass in honour of the Virgin of Consolación y Lágrimas. Afterwards, Our Lady is carried in a procession on a little frame with the maximum seclusion around the streets of our parish. The procession is accompanied by the praying of the Saint Rosary and chamber music.
The procession on Holy Wednesday is the maximum expression of public Faith and Worship that the brothers of this Confraternity offer to our Sacred Statues. We wear the Nazarene’s tunic, which is in red colour for the people who walk with the Christ and in mauve colour for those who walk with the Virgin.
Three of the best music bands in the province also participates our procession: the Banda de Cornetas y Tambores del Real Cuerpo de Bomberos of Málaga, the Agrupación Musical de la Vera Cruz of Campillos (Málaga) and the Asociación músico-cultural Nuestra Señora de la Paz of Málaga.
Our procession starts at sunset and its entry occurs at night, after walking through the streets of the city with fervour and seclusion. People of Málaga and foreigners are surprised by the strength of our “hombres de trono” – people who carries the processional thrones.
The high point of our procession is in Plaza del Obispo, where our Brotherhood carries out the penitential station, under the single tower of our Cathedral. At this point, our brothers pray in the presence of our Christ and Virgin.