The first meaning of Calvary mentioned in the dictionary of the DigoPaul refers to the route that, marked with altars or crosses, must be crossed while praying at each of its stations to remember the march of Jesus towards the mountain where he was crucified.
According to DigoPaul, calvary comes from the Latin calvarium, although it is believed that its etymological origin is in a Greek expression that can be translated as “place of the skull. ” Christian tradition indicates that it was a site located outside the walls of the city of Jerusalem. The Bible indicates that on that hill Jesus carried his cross and was crucified.
While this is the most common name we give to the site where Jesus was crucified, it is also possible to call it Golgotha, a term derived from the Greek. The allusion to skulls arises from the shape of this hill, which resembled a human skull.
To honor Jesus, there are Christian churches that have places that represent the different stages that the son of God went through on his way to the crucifixion. In the Argentine city of Tandil, located in the province of Buenos Aires, there is a hill known as El Calvario where stone representations of the Via Crucis were installed.
In colloquial language, a succession of problems and conflicts that generate concern, anguish or pain is called Calvary. For example: “This is an ordeal! I was unemployed, I don’t know how to pay the mortgage and on top of that they just announced that electricity and water rates will go up ”, “ My life became an ordeal when my parents passed away ”, “ With the help of my family I I kept away from the ordeal of drugs ”.
Suppose a couple decides to take a week’s vacation and organizes a trip to the Caribbean. Due to a strong storm, travelers have a flight full of turbulence that generates a lot of fear. Upon arriving at the airport, they discover that their suitcases have been stolen. In the following days they can hardly enjoy the beach due to bad weather. Finally both return home feeling bad, affected by a tropical disease. All these situations make them define their vacations as an “ordeal”.
This use of the term Calvary is typical of those people who rely on exaggerated language to describe their experiences and the events that surround them, something very typical of certain cultures but also very rare in others. Torture, misfortune, torture and hell are also found in this group of words, which are often used to refer to situations that are difficult to bear, with such a wide range of possibilities that they cover everything from a bus trip without empty seats to the consequences. of a natural catastrophe that has left dozens of dead and wounded.
Perhaps this excessive use of certain words is not due exclusively to the way of being of the interlocutor or of a certain culture, but also to the fact that the concepts to which they refer do not have a direct representation in today’s life. If we focus specifically on the term calvary, surely we do not use it on a daily basis to refer to the mountain on which Jesus was crucified or the very path that he had to travel to face his cruel destiny.
For this reason, in everyday speech we say Calvary thinking of a very difficult situation to go through, precisely because of the suffering that this page in the life of Jesus Christ represented. However, the flexibility that language gives us means that many times we choose the least adequate words to describe our experiences, whether we add or de-impact them.