Cover of the Weekly Nation
Botong Francisco’s Stations of the Cross
From the collection of DANNY DOLOR (The Philippine Star) - March 29, 2020 - 12:00am

In a small church inside the Don Bosco school in Mandaluyong City hang the 14 Stations of the Cross by Carlos ‘Botong’ V. Francisco.

Writing in the April 12, 1971 issue of the Weekly Nation, Celso A. Carunungan recalled how it came about.

‘In 1957, with the help of Jerry and Virginia Navarro, two of the country’s leading artists, Father Pierangelo Quaranta, S.D.B., met Botong Francisco in Botong’s Angono home. Father Quaranta told Botong about the role of Don Bosco schools in the bringing up of the poor children in that area of Mandaluyong, and this touched the artist. In an inspired and feverish pitch, he painted the 14 Stations and a gigantic crucifix scene in barely five months.

‘Support for the painting came from Encarnacion de Leon, daughter of the late Dona Narcisa de Leon, producer of LVN Pictures. Encarnacion had been very active in many Don Bisco projects, and her donation made it possible for the Don Bosco Church to acquire the marvelous Stations of the Cross.’

Carunungan traced how the devotion to the 14 Stations of the Cross when the Lenten season started. ‘During Lent, it has become customary among most Filipino Catholics to visit the churches every day and make devotion to the Stations of the Cross. They stand or kneel before the Stations, which signify the sites where the tragic but glorious drama of the Passion was enacted and pause to meditate fervently on the sufferings that Christ endured to redeem mankind from sin,” concluded Carunungan.    — RKC



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