|FINDER OF THE TRUE CROSS, STA. ELENA OF SABANG, 1993|
|Sta. Elena Chapel, 1952|
It is said that she found several crosses after a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. To determine which was the True Cross of Christ, the crosses were laid one at a time on the coffin of a dead youth. The third cross that was placed on the coffin brought the youth back to life, thus identifying it as the one True Cross.
|STA. ELENA, as she appeared in 1993,|
Sta. Elena has always had a special appeal to Bulakenyos as the province popularized the tradition of Flores de Mayo tradition began in 1865 after Msgr. Mariano Villena Sevilla wrote “Dalit kay Maria”, better known as “Flores de Mayo”, which in turn was based on Italy’s “Misa de Maggio”. An attendant event of the Maytime rite is the Santacruzan, which features the leading character “Reyna Elena” in the evening procession that celebrates the finding of the True Cross.
|MAYTIME FIESTA OF STA. ELENA|
Sabang shares the patronage of Sta. Elena with the people of Hagonoy. During the May fiesta of Sta. Elena, the image is taken down from the altar—which is flanked by their secondary patrons San Agustin and San Roque, and processioned on the streets of Sabang.
|FINDERS' KEEPRS. Note the santa's big alms bag. 2014 Procession.|
The santa is dressed in her new vestments, accessorized her attributes: a crown, symbol of royalty; an alms bag to denote her charity, and a tall cross, At one time, she was made to hold a sword, which has been removes since.
|PAHALIK. Traditional Kissing of the True Cross.|
Before the santa is placed on her decorated carroza, a “pahalik” of the cross is conducted, involving the kissing of the cross by devotees. Preceding her are the figures of San Agustin and San Roque, also borne on their carroza. The festivities also feature majorette exhibitions, talent and band competition,
|THE EMPRESS ON HER CARROZA, 2014.|
Tradition has it that Sta. Elena brought earth from Golgotha which was spread on the present site of the Vatican Gardens. She is also credited with finding the Holy Tunic of Christ, the crucifixion nails and pieces of the rope with which Jesus was tied on the Cross, now at the Stavrovouni Monastery.
|STA. ELENA CHAPEL RETABLO MAYOR, 1993|
Courtesy of Dr. Raymund Feliciano.
youtube, screen cap: Sta. Elena Fiesta 2014