MONUMENT OF 300 YEARS OF ŠKOFJA LOKA PASSION PLAY
Monday 24th of May 2021 was a special day for Škofja Loka Passion Play and all its people. A monument commemorating 300 years of Škofja Loka Passion Play was revealed and blessed at the old city square.
Borut Gartner, director of ŠLPP in 2009 and 2022, capuccin br. Metod Benedik, Tine Radinja, major of Škofja Loka, br. Jožko Smukavec, actual guardian of Škofja Loka capuccin monks, Jure Miklavc, designer of monument and Marjan Kokalj, DJ, director of ŠLPP in 1999 and 2000 ------- Andreja Megušar and Aleksander Igličar, members of Europassion Board
Documents represent that Škofja Loka Passion Play Procession was first performed on Easter Friday afternoon in 1713 just few years after capuccin monks come to one of the oldest Slovenian city. Author of original words and leader oF Passion Play Procession – Magister Processionis - was brother Romuald, a capuccin monk in Škofja Loka between 1715 and 1727. We are so proud that his original codex of Passion Play which is dated on 21th of April 1721 is the oldest Slovenian dramatic text and the oldest director's book in Europe.
Nowadays Škofja Loka Passion Play is performed every six years – it was performed in 1999, 2000, 2009 and 2015. COVID19 postponed 2021 performance to year 2022. Škofja Loka Passion Play is performed with original words and as a procession through streets and squares of Škofja Loka old city centre. The performance is based on folk spiritual theatre and all actors and other people involved (around 100 on horses) are volunteers coming from Škofja Loka and its surrounding villages. All together more than one thousand people are involved. On seven performances around 25.000 thousand people admired Škofja Loka Passion Play each year.
In 2008 Škofja Loka Passion Play was inscribed within Slovenian intangible culture heritage register as first element and on 1st of December 2016 on UNESCO representative list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity as first Slovenian element and first Jesus Passion Play in general.
In 2007 Škofja Loka Municipality joined EUROPASSION organization and this year it should host a yearly meeting which was cancelled due to COVID-19. So wooden Statue of Europassion which each year is hosted by organizing city more than symbolize all connections between Škofja Loka passioners and all European passioners.
The same faith, the same idea !
THE EUROPASSION SCULPTURE ARRIVE TO ŠKOFJA LOKA, SLOVENIA
From 9th to 11th of April 2021 Škofja Loka (Slovenia) should host 37. Europassion yearly Congress. But due to COVID19 the preformance of Škofja Loka Passion Play was cancelled and also Europassion Congress.
Board of Europassion decided that wooden Sculpture of Europassion which is every yeary in host city should be sent to Škofja Loka.
On Wednesday 31th of March Andreja Ravnihar Megušar and Aleksander Igličar, members of the Europassion board, officialy gave the Sculpture od Europassion to Tine Radinja, Major of Škofja Loka, and br. Jožko Smukavec, guardian of Škofja Loka capuccin monastery.
The Sculpture of Europassion will be in Škofja Loka until summer when it will be transferred to Catalan passion city Esparreguera which will host 38. Europassion Congress in March 2022.
Thoughts on the representation of the resurrection in the Passion Plays
All Passion Plays I have seen so far, end with an Easter scene. Usually the risen Christ appears on stage in a white robe and shows himself to the audience. Despite all Easter joy, my feeling about such scenes is often unpleasant. It seems to naturalistic and banal to me! In fact, the process of resurrection is beyond all our imagination. Basically, it cannot be performed and shown. With good reason, the tradition of our faith is very cautious and speaks of the "transfigured” body of the Risen Lord. It remains mysterious when the resurrection reports speak about the possibility that the Risen Lord can both eat and pass through closed doors. Obviously, his body is earthly and supernatural at the same time. This raises questions. In any case, with our everyday perceptions, we don’t get to the point of the Easter event.
In the new staging of the Passion Play of St. Margarethen, which will have its premiere in July, we do without the appearance of the Risen Christ. The apostles, Mary, Mary Magdalene and the Emmaus disciples come together as a "young church” and tell each other about their experience with the Risen Lord. From the different reports, the conviction then arises in all of them that Jesus is the "Lord” (= God). Together, they formulate this confession. The basis of the Easter faith are the reports of experiences. A quick glance at the Gospels shows that these are very different and individual experiences. There is a good reason for, and it must be so.
