Alexis Ricardo Morales, a 27-year-old graduate of the Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco (UJAT), will have the opportunity and the enormous responsibility of carrying the cross, thus emulating the journey that Jesus of Nazareth took from Jerusalem more than 2,000 years ago. to Calvary, also called Golgotha, in the Via Crucis of Tamulté de las Barrancas, which returns in 2023, after not being able to take place due to the pandemic. In an interview with El Heraldo de Tabasco, he told how he has prepared himself to live his Passion of Christ.
The event that has been going on for more than 50 years, from 2020 to 2022, the Covid-19 prevented it from being held, which is attended by hundreds of people, making it the one with the greatest presence in the entity. The health crisis caused the singular colony to lack a Christ. This at least during Holy Week, in the representation of the Calvary of the Nazarene.
However, far from diminishing the interest of both the community and the people who year after year participate in this representation of the passion of Jesus Christ, it only increased the faith of the families close to the Catholic religion.
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Who is the young man who will represent Christ in the Via Crucris of Tamulté de las Barrancas?
Such is the case of Alexis Ricardo Morales Palma, who at the age of 27 will have the opportunity and the enormous responsibility of carrying the cross, thus emulating the journey that Jesus of Nazareth made more than 2,000 years ago from Jerusalem to Calvary. also called Golgotha.
Therefore, on this occasion the Christ is an Environmental Engineer, recently graduated from the UJAT; he is also an employee of a chain of movie theaters in Villahermosa. But he has also had ups and downs in economic matters, which is why he had to work as a shopkeeper in several stores, and was even a masonry chalán.
“Before I finished my studies, I worked on weekends in little shops, I was also a bricklayer, a little bit of everything; and as far as the church is concerned, I belong to the Mexican nocturnal adoration, I am the head of my shift and I belong to the Vía Crucis group”, he points out in reference to the requirement established by the Parroquia de Gran Poder de Tamulté to which he belongs, that for participate must be in a church group. A few months after graduating from the highest house of studies, he comments that he is in the process of graduating.
“It has been a difficult job because the change from being in face-to-face classes to online classes, a bit complicated, but by the grace of God, I managed to finish my studies,” he says.
What relatives of the young man have participated in the Via Crucis of Tamulté de las Barrancas?
Alexis Ricardo still lives with his parents, in the company of his two brothers: “We are three brothers, I am the oldest.” He is also grateful for the example that his parents have given him, who instilled in him the Catholic religion and also belong to the Via Crucis Group, where they have represented both Jesus Christ and his mother, the Virgin Mary.
“I have the blessing that my whole family participates, from my parents to my brothers; My father at the time was a Nazarene, my mother was María a few yesterdays ago, ”he says.
And it is that his father, José de Jesús Morales Alonso, was Jesus from 2012 to 2014, while his mother, Sebastiana Palma Peralta, was María from 2010 to 2013.
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How long have you been participating?
As far as he is concerned, he comments that he has been participating in the Stations of the Cross for 14 years, in which he has also been persevering in the church; “Since I was 8 years old, my mom took me to mass.”
With address on Méndez street, between Comonfort and Marcelino García Barragán, he hopes that being this Holy Week representing Christ means a change in his life.
“I hope I have a positive change in my life, playing any role is important, but the Nazarene fills you with blessings, it is a new opportunity to make changes in your life, get closer in faith, because doing the Nazarene requires more spirituality, because it brings you closer, if you had put it aside a bit, you fill your spirit with grace again ”, he argues.
Morales Palma, in his beginnings in the group of actors, participated as a people and as a soldier: “I acted as a servant of the priests, as the apostle Saint John, the Cyrenean, who helps carry the cross, I was also a soldier on horseback, and also I was the thief Dimas”.
In what year did you first represent the Nazarene?
It was in 2018 when he had the opportunity to represent the Nazarene for the first time, and in the last Stations of the Cross, in 2019, he was the Dimas Thief.
However, playing the role of Jesus is not easy as it requires special preparation. “You require physical, spiritual and mental preparation, the physical because you have to be in very good condition because you can see that it is going to be very hot, this part is very complicated, you have to train your legs and lower back a lot, get used to the sun , to long walks, getting used to heavy weights, because the cross weighs 110 kilos, but the most important thing is spiritual, staying in communion, God’s grace, Sunday mass, staying in faith, constantly reading the Bible and doing your daily rosary”, says the young actor.
How has your physical preparation been?
For this reason, he trains by running every day, giving 3 laps to the Deportiva de Atasta, since on Friday the route of the Via Crucis is 1.2 kilometers.
“We started at the School of Medicine, and we went through Gregorio Méndez, we went down to Miguel Hidalgo, we went out to Comonfort, Revolución and it ended in the third fall in front of the church, and there by the traffic lights the crucifixion is done,” he commented.
After two weeks of rehearsals, and two years of letting his hair grow, he says he is ready to remember the path Jesus made to Mount Calvary, where he was crucified in the time of Pontius Pilate.
“After all the rehearsals and walks, and with the training that I have carried out, I am more than prepared to carry out this Stations of the Cross; The role in general is not easy at all, but if it is done with love, with the adequate preparation, one must be prepared for what is to come”, he talks.
For the people who have witnessed this representation in Tamulté, the route is full of very transcendental moments, which is why it is considered the most popular and most frequented in the state. The young man who will play the role of Jesus on this occasion, mentioned that the most emotional moment among the paintings is the first fall; “It is where the Nazarene has contact with his mother, and finally the crucifixion, where everyone is focused on this character.”
Stations of the Cross return to the streets in Tabasco
As in the Tamulté neighborhood, the Stations of the Cross will return to the streets this year, after a 3-year suspension due to Covid.
At this time, in many parishes and communities, the religious celebration was held behind closed doors, although not publicly or to the same extent.
According to Lázaro Díaz Torres, in charge of coordinating the Via Crucis of Tamulté, this return has been a bit complicated.
“In 2020 it was suspended, as in 2021 and 2022, we have been without Via Crucis for 3 years, and on this occasion the role of 2020 was respected for the participants, they remained the same, nothing is being supplied to those who left because of this disease,” he said.
How many people will participate in the Via Crucis of Tamulté de las Barrancas?
He indicated that on this occasion 120 people participate, most of them young people; “The father wants there to be a rule here to enter the Stations of the Cross, the person has to be in a church group to be able to register him,” he said.
For his part, Víctor Manuel Gómez Arias, who has been participating in the organization for 20 years, expressed his hopes that the three years of inactivity are not an impediment for everything to go well.
He points out that actors, believers, church servants and citizens in general participate in this representation.
“At first I felt very sad because it could not be organized in the last three years, in addition to the fact that many of the participants died, or there are still people who are older and are taking care of themselves, because this has not happened yet, but let’s hope it turns out well. ”, he expressed.
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It should be noted that according to the Tamulté Parish, more than 5,000 visitors are expected in this representation that will take place this Friday, April 7, 2023. It was in 1970 when the passion and death of Christ was commemorated for the first time by streets of the Tamulté neighborhood, and in that period there have been many changes, from the clothing, the itinerary, the settings, the sound, the materials used in the props, and of course the number of actors who are less and less prepared each time to embody the characters.
For this reason, it has been consolidated as the most well-known and popular representation of the passion and death of Jesus in the entire state of Tabasco.
Young man will live his Passion of Christ in Tamulté de las Barrancas (Photos)