Palm Sunday

Hermandad de Nuestro Padre Jesús en su entrada triunfal en Jerusalén y María Santísima de la Encarnación Madre de los desamparados "La Pollinica"

 The Brotherhood of our Lord Jesus in His Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem, with Holiest Mary of the Incarnation of God, Mother of the Helpless -- more popularly known as the Hemandad de la Pollinica, or Brotherhood of the Little Donkey – begins its procession on Palm Sunday from the church of San Pedro. The history of this cofradía, or church guild, reflects Priego’s long-standing popular tradition of celebrating Palm Sunday in the streets. It is known that in 1654, the town council asked the Church to continue the custom of providing palm leaves for the procession: later, the situation was reversed, with the town hall picking up the cost of the symbolic leaves.

 Since the eighteenth century, banners have been hung in the parish church of La Asunción on the Sunday before Holy Week, and on Palm Sunday. There are processional hymns, with the singing of  the last Psalm and the Magnificat, with the attendance of servants of the church, standard-bearers, vergers, musicians and clergy. This mass is known as The Reverence to the Holy Standard, and is a ceremony in the purest baroque style.

The modern history of this guild goes back to its official foundation in 1966.

 The image after which the guild is named consists of a group of figures carved in wood by an unknown artist.  It has been in Priego for many years and is popularly known as La Pollinica – the little donkey upon which Jesus rode into Jerusalem. The fascinating icon depicts Jesus on the back of the donkey, while a local woman looks on and two children stretch out their arms to Him. The figure was donated by Don José Luis Gámiz Valverde, Don Guillermo Ruiz Linares, and Don Francisco Linares Montero, on the initiative of Don Santiago Rodrigo Sola.

The second tableau in the procession is the image of Holiest Mary of the Incarnation of God, Mother of the Helpless. It was created recently, and first appeared in a procession in 1993 --  an emotional time for all the members of the guild, who had long wished for a new image of the Virgin to accompany the figure of Jesus on Palm Sunday. 

The work of many local artists was studied, before the guild’s governing committee decided to commission a master craftsman of Priego, Don Niceto Mateo Porras, to carve the icon. The work was funded by Francisco Yébenes Zamora and María Encarnación García Ávila, who gave an unhesitating response to the guild’s request for help, and generously paid for the carving, and its robes. The figure is carved from cypress wood with a oiled polychrome finish – and being a modern work, the artist has departed from the strictly traditional style usually seen in Priego. The figure is 165 cm. tall, and the eyes are carved and coloured green: and -- something particularly unusual in a candle-decked icon such as this -- the feet are also carved in detail. The image was blessed by the Bishop of Córdoba, the Right Reverend Don José Antonio Infantes Florido.

The cofradía of La Pollinica aims to attract children and young people, who become involved in Holy Week from a tender age, and learn the traditions of the organisation --  vitally important, as they are seen as the future of Priego’s cofradías. Thus the boys and girls of Priego de Córdoba take part in the blessing of the palm fronds, and in the Mass before the pasos – the richly decorated platforms bearing the holy icons --  are carried out of the church of San Pedro. Some seven hundred members of the fraternity accompany them, in traditional biblical dress of white tunics and head scarves, with brightly coloured sashes, and bearing palm fronds or olive branches. 

 The procession takes the following route:  Plaza de San Pedro, Dr. Pedrajas Ribera, Plaza de Andalucía, Plaza de la Constitución, Carrera de las Monjas, Palenque, Obispo Pérez Muñoz, Tucumán, Río, Ribera and back to its origin at Plaza de San Pedro.

  The icon of  La Pollinica itself has always made its way through the town on a wheeled paso, as most of the supporters are too young to carry it: it is guided by eight bearers, under the instructions of a procession director. Since 1994, however, the image of Our Lady is borne on a new paso, carried on the shoulders of the guild’s costaleros. The procession is accompanied by drums, and and typically includes over a hundred young children.

 

 


Hermandad de la Paz

 

 

 In 1988, the forming of a new cofradia was suggested, on the initiative of a number of local people, including Javier Rico Mérida, Mari Carmen Aguilera and José Luis Sánchez Expósito, as a focal point for families in the Caracoles neighbourhood of Priego. A new image  -- Our Lady of Peace -- was commissioned, and a new organisation arose, which held its annual fiesta in July.

Later, the icon of Our Father Jesus Praying in the Garden was completed, and blessed at Lent in 2004.

The hard work and effort in the early stages was rewarded by the formal constitution of the brotherhood on February 12th, 2004, when its statutes were approved by the diocesan Bishop, Don Juan José Asenjo Pelegrina.

On Palm Sunday of that year, the brotherhood became the newest of the Priego cofradias to hold a Holy Week procession, when it started out from the school of Nuestra Señora de las Angustias. 

The brotherhood has embarked on a number of important projects in its brief existence – most notably, executing the embroidery on the icon of the Virgin of Peace, and the formation of a drum and cornet band, which first escorted the image of Our Father Jesus Praying in the Garden in 2006.