Together with the great theologian Eugen Biser, I believe that Jesus was resurrected into his disciples. The Risen One lives in the hearts of his disciples. Their accounts of experience are the inner images of this indescribable process. They only gradually become communicable convictions. It nearly takes two generations to find out a more or less valid language for the experiences of the young Church. The original word for the reality of the resurrection in the Greek New Testament is "ophtä” and means: "I have seen”. This is the elementary basic testimony: I have seen the Lord! What quality this seeing had among the witnesses of resurrection, remains unclear! An outside or an inside perception?
Our generation, in any case, is referred to inner looking. That is not a deficiency. For this, you need the eyes of the heart. They see the essentials that remain invisible to the eyes of the head. "One sees well only with the heart”, says the "little prince” in the fairytale of Antoine de Saint-Exupery. How about gradually shaping our concepts of Passion Plays so that our performances promote inner seeing and not just trivial outer seeing. Our Passion Play culture needs a quantum jump into mysticism!
With this in mind, I wish you a happy Easter filled with inner images!
Dr. Richard Geier, Parish Priest and Passion Play leader in St. Margarethen
SURREXIT CHRISTUS SPES MEA
One verse of the solemn Easter Sequence says: "Christ my hope is risen”. May our heart sing like this when contemplating Jesus Christ, the victor over the slavery of sin, death and all human weakness.
For more than a year now, our beloved Europe, together with the whole world, has been experiencing the daily burden of the pandemic with its traces of disease and death, as if we were living a "Passion” that goes on and that marks the history of all our countries.
Even if it is only as a representation, we have a clear understanding of the journey of Passion and death. We are able to understand, how our people feel in this time, spiritually and in their deepest being, united with the suffering and the weight of the cross of Jesus.
At the same time, however, we as Christians, if we allow ourselves to be guided by the Word of God, we participate in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our life has no meaning if it is not oriented towards resurrection, if we do not allow ourselves to be enlightened by the resurrection.
Here then is the song of the heart: Christ, our hope, is risen! May the darkness of the Passion give way to the dazzling light that comes out from the empty tomb.
The invitation and the wish to all those who perform the Passion in various ways, is to be people of hope, in concrete, personal situations, as well as at community level, in all the country. To be authentic and credible witnesses of Jesus Christ whom we represent and celebrate in the Passion Play. To be animators of Christian hope, because faith is the bases for the certainty, that after suffering, we will live the liberating experience of the Resurrection.
Therefore, let us share in our life the gift of Christian hope, let us be witnesses of the Risen Lord in our communities and associations, so that people in Europe and throughout the world may soon return to living, believing and loving.
Canon Don Fulvio Dettoma
Easter greeting from the Secretary General of Europassion
Dear performer of Passion Plays,
We are living in troubled times. Corona did change our lives. We have to give up many things we take for granted. For the second year now, Passion Plays cannot take place. The Passion Play and the General Assembly of EUROPASSION in Škofja Loka had to be cancelled.
This year again, we will be living Easter in lockdown. The consequences of Corona still can’t be estimated. Many people are feeling hopelessness.
We are in a similar situation as Jesus’ disciples 2000 years ago. In their hopelessness after the death of Jesus on the cross, the Easter message suddenly burst in, brought by Mary Magdalene.
Easter does not end the pandemic, but Easter gives us hope. Easter means, and Easter gives life in abundance. The love of God sustains us, carries us.
Jesus is a friend of life and he calls us his friends. Let us share life as friends of God, let us be messengers of his joy.
In this spirit, I wish you a happy Easter!
PRESENTATION OF THE SEASON OF CATALAN PASSIONS - FIRAPASSIÓ 2021
On March 6, 2021, at the Esparreguera Passion Theater, the presentation of the Catalan Passions season took place.
The event included the projection of videos where representatives of each of the seventeen federated passions exposed the project for the 2021 season. Some of them have chosen to skip a season and prepare for 2022, such as the famous passion of Cervera; others have decided new ways, such as exhibitions, streaming broadcasts or symbolic events. In some cases, they decided an step forward and offer reduced passion plays and adapted to all security measures, as we can see in Olesa de Montserrat and in Esparreguera.
