Through the Lens
Macao Magazine visual journeys
Annual Catholic procession returns
In February, after a three-year hiatus, thousands of Catholics marked the first weekend of Lent by marching between St Augustine’s Church to the Cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady (commonly known as the Sé Cathedral). The annual Procession of the Passion of Our Lord, the God Jesus sees a statue of Christ carrying a cross through the city’s streets over two days.
En route, worshippers trace the 14 Stations of the Cross. These depict poignant moments Jesus experienced before his crucifixion, as described in the Bible. The Macao Public Security Police Force Band accompanied the devotees while playing a solemn march. Bishop Stephen Lee Bun-sang, appointed head of the Diocese of Macao in 2016, led the procession alongside fellow members of the clergy. The holy men wore purple gowns, as purple is the colour of Lent – a 40-day period beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter Sunday, where the Catholic faithful focus on Jesus’s suffering before celebrating his resurrection.
Listed as part of Macao’s Intangible Heritage, the Passion of Our Lord, the God Jesus was instituted by Augustinian friars in 1708. The event was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, 2021 and 2022.