About Caravaca de la Cruz:
The city was a one time under the control of the Moors, who had conquered much of Spain. In the 13th century the Christian reconquista….or re-taking of spain from the Muslim Moors, was under way. The Moorish ruler, Zeyt-Abuzeyt, was tasked with holding on to their conquered territory.
Christian missionaries began to infiltrate and one of them, Don Gínes Pérez Chirinos de Cuenca, was captured. He was taken before the Muslim ruler,who was interested in understanding parts of the Christian faith, especially the celebration of the Eucharist. and asked the missionary to demonstrate the procedure. He reluctantly agreed, Nevertheless he agreed, and the king provided an altar cloth, bread and wine, and some candles. The priest also insisted that there be a cross, which was missing. The king exclaimed: “So what is that?”, pointing to something at the window. From the heavens, two angels appeared carrying a cross, which they placed on the altar and then disappeared.
The priest continued with the Mass. During the consecration, the Moorish ruler had a vision of beautiful baby rather than the Host. The king was so impressed by this vision that he and his family converted to Christianity and asked to be baptized into the Christian faith. Many believe that the cross delivered by the angels included a piece of the True Cross.
The Caravaca Cross shows a Corpus on a Patriarchal Cross, often flanked by two angels. The upper of the two bars on the Patriarchal Cross normally represents an inscription; the Caravaca Cross is unusual in that the arms of the corpus are nailed to the upper rather than the lower bar.
Centuries later, after Christopher Columbus set sail on his voyage of discovery (1492) Franciscan friars travelled to the Americas, taking copies of the Caravaca Cross with them. The design is still commonly seen in Central and South American churches and monasteries. Houses and business premises also have copies pinned to the wall like lucky charms, and may be surrounded by a lucky horseshoe.[