Enric Galceran, president of the passion play group, La Passió d'Esparreguera, announced the aim of the entity to host the Europassion assembly in March 2022, a meeting of European Passion play groups that will set Esparreguera at the center of these cultural and traditional manifestations of the continent. Galceran pointed out that "this year Esparreguera has undergone a technological renovation, including projectors to generate new visual effects in the show." The entity has also announced that the six performances of the 2021 season will be dedicated to conductor Josep Borràs, composer of the show's music, who died in April 2020 at the age of ninety.
The president of the Catalan Passions Federation, Jordi Carapuig, mentioned that, since its creation in 2016, the federation has not stopped growing and that "in 2020, in the middle of a pandemic, the entity reached the maximum number of associates until the seventeen members nowadays. Carapuig appreciated the huge effort of the Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalan Government) and the Department of Popular Culture to financially help the passions in this difficult time, especially those who own theater and have not been able to have the expected income. "The 2021 season is lost, but for some it is an opportunity to reinvent themselves. There is a push for technology at all levels, not only on stage but also on the way in which our shows should reach the audience.”, assures the president. The highest representative of Catalan passion plays invited all authorities and passion plays to meet again in 2022 in Esparreguera at the Europassion meeting, in which all groups in Catalonia should mostly also attend, with a new and stronger FiraPassió. «2022 will be the year of return. We have suffered wars, the Spanish flu, and we are still here. There is no one who will knock us down” Carapuig stressed.
The morning event ended with the performance of one of the most iconic scenes of Esparreguera Passion Play, the suicide of Judas, where we could enjoy a trial of what will be the impressive next generation projections in the cyclorama.
During the afternoon event we saw video projections of all Catalan passions (https://youtu.be/skukH6JO_7g) and of a good part of the European ones (https://youtu.be/90tfhkvUcB4), as well as the institutional message from the General Secretary of Europassion, Josef Lang, where he highlighted the enormous role of Esparreguera in making possible the relationship between the passions of Europe, and invited all members to the appointment for 2022. We could see, like in the morning event with the suicide of Judas, another Passion scene, the farewell of Jesus and Mary, the Virgin, one of the most emotional moments of the representation of Esparreguera.
The meeting of the Catalan Federation of Passions also featured the presentation of a photographic exhibition in the hall of the theatre, where images of the seventeen federated passions could be seen.
Part of Gerard Bidegain's article in Setsetset magazine,
25 Years Passion Play in Csiksomlyo (Miercurea Ciuc - Romania)
In 2021, the Passion Play of Csík will celebrate its 25th birthday. In this jubilee year, we would like to thank God and express our gratitude to you for all the spiritual and material support we have received:
• Thank you for your trust, encouragement and friendship.
• Thank you for the experience of the 1997 tour, when we were guests of the
Passion Play communities of St. Margaretten, Sommersdorf, Auersmacher,
• Thank you for the possibility to participate on the Krakow Festival in 2000.
• Thank you to our Hungarian brothers and sisters for the possibility to perform in
• Thank you for the friendly welcome we have experienced at conferences.
• Thanks to all those who visited us in Csíksomlyo.
• Thank you for knowing and being friends with those, who have passed away from
We have a lot of joy and gratitude in our hearts. We keep many good memories and feed on them now, even after 25 years. We would like to let you know that the tradition and the community lives in the most eastern place in Europe, in Csíksomlyo.
Those actors who were playing 25 years ago, became mothers and fathers, who brought their family members into the group. A young generation inherited their knowledge and tradition, they became the messengers of hope. Despite all the difficulties, we are confident that the European Passion Play Meeting in 2024 can be organised by Csíksomlyo and we can host our Friends.
With great love and respect Adel Svella
director-choreographer of the Passion Play from Csíksomlyo
Leader of the group 1996-2001
Sordevolo: Carlo Perazzo deceased
Carlo Pedrazzo left us after having fought until the last against incurable evil, which had struck him for over one year. Wise man, with a good soul and a great heart, friend of all, tireless worker and always present. He has always been a member of our Association and has participated in the representations of Christ’s Passion from a very young age, interpreting various roles, both as an actor and as figurant.
