Santacruzan, a religious-historical pageant that commemorates the search for the Holy Cross, will be presented May 4 by the Filipino Ministry of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Solis will be the main celebrant for the liturgy at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. The celebration begins at 2:45 p.m.Santacruzan commemorates the search for the Holy Cross (on which Christ was crucified) at Calvary by St. Helena (Reyna Elena) and her son, the newly-converted conqueror 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 precedes Santacruzan. The festival was introduced by the Spanish conquistadores in the Philippines in the mid-1800s, and has since become part of Filipino traditions identified with the youth and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This tradition is well-celebrated in the month of May in the Philippines and in parts of the world where a great number of Filipinos practice their devotion to the Blessed Virgin.In the pre-liturgy procession, Filipino youth and adults will portray the holy people of the Old Testament, who believed and waited for the coming of the Messiah, and significant women of the New Testament. Also featured will be symbols of Christian faith and various images and titles attributed to our Blessed Virgin. The “Hermana mayors,” or benefactors of Santacruzan, will process after the image of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception and will be the first ones to offer flowers to our Blessed Mother. The music for liturgy and procession will be under the direction of Ning and Joemari Manahan.In preparation for the event, faith formation days were held April 6 and 13 at St. Stephen Martyr Church in Monterey Park. It prepared the youth spiritually and educated them on the virtues of Virgin Mary and recently-canonized St. Pedro Calungsod, as well as on the roles they will portray on the day of Santacruzan.The event is supported by various Filipino communities, religious and civic organizations, government and business institutions. A dinner-dance will be held following the Mass at Almansor Court, Alhambra.For more information on Santacruzan festivities and dinner-dance, call Father Albert Avenido, moderator of the Office of Filipino Ministry, at (213) 587-2226; Patty Santiago, (818) 362-4864; Rhomie Ramirez, (818) 618-6515; Eric Cordeta, (310) 427-0255; or Jo Solomonson, (626) 627-6672. {gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2013/0426/santacruzan/{/gallery}