04/17/2014 11:14 am ET Updated Apr 17, 2014

Maundy Thursday Observed In Philippines With Ritual Whippings As Penance (Graphic PHOTOS)


Many Catholics in the Philippines performed a particularly intense form of penitence on Maundy Thursday as part of annual Holy Week observances that involve self-flagellation.

Though Catholic bishops have officially discouraged the practice, devotees perform this penance as a form of supplication and worship, many believing that it will cleanse sins, heal illnesses, and even grant wishes, according to Reuters.

Photos here- warning, they are graphic: