El Calvario


Item #1

This drawing is located in the upper left hand corner of the 1689 painting of the LaBelle.  The Gurulé newsletter #9 tells about the entire painting, and explains why we think it was created by both Grolet and L’Archeveque.

Item #2

A picture from a Penitente service on Good Friday in Agua Ramon, Colorado where they used a type of cross called “El Calvario” (Calvary).  This cross is the same shape as the cross in the LaBelle painting. [Many thanks to Larry Ruybal, Pueblo Colorado, for the picture and for solving the mystery.  Larry is from Gurulé Family Number One.]  

The Penitente cross, which we normally refer to as El Calvario, is called the "Arma Christi" according to Father Thomas Steele.  It means the Arms of Christ which were the "weapons" used against Christ during the Crucifixion.  The Cross is shown without a corpse on the cross and reflects Good Friday evening when Jesus had been brought down from the cross and laid in the tomb.  The items on the cross are the ladder used to bring down the corpse and the weapons used during the Crucifixion.  Also in the picture is the spear that the Romans used to pierce Christ's side, a lance with sponge dipped in wine or water that the soldiers offered to Christ to wet his lips or quench his thirst, and the whip used during the “Way of the Cross.”  The cross appears to be on a platform which would have been how it usually appeared in churches across Europe.  [This information is from Ruben Archuleta, author of several books about the Penitentes.  Father Thomas Steele is also a researcher on the Penitentes.]

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