Passion Play makes history

It began as a living prayer for soldiers serving in World War I and continues to this day.

On April 1, the St. John Passion Play will launch its 100th consecutive season, bringing to life the greatest story ever told. For more than half a century, Franciscans at St. John and nearby St. Francis Seraph parishes in Over-the-Rhine produced, directed and promoted a play that has become a regional tradition.

For the past 46 years it has been an ecumenical enterprise, staged at local venues by lay people so deeply invested in the project they consider it a calling. The script, written by a Passionist priest who served in Cincinnati from 1901-1904, has evolved with the times. But the message of love personified in Christ has never been more relevant than it is today.

In honor of this remarkable milestone, we have profiled 30 dedicated friars who pioneered the production of a play that has meant so much to so many people for so long on our Flickr page.

St. John Passion Play website.

How it all began