MANILA, May 5, 2015—While Santacruzan these days, like other May festivities, conjure up images of glitz and glamor, of the prettiest barrio lasses in gowns worthy of Imelda, the capital’s chief shepherd stressed this should not be the case, and called on would-be participants and spectators to focus on what the event really is about: the Holy Cross.
In a recent interview over Church-run Radio Veritas, Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle urged the faithful to ensure the solemnity of this otherwise wholesome and commendable Catholic tradition by not allowing it to devolve into what he called a mere “fashion show” stripped of its religious and historical significance, and to recapture its Cross-centered message.
“It is not a fashion show. It invites us to reflect on the Cross, and how through it, Jesus Christ made our salvation possible,” he explained.
Helena and Constantine
According to Tagle, Santacruzan is a delightful custom, which tells the story of how Queen Helena, the mother of Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine, was able to find the Cross on which Christ was crucified, during a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
“That is the reason why the Santacruzan procession has characters in costumes named Reyna Elena and Constantino,” the prelate added. (Raymond A. Sebastián with reports from Roxanne Dela Rosa /CBCP News)