History of the Caravaca Cross 

People who are aware of the geographical layout and history of Spain will know that Caravaca is short for Caravaca de la Cruz. It is a municipality and town in the Murcia region in Southeast Spain. Roman Catholicism ranks this as the fifth Holiest City, giving it the privilege of celebrating the year of Jubilee in perpetuity in 1998. 

The Sanctuary of the True Cross (Santuario de la Vera Cruz) dominates Caravaca, while a fine parish and several convents are also the highlights here. But the Miraculous Cross of Caravaca is truly its centerpiece. 

The Legend The Holy Cross of Caravaca

In the middle of the 8th century, during the time when the Arabs and Berbers were in conflict, it is said that a miracle occurred in Caravaca de la Cruz. As the legend of the Holy Cross goes, the town being the Moorish Kingdom back then was under the rule of Zeyt-Abuzeyt. 

One of the duties of this descendent of the Moorish monarchs was to protect his region against Christian invasion. Now during this time, the Christian Reconquista would change forms. Whereat one point, it would engage in active fighting, at others, it would gradually infiltrate through missionaries. 

From among those missionaries emerged Don Gines Perez Chirinos de Cuenca. He fell into captivity and eventually came before a Muslim King. The latter wanted to learn more about the Christian faith, its different aspects, and particularly, the celebration of the Last Supper. 

The King’s curiosity ran to the extent that he wanted the missionary to demonstrate the procedure of the Last Supper. Although very reluctant to do what only believers present at the sacrament had done, the missionary agreed out of no other viable option presenting itself. The King arranged for the required apparatus, including wine, bread, candles, and a pall cloth atop an altar. 

The only missing item was the cross, and Don Cuenca explained that he could not proceed with the demonstration without the cross. He explained how its presence was critical to the Eucharistic mission. At this very moment, legend has it that the King exclaimed in astonishment when two angels from Heaven entered through the window, carrying a cross. They placed it on the altar and disappeared, leaving all the witnesses to this spectacle awestruck. 

The Meaning of the Caravaca Cross

The legendary tale ended with missionary Don reaching the consecration stage, where according to Catholic tradition, the bread and wine cease to be what they are. Instead, they become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Protestants, of course, view this as spiritually symbolic of Christ’s Last Supper and Atonement on the Cross, whereas Roman Catholics view this as a literal transformation, called the transubstantiation. At the consecration stage, they say the King watched the host disappear, as a beautiful baby boy took its place. 

This image moved the Muslim King to the extent that he and his entire family converted to Christianity. They also say the cross that the angels delivered in Caravaca carried a piece of the True Cross of Christ. Today, the Cross of Caravaca holds an unparalleled significance in the lives of many believers, especially in the Eastern and Catholic community. 

Many hang it on the walls of their worship places or their homes, while many others choose to wear the Caravaca cross as jewelry.

Category: Christian Jewelry, Cross Jewelry, Jewelry History

Leave a Reply