April 5, 2007—Years ago, as Rolando Ocampo's wife and baby daughter hovered near death on the delivery table, the Philippine carpenter began to pray.
"I told the Lord that if my wife would have a safe delivery, I would have myself crucified on Good Friday," Ocampo says.
Ocampo's wife and daughter recovered, and he carried out his promise, an event that has become an Easter Week ritual for his family.
Every year he dons his barbed-wire crown of "thorns" and joins other Christians in a series of ritual crucifixions, during which he is tied to a cross and his hands are impaled with nails.
How does he endure the annual agony?
"From the time I undress and I lie on the cross," Ocampo says, "it's like Christ takes over my body."