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Apung Mamacalulu, which translates to “Merciful Lord”, is a statue that depicts the burial of Jesus Christ enshrined at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Christ our Lord of the Holy Sepulchre in the town of Lourdes Sur in Angeles City, Pampanga. Because of the statue’s depiction, it is also referred to as Santo Entierro or “Holy Burial”. Hundreds of devotees of the statue gather in the shrine every Friday to hear the special Holy Mass celebrated there.
The devotees of Apung Mamacalulu has long revered the statue as a symbol of hope, especially for people who long for a connection to the Divine during very difficult times. He is believed to bestow mercy even after death and the devotion celebrates the Lord’s final act of sacrifice for love of mankind.
Images and statues of the Apung Mamacalulu can be found in many parts of the world and mostly showing the Lord’s bruises and wounds that led to his death but which brought about salvation to the world.
While special Holy Mass is celebrated in the shrine every Friday, the congregation and devotees especially gather on Good Friday to mourn the death of Christ. The Philippines, being a predominantly Catholic nation, holds this day holy.
The mourning is done after the Veneration of the Cross. A procession is then held after, where it culminates back to the church where the statue is brought the altar where veiled women cry in mourning and gather in prayer, usually spoken in the local Kapampangan language.