The first stirrings of what later was to become the Cursillo Movement began on the island of Majorca, Spain during the 1940s.
The Spanish Civil War had ended in 1939, and the years after the Civil War were a time of ferment in the Spanish Church.
Cursillo as we recognise it today grew out of the courses given to prepare those who led the young men of Spain on a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James at Compostela in 1948. The talks given on the Cursillo weekend are patterned on these courses.
Today Cursillo is a world-wide movement with centres in Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Ireland, the United States, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Yugoslavia, Mexico, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, nearly all South and Central American countries, and in several African countries.
A term frequently used in Cursillo is DeCOLORES which means “of many colors.” During the early days in Spain, the people who participated in the Cursillo Movement realized the value of the symbol of the rooster and its beautiful tail feathers. To the Spanish, the rooster was symbolic of the rainbow in the Old Testament where God makes a covenant with His People. Also the Spanish found the rooster a symbol of wealth and prosperity, a status symbol in a rural farm area. Roosters wander the roadways and hillsides all over Spain. And a good rooster and hen give promise of eggs and more chickens to come. Thus the countryman has promise of food and a commodity to sell or trade to provide for his family and community. The rainbow colors of the tail feathers have a special and significant meaning to the Christian. Green denotes new life, growth, and God’s beauty of nature that surrounds us. It symbolizes the ordinary times of the Church year. Blue denotes loyalty, our commitment to God and His people. It also denotes truth and justice and the waters of our Baptism. Purple denotes our dying and rising again along with the suffering of Jesus Christ. Yellow and Orange hues denote warmth, light, promise.
They remind us of the love of God’s Son in our lives, the light of a candle, the rays of the sun, and the changing seasons. Red denotes celebration, joy and confirmation. It is symbolic of our feast days within, the Church, Christmas Day and Pentecost.
It is for the reasons observed here that we celebrate the Rooster as the Cursillo symbol.