|THE HOLLY WEEK IN SAHAGUN|
THE HOLLY WEEK IN SAHAGUN
brotherhoods has singular importance from the medieval centuries, its
origin seems to be the roman corporations of mutual relieve that helped
and attended its members in case of economic problems and that, once they
were dead they were in charge of giving them a worthy funeral accompanied
by the rest of the members of the brotherhood. Those members met where the
Latins used do call COLLEGIA, that is, work corporations that prayed for
its own protector divinity whose festivity they celebrated indeed.
In the first
centuries of the Middle Age, the brotherhoods acquired a Christian
character of brotherhood due to their beginning under the relationship
with the church and they helped each other when they needed defence
against an enemy as well as in social or economic affairs.
To belong to this
community the elder children needed to sign an agreement with the church
that involved him personally and compromised himself.
As well as the pagan
Romans, each Christian brotherhood has its own petronel festivity and its
But, along with these
praisonable contributions, other brotherhoods created by way of sworn
plotters that promised to defend its interest even in blood confrontations
arose in Leon in the Middle age.
Two are the most well
known cases of our history: The Brotherhood of Santiago de Compostela and
the one from Sahagun.
During the reign of
Mrs. Urraca, the unfortunate daughter of great Alfonso VI, the civil
fights went on and the armed confrontations between their followers and
those of his second husband Alfonso el Batallador, king of Aragon, razed
this land from Leon. People from Sahagun was divided into two
irreconcilable decrees: the peasants with their abbot, that is, in favour
of their legitimate queen, and the French and merchants, gathered in
brotherhood, conspired to attack the abbey and fight the residents. It was
around the early years of the twelfth century and this first brotherhood
of Sahagun ended up in bloody fights.
dramatic episode, the monarchs tried to have more control over the
brotherhoods and fraternities, trying to avoid a similar conflict to the
one in Santiago de Compostela and Sahagun.
That is the reason why unions and
professional brotherhoods spread, gathering the people that had the same
job, nested in teacher-official-learner, were you enroll making a certain
payment and the approval of most of the previous members.
To belong to a brotherhood meant, in the
Middle Age, until the reign of the Catholic king and queen, staying
integrated in a protector group that looked after good manners, regulated
the practice of an occupation - if it was an union- and served the
community organizing, the day of their patron or in Holly Week,
processions where, sometimes, some nourishment was distributed among
people with needs in the community.
Sahagun we are lucky to have references of the brotherhoods since the
fourteenth century, because, as we can see in a document dated in 1,352,
by that time there was a brotherhood of brothers of "Nuestra SeZora del Puente" and another, dated in the
fifteenth century called "Santa María".
Among the Spanish Christians the first
processions are dated in the medieval age, although it is true that, after
1,400, they acquire remarkable protagonism those of Easter Week, time in
which the Salvador's Passion is commemorated.
This way it was also reminded in Sahagun
these holy days for the Christians, since we know Holy week processions
were celebrated since the reign of the Catholic king and queen, courses
that not always ended up peacefully, because, as we can remind from a
document from the Holy week in 1,487, in the procession of "San
Lorenzo", a reverend took advantage of the crowd to hurt Martin de
Almazar, attorney of the abbot of the abbey, and also reverend.
It is possible that in this procession of San
Lorenzo, the remote and old origin of the Brotherhood of Nazarene Jesus
can be found, since through the sixteenth century it was many people from
Sahagun who wrote in their wills commands for the brotherhood of Nazarene
Jesus, placed in the church of San Lorenzo, what would make us suppose
that it started before.
This brotherhood led and assistential labour,
typical of the medieval brotherhoods, because it was their job to offer is
the Holly Week bread and wine to the people carrying the floats and to the
people with more needs in the village.
Nowadays, bread and typical beverage are
still offered by Nazarene Jesus' brotherhood.
Besides charitable activities, the fact that
most of the first members of the brotherhood belong to the union of the
horticulturist, that is, of the peasants, and even of authentic people
from Sahagun, not of people away from Sahagun, thanks to the kindness of
the first and the real protection, and shelter in this village.
Still in the eighteenth century it was a
tradition that the peasants carried on their shoulders the floats of
Nazarene Jesus, most important in the brotherhood, while others were
carried by carpenters, fishers and shepherds.
If that unknown brotherhood, placed in San
Lorenzo, could have been the ancestor of what we call today the Nazarene
Jesus brotherhood, other typical traditions of the Easter Week in the
village also started in the medieval age although its reimplant was recent
as the "ISA", done in the mornings of the Holy Friday.
It consists in carrying on the shoulders and
on the air to the strangers or the early risers until the doors of the
chapel where the floats are kept and that, even if it doesn't have a
liturgic origin, it reminds the bellicose activities of that old
brotherhood that was when Mrs. Urraca lived.
In the thirteenth century another brotherhood
in Sahagun persecuted to whoever opposed their willingness, even if they
were their neighbours or people related to the monarchs, and that looked
for shelter in a sacred place, in the church of San Lorenzo, next to where
is placed, from a long time ago, in their own chapel next to it, the
brotherhood of Nazarene Jesus.
From the very first moments of its existence,
Nazarene Jesus' brotherhood has taken care of its chapel until today, with
the present abbot, Mr. Leandro Alvarez Luna.
In the Easter Week of 1.766, after the procession of the burial of Christ, in Holly Friday, the brother meet in the Chapel to deal an affair that has an important interest for everyone, that is, the chapel is collapsing itself and, as this sacred space depended just to the brotherhood as it is its property, the chapel had to be repaired with the brotherhood funds. Nowadays, the brotherhood does the maintenance of the building and floats firmly thanks to the labour of the abbot and brothers and the economic support of some neighbours of Sahagun, such as Mrs. Teresa Baillo.
The brotherhood of Jesus Nazarene
Its existence is verified in the XVI century,
being one of the most ancients in Leon. Its origin starts, without a doubt in
the early Middle Age.
In the earlies 1500's, that is during the reign
of Carlos V, was the Dulce Nombre de Jesus Hospital.
Its assistencial labour and its union character
are the main features of this antique brotherhood.
The original of the document is
conserved by Brotherhood and it can be contemplated inside the Chapel.
In the XVII century the Brotherhood is already
inside the Chapel of Jesus, located next to
San Lorenzo's church.
Through this century The Brotherhood placed an
order for almost all the floats that were going to be used on Easter week, most
of them related to the Castilleia school.
Thanks to their good performance, the visitor can remember these antique
celebrations, and visit the Chapel where the floats of this brotherhood are
During the last decade of the twentieth century
the brotherhood has knows how to revitalize its historical tradition making the
Holy Week in Sahagun one of the most important in Castillo y Leon.