Today, Monday, May 3rd, the Day of the Holy Cross will be commemorated, a tradition of the Catholic religion that has its origins in Jerusalem, but also, in several countries, the masons take advantage of this date to celebrate their day. It is common to see that in some construction sites, they place an ornate wooden cross.
Origin of the Day of the Holy Cross
As the Day of the Holy Cross is a celebration of religious origin, this date has its origin in the day the cross was found where Jesus died in Nazareth, in the year 326.
According to historians, Empress Helen of Constantinople converted to Christianity and traveled to Jerusalem to order the excavation of Mount Calvary, where Jesus was crucified, being on May 3, 326 when they found three crosses, although other sources indicate that They only found three pieces of old wood.
With the result of the work, researchers say Helena placed the three crosses near three men who had recently died and one of the bodies was resurrected; thus, with the assurance that she had found the cross where Jesus had died, the empress showed it in a procession and from that day on the Day of the Holy Cross was instituted.
Although the exact origin of this celebration is unknown, it is said that before the Conquest the peasants of pre-Hispanic towns used to perform ceremonies and some sacrifices to have good harvests, but with evangelization, agricultural customs were mixed and they began to direct their requests to the Holy Cross.
Over time, many of the families that had these customs began to diversify their tasks and some began to dedicate themselves to construction, but they preserved the traditions; thus, instead of asking to have good harvests, they asked the Holy Cross so that they did not suffer accidents or falls during their work, which sometimes involves working in the heights.
Nowadays it is common to see that in construction sites many masons place a wooden cross adorned with flowers and ribbons on May 3rd to ask for the same, in addition, even before the pandemic, in many works the employers used to offer construction workers a meal and some drinks.
In some places, prayers and processions are also held in the company of relatives and fellow workers. The cross is usually blessed by a Church authority and placed at the construction site.