|Cruz de Mayo in Jaén|
You will see these all over Spain during May. They're called Cruces de Mayo, or May Crosses.They have a very long tradition in the Roman Catholic Church and come straight down from Byzantium. In fact, it is said that they are a celebration of the time when Saint Helena, mother of Roman Emperor Constantine I, who supposedly found a piece of the original Cross. However, it is also accepted, more realistically, that the May celebrations originated as pagan festivities that the Church so cleverly adapted its Christian benefit, not unlike the May pole in Britain. Okay, but why a cross? Aside from the symbolism of the Cross to early Christians (who, incidentally, almost adopted a fish as its symbol instead), there is also a legend involving Emperor Constantine.PLEASE BE AWARE THAT ITEMS SUCH AS THIS MAY BE SUBJECT TO SUBSCRIPTION IN THE FUTURE but you can make a donation NOW, too! Please click here for more information on how to help us continue. (This article took two hours and seventeen minutes to research, write, illustrate and present to you.)>>>
On Calvary Hill, traditionally considered the site of Jesus's crucifixion, she found three bloody logs hidden in the undergrowth. In order to discover which was the True Cross, she placed the logs one by one over sick people, and even dead people, who were cured or resuscitated at its touch.
The veneration of the True Cross, and the use of pieces of the True Cross as relics, begins at this time. Santa Helena died praying for all believers in Christ to celebrate the commemoration of the day the Cross was found.
Whatever the legend (Prospero inherited a little crucifix that his father swore contained a splinter of the True Cross), the fact is that in a multitude of cities, towns and villages all over the Spanish world (the tradition travelled to Latin America with the Conquistadores), the faithful make a big effort to celebrate it.