Their Majesties King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain visited the town of Caravaca de la Cruz in the south-eastern Spain province of Murcia on Tuesday as part of the Jubilee Year 2017 Santisima y Vera Cruz de Caravaca celebrations.
Their Majesties travelled to the Royal Basilica-Sanctuary of Vera Cruz and were greeted by the president of the Region of Murcia, Fernando López Miras; the president of the Regional Assembly of Murcia, Rosa Peñalver; the delegate of the Government in the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia, Francisco Martín Bernabé; the mayor of Caravaca de la Cruz, José Moreno Medina; the Secretary of State for Tourism, Matilde Asián, among others.
The offering of the cross to Queen Letizia. © Casa de SM el Rey
Spain’s King and Queen were given a brief history of the Basilica before taking their seats for the religious ceremony. King Felipe and Queen Letizia, both Catholics, were also offered the Holy Caravaca Cross during the service, which they both kissed.
After the ceremony, they were given a tour before heading on to the Church of the Company of Jesus where they toured an exhibit called “Signum, the glory of the Renaissance in the kingdom of Murcia.” Over 50 artistic works from the 15th and 16th centuries have been collected together in celebration of the Jubilee Year; the curator, Juan Ignacio Ruiz accompanied them. Paintings, sculptures, textiles, goldsmith’s pieces and architecture and texts are all included.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia view one of the artistic works in the exhibit. © Casa de SM el Rey
Their Majesties thanked all those who worked on the exhibition and the sponsors of the Jubilee Year 2017 for all their hard work.
According to Casa Real, on 9 January 1998 Pope John Paul II granted “the city of Caravaca de la Cruz the concession of the celebration of a Jubilee Year to Perpetuity around the devotion to the True Cross, to celebrate every seven years, adding of this way to the other Jubilees that are also celebrated in perpetuity in Jerusalem, Rome, Santiago de Compostela and Santo Toribio de Liébana…
“The Caravaca Cross is a “lignum crucis,” a piece of wood belonging to the wood in which Jesus of Nazareth died. It is conserved in a beautiful reliquary in the form of a cross with a double horizontal arm and a vertical one. It is an oriental, patriarchal and pectoral cross that, according to historical tradition, belonged to the patriarch of Jerusalem. It is a Relic endorsed by its patriarchal origin of the Holy Land and its link to the True Cross, discovered in the fourth century by Constantine (335-347) or by his mother Saint Helena (according to tradition in the year 325-326) and of which three parts were made, the first being given to the patriarch of Jerusalem and the remaining two brought to Constantinople and Rome.”