Catholic devotees in the Philippines self-flagellate on Holy Thursday

Hundreds of male Catholic devotees in the Philippines marked Maundy Thursday, a Christian holy day, with a bloody ritual that involves self-flagellating to honour the suffering of Jesus Christ on the cross.

The devotees, their faces covered with red or black cloth, walked along busy streets while beating their bodies with chains and whips.

The men prayed and laid on the ground as they were hit on the back with wooden paddles.

The Filipino devotees believe the painful ritual will help them atone for sins and allow them to ask for favours from God.

The ritual is often discouraged by Catholic Church officials.