His talents were a combination of entrepreneurial experience, intelligence, prudence, wisdom and foresight.
His greatest contribution has always been to the Board of Directors, of which he was a member for many years, finally becoming President of the Association since the 2000 edition of the Passion and until 2015
Now he has reached his beloved Nella, his wife,who he loved so much and left him too soon.
Ciao Carlo, leave a void we’ll never be able to fill. There’s no words to thank you for everything you’ve done for us and for everyone who’s been lucky to meet you.
Protect from up there your beloved "Passion of Sordevolo”!
Josef Lang visited Škofja Loka, Slovenia
From Wednesday 16th of September until Saturday 19th of September Josef LANG Secretary General of Europassion visited Slovenian Passion city Škofja Loka.
Programme of his visit was quite intensive. On the first evening Josef Lang and his wife Heidi were guests of Škofja Loka cappucins monks’s monastery.
At cappucins monks’s monastery in Škofja Loka (from left): br. Jožko Smukavec, guardian, Heidi and Josef Lang, Andreja Megušar, br. Jaro Kneževic and Borut Gartner, director of Škofja Loka Passion play 2021
The next day they held a visit to Anton Luznar, major of Železniki which was followed by lunch with Tine Radinja, major of Škofja Loka.
Meeting with major of Škofja Loka: (from left): Andreja Megusat, Heidi Lang, major Tine Radinja, Jakob Vrhovec, chief of organization of Škofja Loka Passion Play 2021, Josef Lang, Miha Ješe, head of organization of Europassion congress 2021 and Aleksander Iglicar.
In March and April 2021 Škofja Loka Passion play is about to be performed and this performance will be a special one as it will celebrate 300 years since the text was written by capuccin monk br. Romuald. This performance will also be the first one after Škofa Loka Passion play was inscribed on UNESCO representative list in intangible cultural heritage of humanity in December 2016. Alongside Passion Play Škofja Loka is planning to host yearly congress of Europassios so during lunch Mr. Lang and Mr. Radinja discussed open organizational items regarding COVID19 circumstances.
The next day Josef Lang together with Europassion Board members Andreja Megušar and Aleksander Iglicar visited Slovenian Ministry of Culture and attended a meeting with Ignacija Fridl Jarc, general secretary, and Jelka Pirkovic, head of heritage department.
Meeting at Slovenian Ministry of Culture (from left): Aleksander Iglicar, Jelka Pirkovic and Ignacija Fridle Jarc, Ministry of Culture, Josef and Heidi Lang, Andreja Megušar.
Josef Lang’s visit was organized by Andreja Megušar, member of Europassion Board, within EU project Europe for citizens.
co-opted member of Europassion Board
Passion Ciconicco 2020
FRIENDSHIP AND SOLIDARITY ARE THE STRENGTH OF EUROPASSION
In this difficult moment for all people in Europe, the Italian Passion Groups would like to express their closeness, solidarity and friendship to all European citizens, in particular to all members of Europassion.
Anyway we are sure about one thing: united we will be able to build our future again, even with our Passion Plays which can’t take place this year. We will put into practice the Christian message: love one another!
A huge hug,
with esteem and friendship.
President of Europassione per l’Italia
EUROPASSION in TULLINS (F) May 9-12, 2019
33 passion groups from 13 European countries participated in this year's Europassion meeting in Tullins. 170 participants enjoyed the weekend; A photo report of the meeting can be found at
From 16 to 17th, February, 2019. We will leave the theatre and take La Passió to the street. We invite you to come and, if you want, perform a scene of your passion play in the streets of Esparreguera
Europassion in Budaörs (Hungary) from 31. 5. to 3. 6. 2018
40 passion groups from 13 European countries participated in this year's Europassion meeting in Budaörs.
297 participants enjoyed the weekend; A photo report of the meeting can be found at
Catalan Federation of Passions - Presentation of the 2018 Season
Europassion 2017 in Kecskemét (Hungary) 08.06. - 11.06.2017
The 33rd International Congress of Europassion has as focus the memory of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Further visits are planned in the Great Hungarian Plain and in the city of Kecskemét. Kecskemet is home to 110,000 people, the eighth largest city in Hungary and is situated 80 km south of Budapest.
