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The Ransomed Christ

The Ransomed Christ

The Scapular of the Trinitarian order is traditionally placed on statues of The Ransomed Christ. (also known as the Captive Christ or Christ in Captivity, or Christ the Redeemer.) 

This statue figures prominently in Holy Week processions of many Latin countries, and the Scapular with the Trinitarian cross is placed on the (usually) life size statue of Christ. The Trinitarian cross is  also on the vestments and copes worn by members of the brotherhoods and societies that march with the “pasos” (the elaborately decorated floats) in the procession wearing their penitential robes. The members often wear “capirotes”, large pointed hoods with holes for the eyes. These vestments were originally worn so the penitent could atone for their sins in anonymity. Over time, membership in these brotherhoods (“cofradías”) became exclusive, and in some countries a position in the brotherhood is difficult to come by unless it is inherited from the previous generation. (You can see pictures in the album in this website.) 

These sculptures of the Ransomed Christ ("Cristo del Rescate")  - present Jesus often in luxuriously embroidered robes and with the crown of thorns, but His hands are bound by a rope, as he is a prisoner of the Romans. This is a vulnerable Christ, this is Jesus that has just handed Himself over to the Roman authorities, knowing that he will be put to death. This statue represents the strength of God’s love, Jesus is bound, but his love is not. Jesus is a prisoner, but He is still king. Even in His captivity, Jesus is dignified, just as a martyr with firm faith is dignified in accepting the crown the martyrdom. The crucified Christ is the sacrifice of God’s love, the resurrection is the power of God’s love, but the first step is this – the strength of the Christ in Captivity to accept God's will.

In Lent, we prepare to find the strength to accept God’s will, and the will to share in the sacrifice and the power of God.

The charism of the Trinitarian Order calls for its members to set free the captives so that in liberation, the believer can share in God’s love.

"The Mantle of St. John de Matha. A Legend of the Red, White, and Blue" by John Greenleaf Whittier

"The Mantle of St. John de Matha. A Legend of the Red, White, and Blue" by John Greenleaf Whittier

Statue of St. John of Matha at the Charles Bridge in Prague

Statue of St. John of Matha at the Charles Bridge in Prague