The Holy Cross is celebrated every year on September 14. It is a time to honor and commemorate the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for salvation. The day is also celebrated under the banner of the “Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross”.
The celebration originated at the end of the 7th century. It was observed in Rome during those ancient days by the believers of Jesus. This day is also called the Triumph of the Cross, Raising of the Cross, Day of Honoring the Holy Cross, Holy Rood Day or Roodmas.
Gospel verse that you can recite to ask for the Almighty’s blessing on this day,”We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you, because by your cross you have redeemed the world.”
The day marks the recovery of the Holy Cross after it fell into the hands of Chosroas, King of the Persians. The precious relic was recovered and returned to the pristine place of Jerusalem by Emperor Heralius in 629.
This holiday celebrates the exposition given in Jerusalem on the question of the cross by Heraclius – the Byzantine emperor. According to Catholic culture, dressed in expensive and neat clothes with jeweled ornaments, Emperor Heraclius carried the cross in Jerusalem on his shoulders. However, at the entrance to Mount Calvary, a strange incident occurred.
The golden legend recordings:
But suddenly, the stones of the door fell and interlocked, forming an unbroken wall. To everyone’s astonishment, an angel of the Lord, carrying a cross in his hands, appeared above the wall and said, “When the King of heaven came through this gate to suffer death, there was no pomp royal. He rode a little donkey, to leave an example of humility to his worshippers. At these words, the angel disappeared.
It was then that Heraclius was stunned and began to cry. However, when he dismounted from the lavish attire and slowly walked towards the gate, it instantly returned to its former position and allowed Heraclius to enter Jerusalem.
Prayer and exclamation to God, “O cross, more splendid than all celestial bodies, renowned throughout the world, worthy of the love of all men, holier than all things! O cross, you were worthy to bear the ransom of the world! O sweet wood, sweet nails, sweet sword, sweet spear, you were the bearer of sweet burdens! Save the host gathered today in your glory and signed with your banner!”
According to some believers, Holy Cross Day is also associated with the dedication of a group of buildings that were built by Emperor Constantine in Jerusalem on the sites of Christ’s crucifixion and his tomb. This consecration took place on September 14, 335.
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