The Holy See granted the Vera Cruz -True Cross- devotion, on 9 January 1998, the celebration of a Perpetual Jubilee Year, once every seven years, in the way it was traditionally granted to Santiago de Compostela and Santo Toribio de Liébana. The first Jubilee Year after this granting was celebrated in 2003.
The singularity and relevance of the granting lie in the fact that, thanks to it, the importance of the Cross and its devotion has been reconsidered and highlighted.
No doubt this exceptional fact is to become a milestone in the future of the Christian devotion of the Cross, of its Basilica's renown and of the town of Caravaca de la Cruz.
We should highlight, among the reasons for the granting, a religious fact, the significance of which goes many years back in the history of Spain, Región de Murcia and this town: the Stma. y Vera Cruz has been present in this place since the 13th century; its eastern origins have been proved, and both religious tradition and Christian faith consider that there is a splinter of the Lignum Crucis -where Jesus Christ died- in it.
The necessary conditions for the pilgrim to obtain the Jubilee Indulgence are the following:
Visit to and participation in any celebration within the Stma. y Vera Cruz de Caravaca Sanctuary with devotion and the purpose of obtaining the Jubilee Indulgence and praying for the Pope's intentions.
If it is not possible to participate in a celebration, a visit to the Sanctuary and the recitation of a prayer for world peace and the Pope's intentions (Lord's Prayer, Creed...) will be enough.
Sacramental confession and eucharistic communion. These sacraments do not necessarily have to be received in the Sanctuary or the day of the visit. They can be received a couple of days before or after the pilgrimage to the Temple of the Cross, in another Church or in the pilgrim's Parish Church.
CUADRILLAS DE BARRANDA FESTIVAL
They say that in the small village of Barranda you will find the oldest tradition of folk music in the country, and this is demonstrated on the last Sunday of every January during La Fiesta de las Cuadrillas. Declared a festival of National Tourist Interest, this classic event between all the popular music festivals is capable of gathering thousands of people out onto the streets, turning the town into a huge outdoor stage in which singers, musicians and dancers show off their talent whilst, as always, accompanied by great food and wine.
A 10/10 GASTRONOMY
In this neck of the woods, you'll find typical dishes such as migas ruleras, stews and tartera, a lamb and potato roast accompanied by an aioli sauce. You'll also find an ample variety of typical rice dishes with rabbit, chicken, chickpeas, snails or cod. In terms of confectionary, it would be a real shame if you left without trying alfajor or the incredibly famous yemas -egg-yolk based sweets made with sugar, and smothered in caramel or chocolate. Even in the most holy of cities there's still room for temptation - they are just scrumptious! To digest all this food, guests traditionally try the house drinks such as la mistela and the licor café.