The theater Katona József Kecskemét has set itself the task to present the Passion of Jesus Christ on an outdoor stage. The extraordinary thing about the performance in Kecskemét is that the Passion from the aspect of the Hungarian Pauline is shown.
Meeting of European Passion play locations in St. Margarethen (AT)
From 15 - 17 July 2016, more than 100 Passion players gathered from Passion 25 Passion venues in St. Margarethen. Participants came from Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria.
Highlights of the friendly encounter was the joint visit of the passion play and a reception for all participants and guests of the meeting.
Six passion groups have created the Catalan Federation of Passion Plays after a ten-year gestation
They are the passion groups of Cervera, Esparreguera, Molins de Rei, Olesa de Montserrat, Ulldecona and Vilalba dels Arcs. The Federation is born to promote these traditional Holy Week plays and to spread the theater culture and its social aspect all over our country. One of the next steps of the organization is to carry out joint actions and to encourage new members to join.
Vilalba dels Arcs, February 27th,2016 – Today at noon, the village of Vilalba dels Arcs, in Terra Alta, has hosted the presentation of the Catalan Federation of Passion Plays. This association brings together six of the most important passion groups of Catalonia. Its main target is to promote these traditional passion plays of our country and also the theatre culture during the Holy Week. The presidents of the six federated passion plays have attended the event as well as other theatre group members and local and provincial politicians.
The Catalan Federation is formed at present by the passion groups of Cervera, Esparreguera, Molins de Rei, Olesa de Montserrat, Ulldecona and Vilalba dels Arcs. However, other passion groups have already requested to join it, according to Josep Cuscó, president of La Passió d’Esparreguera and of the new Federation. The doors are open for them and they will be invited to the next general assembly where they will be informed about how to become a member.
Nowadays in Catalonia, there are more than 30 passion plays of several formats and lengths, some of them tracing back to the fifteenth century. In these plays, innovation and tradition merge into original and surprising performances in big theatre buildings, small spaces or even outdoors, taking advantage of natural stages.
Cuscó has explained that the main target of the federation is to create synergy between the members and taking advantage of this human potential in order to promote themselves together. Some planned actions are the creation of an advertising spot, technical collaboration and experiences exchange. Passion plays are not only theatre or religion performances but also a social movement which brings together children, youth and adults, and therefore different ways of thinking and ideas. All of them work together towards the same goal. Isidre Sampe, president of La Passió de Vilalba dels Arcs, has pointed out the importance of the values and of all the people that enable these plays.
Ferran Bladé, culture manager of the regional services in Ebro lands, congratulated the drivers of this initiative and emphasized that passion plays are a clear example of the great cultural wealth of our country. He thanked them for their work, their effort and their will of collaboration.
Finally, Marc Sampé, head of communication of La Passió de Vilalba dels Arcs, has announced that a website for this Catalan Federation is being created. The organization will also be present on Facebook and Twitter in order to inform about the actions organized by each passion group as well as the joint events.
The direction board of the "Federació Catalana de Passions”
The direction board positions and the president will change every two years among the members of the federated passion groups. At present, it is formed as follows:
- President: Josep Cuscó, president of La Passió d'Esparreguera.
- Vice president: Jordi Carapuig, president of La Passió d'Ulldecona.
- Secretary: Sam Carrique, president of La Passió d'Olesa de Montserrat.
- Treasurer: Xavier Cañabate, president of La Passió de Cervera.
- Member: Marc Sampé, head of communication of La Passió de Vilalba dels Arcs.
- Member: Miquel Olivé, member of La Passió de Molins de Rei.
The origins of the federation: a decade of gestation
On June 4th 2005, the first meeting of Catalan Countries Passion took place in Esparreguera, due to the nomination of Esparreguera to be Capital of Catalan Culture 2005. Twelve passion groups put together Passió de Passions, a joint play in which all the groups performed a scene of their passion play.
After this event, the idea of creating a federation of Passions emerged. Although it was not until April 28th 2008 that a meeting was held in Reus in order to prepare the foundation of the federation. The volunteer character and some financial troubles of our passion plays in the last years have elongated the process of creating the Catalan Federation of Passion Plays. However, the process finally ended in Olesa de Montserrat on November 21st, 2015.
For more information, please contact:
Federació Catalana de Passions