The preacher of Holy Week highlights the religious presence in Santa Cruz de Tenerife since the conquest, in 1494, to emphasize the history of the first brotherhood, of the Holy Sacrament (1549) or the first image that parades from La Concepción , The Nazarene (1666). Before concluding the act, the prelate invited to “want to see Jesus”, as happened on Palm Sunday in Jerusalem.
The Bishop of the Diocese of Tenerife, Bernardo Álvarez, took advantage of the Holy Week proclamation pronounced last night by the official chronicler of the capital of Tenerife, José Manuel Ledesma, to build bridges over troubled waters. When the event was coming to an end, after the presentation of the town crier by the episcopal vicar of Santa Cruz, Juan Manuel Yanes, which gave way to Ledesma’s own intervention and the musical note provided by the lyrical group Gran Tinerfe, he went out to the ambo the prelate
after demphasize the importance of returning to the new normalityreferred to the recent concert held in Turkey in memory of the victims of the Ukrainian war, where a musical group performed two songs: «How can I help» and «Bridges over troubled waters», the latter composition by Paul Simon dating from January 1970. It was the foot of romance that Bernardo Álvarez used to invite people to go through the tribulation, in reference to the war, the pandemic or the La Palma volcano, words that sounded like reaching out and leaving behind words that fueled the controversy.
Santa Cruz, capital of the Canary Islands
Previously, the official chronicler of Santa Cruz, in his capacity as preacher of Holy Week that starts next Sunday, recalled that the cross had already been present on the Añazo beach since the founding of the city, in 1494.
From there, four moments that mark the history of the city. The first brotherhood that existed in the city, and that precisely has its headquarters in the parent parish of Nuestra Señora de La Concepción –that of the Blessed Sacrament–, as well as the first image that would procession through the streets of the then town, that of Jesús Nazarene, since 1666, carving that belonged to the old Dominican convent of La Consolación, where today the old arcade and the Guimerá theater stand.
José Manuel Ledesma also links two Holy Week processions to chicharrero DNA, that of the Lord of Tribulations, which will run through the neighborhood of El Toscal from the parish of San Francisco next Holy Tuesday, and the one that will run at noon on Good Friday with the passage of the Virgen de las Angustias.
Regarding the Lord of Tribulations –from which the bishop would later take the romance foot to build bridges–, José Manuel Ledesma recalled the miracle of sweat attributed to him after José de Carta took him home, in the current square of La Candelaria, to ask him for the favor of the recovery of his wife, María Nicolasa Eduardo, as it happened on July 22, 1765, when it is assured that the carving seemed to sweat and that substance was soaked to pass it over the face of the sick , who regained his health. He also recalled another extraordinary fact that will link the Lord of Tribulations that was originally venerated in the old Franciscan convent of San Pedro Alcántara –where today is the Superior Court of Justice, the parish of San Francisco and even the Plaza del Príncipe– . Ledesma referred to the Asian cholera pandemic that infected the crew of the Remo steamer and that, thanks to the intercession of the image, did not affect the neighborhood of El Toscal, which had requested his protection. For this reason, the then Calle de Oriente took the name of the Lord of Tribulations and is also remembered with an image in a niche.
The chronicler of Santa Cruz, and preacher of Holy Week, also recalled the episode starred by the Republican mayor Emilio Calzadilla, who decided to pay out of his pocket in 1931 for the music band to accompany the procession of Las Angustias, in front of the refusal of the councilors of the time. In gratitude, the musicians decided to interpret the work that the municipal councilor liked the most, “Adiós a la vida”, as it still takes place today where the old La Católica bookstore was, as it passed in front of San Francisco.
Especially curious was the reference that Ledesma included to two bishops who were assigned to the Diocese of the Canary Islands and who decided to establish the capital in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The first, Bartolomé García Ximénez Rabadán, who came ashore after a trip that had him floundering on the high seas for 168 days and arrived in Tenerife exhausted. It was not the only chapter that almost cost him his life, because on November 1, 1667 he dodged the attempt of a priest who tried to poison him two years after beginning his episcopacy that lasted a quarter of a century. Less abrupt was the passage of another bishop, Lucas Conejero de Molina, who also established the capital of the Diocese of the Canary Islands in Tenerife in 1714, leading a great boost to Holy Week during the ten years he was in charge.
The crier did not go unnoticed the mark on the imagery left by artists such as Lázaro González, Sebastián Fernández Suárez or José Luján Pérez –the latter author of La Dolorosa that is kept in La Concepción–, or the rich goldsmithing that distinguishes the chicharrero temples elaborated with silver that was brought from America.
Halfway between the chronicler’s words and the bishop’s final reflection, a performance by the lyrical-musical group Gran Tinerfe, with its new director, Juan Carlos Castro, also a soloist in the malagueña that they later performed together with the song to the tribulation, Let’s sing to the love of you loves or even the saeta To the Christ of the gypsies, precisely in La Concepción, where this year La Macarena does not procession.
Palm Sunday; and on Monday, the first procession with an image at the start of Holy Week.