CHICAGO (WLS) -- Hundreds of people took a religious trek through the city's Pilsen neighborhood on Good Friday, in an annual procession to re-enact the Stations of the Cross and reflect on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
"Doing this reminds us who we are as followers of Christ," said Rev. Adan Sandoval of St. Procopius Church.
The Pilsen Via Crucis, or the Way of the Cross, is an emotional journey with live scenes representing the Passion of Christ.
It begins with the Last Supper and continues through the streets. Each graphic scene is painted with purpose.
"The message is, 'Do not lose the faith, because God is with us,'" said Miguel Reyes, who played Jesus in this year's Via Crucis.
Organizers say the procession is the longest running Via Crucis in the Midwest. It's a strong reminder of faith during Holy Week.
"To understand what Jesus went through for us, because he loves us," Sandoval said.
Many Chicagoans have now turned Via Crucis into a family tradition.
"I love Christ. To take part in this significance on the day he laid his life down for all of us is very important," said Angela Robinson-Lemond, a participant.
Via Crucis is part of several Holy Week activities planned for churches in Pilsen ahead of their Easter Mass on Sunday.
The Jewish holiday of Passover also begins Friday night, which marks the Israelites liberation from Egyptian slavery.
Pilsen Via Crucis: Hundreds re-enact Way of the Cross on Good Friday