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The Exaltation of the Holy Cross
The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Feast Day
Sep 14, 2012
<p>The Catholic Church celebrates &ldquo;The Exaltation of the Holy Cross&rdquo; on September 14<sup>th</sup>.&nbsp; In Latin it was called &ldquo;Exaltatio Sanctae Crucis&rdquo; which means &ldquo;Raising Aloft of the Holy Cross&rdquo;. &nbsp; According to tradition the True Cross was discovered in 326 by St. Helena, the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great while on a pilgrimage she made to Jerusalem.&nbsp; Immediately the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built on the site of the discovery.&nbsp; The church was dedicated nine years later with a portion of the Cross placed inside it.&nbsp; St. Helena found three crosses at the time, and not knowing which one was the Cross of Christ, she summoned a dying woman.&nbsp; The first and second cross did nothing, but the third cross healed the sick woman immediately. &nbsp;</p> <p>The date of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross marks the date of the dedication of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 335.&nbsp; The actual consecration of the church was on September 13<sup>th</sup>, with a two-day festival, but the actual True Cross was brought inside the Church on September 14<sup>th</sup>.&nbsp; The Clergy and faithful then came before the True Cross in prayer and to venerate it. &nbsp;</p> <p>In Roman Catholic liturgical observances, red vestments are worn at Mass conducted on this day.&nbsp; Until 1969, the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of the Calendar week AFTER the one in which the 14<sup>th</sup> of September falls, was designated as one of the year&rsquo;s four sets of Ember Days by the Church. &nbsp;</p> <p>To this day, the universal image of Christian belief is the Cross.&nbsp; The True Cross of Christ, when discovered by St. Helena, healed a dying woman.&nbsp; It is carried in processions, carried to the Altar at the beginning of Mass, worn as Christian jewelry, and is hung as a humble reminder in Christian homes.&nbsp; To the eyes of the early Christians, it had no beauty &ndash; only a reminder of decaying corpses for those that defied Rome&rsquo;s authority.&nbsp; Today it has been universally accepted as a symbol of our Savior&rsquo;s unconditional love for us. &nbsp;</p>