Stations of the Cross: prayers of a Peruvian stone carver

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Photos and story by Barbara J. Fraser
Catholic News Service

HUARAZ, Peru — How does an artist depict the tension, emotion and drama of the Passion when crafting images of the Stations of the Cross?

To fashion the statues ordered by Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Las Vegas, Peruvian stone carver Antonio Tafur began with prayer.

He put himself in the place of the people in each scene — the scowling Pilate, who knew he was condemning an innocent man; the heartsick Veronica easing Jesus’ pain; the irate soldier driving nails into the cross as if Jesus were a criminal. Then he chose the precise moment that he wanted to capture, “the way a photographer does.”

“I want people to understand what Jesus was like,” he said. “And I want them to understand that there is a group of young people (the Don Bosco artisans) living in community, in peace and tranquility. (By following Jesus) you’re going to live differently.”

Antonio Tafur works on the carving of the Resurrection April 6, 2017, in Jangas, Peru. The statue will be part of a life-size Way of the Cross shipped to Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Las Vegas. (CNS photo/Barbara J. Fraser)

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