In preparation for its annual Santacruzan on May 10 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, the Filipino Ministry of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is seeking "sagalas," young women ages 13-35, who will comprise the Court of Honor for the procession of the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Each candidates must be a baptized and practicing Catholic; must write an essay on: “How Can I be a Model for Today's Young Women?”; and be able to attend mandatory preparation activities including Catechetical Day (April 12 at St. Stephen Martyr Church, Monterey Park) as part of faith formation, as well as a general practice (May 6, 7 p.m. at the Cathedral), the Santacruzan Celebration (May 10, 2:45 p.m. at the Cathedral) and the Santacruzan Dinner-Dance (May 10 at Almansor Court in Alhambra).
Santacruzan commemorates the search of the Holy Cross by Queen Helena (Reyna Elena) that led to the conversion of her son, Constantine. After the Holy Cross was found in Jerusalem and brought back to Rome, a joyful celebration of thanksgiving was held. Nine days of novena in honor of the Holy Cross preceded Santacruzan.
The festival was introduced by the Spanish conquistadores in the Philippines in the 1800's and has since become part of Filipino traditions focused on the youth and their devotion to imitate the values of the Blessed Virgin Mary.