Mount Pocono “Via Crucis”

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MOUNT POCONO -- Some members of the Latino church community in the Poconos observed Good Friday by dressing the part of Roman soldiers along with other important religious figures, including Jesus.

For 11 years, Christians in the Latino community of Mount Pocono have been dressing as Roman soldiers, the Blessed Mother Mary and Jesus on Good Friday to properly observe the "via crucis" or "the way of the cross."

"We dress like this because we want to share our faith with our community," said Gladys Guardia of Mount Pocono.

The way of the cross traces the final steps Jesus took before he was crucified.

This group from the Latino church community in Mount Pocono reenacts the story told in the Christian bible. They begin their hour-long journey off Route 940 in the borough and continue through the neighborhood.

The organizer of the way of the cross says dressing the part is just part of the experience.

"We do the clothing of the Roman times, the actual crucifixion of Jesus.  We don't' personally nail him, but we put him on a cross when he gets to the end," said Jose Mendoza.

Many church members say they're very pleased to see so many young people be part of the church and its events, like the way of the cross. We spoke with one church member, a young member, who says he is very proud to be part of this event.

"I believe in God and my faith is really big, so that's why I came out here. To participate is meaningful in a lifetime and it's pretty cool," said Bryan Angel of Mount Pocono.

Angel walked beside the man portraying Jesus the entire one-hour walk through Mount Pocono, helping to reenact the day Christians believe Jesus was crucified more than 2,000 years ago.

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