THE HOLLY WEEK IN SAHAGUN 

THE BROTHERHOOD OF JESUS NAZARENE

OUR FLOATS

JESUS CHAPEL
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Greeting

Welcome to the web site of the brotherhood of Nazarene Jesus, with a brotherhood with more than four centuries of history. We would like this site to show you some of our customs and traditions, our floats, our processions and in general our Easter week. We invite you to visit Sahagun and enjoy our Holly week.   

Leandro Alvarez Luna

Apoderado del Cargo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE HOLLY WEEK IN SAHAGUN 

THE HOLLY WEEK IN SAHAGUN 

 

Although the 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 protector saint.

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.

Overcoming this 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.

In 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JESUS CHAPEL

 

JESUS CHAPEL 

It was built in the XVII century on some corrals and a ossuary next to Saint Lorenzo to be the burial place for Mr. Leonardo Perez de Vega, (with a Masters) that entrusted its construction, and his successors.

It has been restored and recovered many times through the years, until being in the actual situation.       

For the awesome altarpiece of the high altar of the Chapel some under reliefs of another chapel were used, made in 1545 by the sculptors Guillermo Doncel and Juan de Anges, made to the order of Mrs. Isabel de Quinyones, Count Luna's sister, for the chapel that she had in the Dominic convent of Trianos.         

Around 1.778 The Chapel was already used and enjoyed by the brotherhood of Nazarene Jesus, where the members met and Kept the floats and other belongings. 

Nowadays the Chapel of Jesus Nazarene is the place for the museum of Easter week in Sahagun  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the brotherhood

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.  

In 1.652 The Pope Inocencio X concedes in a Decretum total indulgence for all the "faithful in Christ, of any sex from then on taking part on the brotherhood".

Likewise he concedes its most holly total indulgence and "remission of all the sins to all the people that visit piously the Church or Chapel of or brotherhood each year begging piously to God for the Concorde of the Christian Princes, extirpation of the heresy and exaltation of the Church in the day of the festivity of Pastor Bonus, that is the second Sunday after Easter".

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. 

Due to the documentation kept in the Provincial Archive of Leon, as well as in Act book and other documents of the brotherhood, we can follow its evolution until today.

According to the organization chart of the laws of the brotherhood, the abbot is elected in town council (that is, once all the member meet), for a period of four renamable years.  

Other positions in the brotherhood are those of treasurer, churchwarden, secretary and officials.

All of them have tried, during their command years to performance some of these functions, just aforementioned, preserve alive the past of one of the institutions, whose roots are in the Middle Age, although, not forgetting the present. Good proof of it are the last restorations of the floats and the Chapel, that one made by the members of the Brotherhood, themselves.

Thanks to their good performance, the visitor can remember these antique celebrations, and visit the Chapel where the floats of this brotherhood are guarded.  

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.

 


 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OUR FLOATS

OUR FLOATS

 

 

The images of the Holly Week in Sahagun are, in opinion to experts in art, one of the most important collections, artistically speaking, of the area of Leon. The greatest sculptors of the seventeenth century, Gregorio Fernandez, Diaz de Tudanca, and more, are the authors of the images that brothers carry in the Holly Week in Sahagun.  

In the following links you can admire a small sample of our Floats:   

 
Jueves Santo Viernes Santo