James Michener, who calls Holy Week in Seville "the world's most profound religious spectacle," describes an incident he observed:
"For a long, long moment, we stood facing each other, and the mark of pain was so visible in his face that I had to acknowledge that here was a man who had truly assumed the burden of Jesus Christ in the moments of his passion. This was neither the play acting of the men who carried the iron-ringed staves, beating them about as if they were marshals, nor the parade heroics of the armed soldiers looking as if they were about to enter battle, nor the posturings of the politicians as they exhibited their public spirituality. This was the face of an ordinary man who had assumed a burden that was almost more than he could bear; he was undergoing a religious experience that I had not ever come close to, and when I gave him a drink from my bottle he thanked me with an expression of ecstatic gratitude. I have never forgotten his face; he was not of the procession, he WAS the procession, standing at its very heart, and he was accepting as much of the passion of Jesus as any man could comprehend."