Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Caravaca Cross


This cross with two arms is unusual.  I did a little searching and learned its interesting history.  Caravaca de la Cruz is a town in southeastern Spain.  It is the fifth holy city of Catholic Christianity, having been granted the privilege to celebrate the jubilee every seven years.
The town is dominated by the castle of Santa Cruz and contains several convents and a church with a miraculous cross celebrated for its healing power, in honor of which a yearly festival is held on May 3.  The cross, itself, is a double-cross-barred crucifix on which Jesus is hung.  Two winged angels are kneeling on either side of the cross.  The cross first appeared in Caravaca de la Cruz in the 14th century.  People believe it contains  Jesus' True Cross. 
Since the town has such ancient religious history, legends abound.  The Knights Templar are credited by some for bringing the cross to the church.  Others say two angels brought the cross to the church.  The area is well known to archaeologists as one of the oldest settlements in Spain.

The cross was brought to Mexico, by the early colonists, maybe even Padre Junipero Serra, himself.  However it came to America, it still plays an important part in Mexican religious folklore.
But since some Mexican and African Catholic religion has been corrupted by Santeria, voodoo, etc., one has to be careful that the devotion to the caravaca cross is reverential honor and not just wish-fulfilling superstition.









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