La Santa Cruz – May 3rd

In Catholic tradition, May 3rd  commemorates the time when Santa Elena, mother of Constantine, the first Holy roman Emperor, made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to find the original Holy Cross (“Santa Cruz”). In pre-Hispanic tradition, the date relates to the return of the rains and the Cross of Tlaloc, its four points representing the four cardinal points, four seasons of the year, cycles of life and death, masculine and feminine.

In Mexico the Santa Cruz became the “patron saint” of masons and masonry laborers.  Masons usually place a Cross adorned with natural or paper flowers in the upper part of the buildings or houses under construction. Vázquez tells us that this custom dates from the time of the illustrious Fray Pedro de Gante, who founded the first school in Mexico in the mid-1500s.

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