Holy Cross Day is observed every year on the 14th day of September. It is a moment to honour and commemorates Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for salvation. The day is also celebrated under the banner of ‘Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.’
The celebration has its origin as back as late seventh 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, Elevation of the Cross, the honour day of Holy Cross, Holy Rood Day, or Roodmas.
Gospel Verse you may recite to seek blessing from the Almighty 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 having fallen 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 feast celebrates the exposition given at Jerusalem on the matter of the cross by Heraclius – the Byzantine Emperor. According to Catholic Culture, clothed with costly garments and groomed with ornaments of precious stones, Emperor Heraclius was carrying the Cross back to Jerusalem on his shoulders. However, at the entrance to Mt. Calvary a strange incident took place.
The Golden Legend records:
But suddenly the stones of the gateway fell down and locked together, forming an unbroken wall. To the amazement of everyone, an angel of the Lord, carrying a cross in his hands, appeared above the wall and said: “When the King of heaven passed through this gate to suffer death, there was no royal pomp. He rode a lowly ass, to leave an example of humility to his worshipers.” With those words the angel vanished.
It was then that Heraclius was stunned and began to weep. However, when he dismounted the lavish attire and walked slowly toward the gate, it instantly returned to its former position and allowed Heraclius to enter Jerusalem.
Prayer and exclaim to God, “O cross, more splendid than all the heavenly bodies, renowned throughout the world, deserving of all men’s love, holier than all things else! O cross, you were worthy to carry the ransom of the world! O sweet wood, sweet nails, sweet sword, sweet lance, you were the bearer of sweet burdens! Save the host gathered today in praise of you and signed with your banner!”
According to certain believers, the 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 dedication occurred on September 14, 335.
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