Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Triumph of the Cross

Throughout the year, certain days on the Liturgical Calendar commemorate the Cross, not as an instrument of torture and death, but as a means of salvation.

By his death on the Cross and his Resurrection from the tomb Jesus defeated death, allowing man to enter Heaven and experience eternal life.

In the early 4th century, the mother of Emperor Constantine, St. Helena, searched Jerusalem for holy places from the life of Jesus. In 335 AD, Constantine built a basilica and a shrine on the site of Jesus’ Crucifixion. There, the True Cross was discovered and it has been venerated ever since.

The Cross of Jesus was captured by the King of Persia in 614 and returned to Jerusalem in 631 by the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius.

Both the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14. The feast is also called the Triumph of the Cross.

The crosses in our churches and in our homes, along with the crosses that we wear and that we sign ourselves with, should always serve as a reminder of Jesus’ glorious victory.

The Cross is honorable:

The gift of the Cross:

On this day when the Church’s liturgy celebrates the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the Gospel you have just heard reminds us of the meaning of this great mystery: God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that men might be saved. The Son of God became vulnerable, assuming the condition of a slave, obedient even to death, death on a Cross. By his Cross we are saved. The instrument of torture which, on Good Friday, manifested God’s judgement on the world, has become a source of life, pardon, mercy, a sign of reconciliation and peace..

Pope Benedict XVI, Homily, September 14, 2008

A Cross sanctified by his sacrifice:

Reassurance that God loves us unconditionally:

Embrace Jesus’ Cross as well as your own:

The Council of Trent emphasizes the unique character of Christ’s sacrifice as “the source of eternal salvation” and teaches that “his most holy Passion on the wood of the Cross merited justification for us.” and the Church venerates his Cross as she sings: “Hail, O Cross, our only hope.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church 617

God chose to die on the Cross:

The Cross triumphs:

“No one has gone up to Heaven except the one who has come down from Heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life.”

John 3: 13-15

Exalting the Cross on the site where Jesus was crucified:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Committed to peace and justice:

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