Exaltation of the Holy Cross

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.

Non-believers may wonder why Catholics commemorate the Cross, the instrument that was used to torture and kill Jesus, not understanding that it is actually the 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 great paradox of Christianity:

God chose to die on the Cross:

The Cross is honorable:

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

The gift of the Cross:

Reassurance that God loves us unconditionally:

“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

The Cross triumphs:

Embrace Jesus’ Cross as well as your own:

What is the meaning of this symbol? God does not destroy the serpents, but rather offers an “antidote”: by means of the bronze serpent fashioned by Moses, God transmits his healing strength, namely his mercy, which is more potent than the Tempter’s poison. As we have heard in the Gospel, Jesus identifies himself with this symbol: out of love the Father “has given” his only begotten Son so that men and women might have eternal life. Such immense love of the Father spurs the Son to become man, to become a servant and to die for us upon a cross. Out of such love, the Father raises up his son, giving him dominion over the entire universe. This is expressed by Saint Paul in his hymn in the Letter to the Philippians. Whoever entrusts himself to Jesus crucified receives the mercy of God and finds healing from the deadly poison of sin.

Pope Francis, Homily, 14 September 2014

Exalting the Cross on the site where Jesus was crucified:

A univeral celebration lived in different ways:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Mercy in education:

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