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Stein, G. Stevenson, R. Wells, H. Volume V: May. The Lives of the Saints. The Invention or Discovery of the Holy Cross. From St. Cyril of Jerusalem, cat. Paulinus, ep. Sulpicious Severus, St. Ambrose, St. Chrysostom, Rufinus, Theodoret, Socrates, and Sozomen. See Tillemont, t. The main part of the cross St. Helena inclosed in a silver shrine, and committed it to the care of St. Macarius, that it might be delivered down to posterity as an object of veneration. It was accordingly kept with singular care and respect in the magnificent church which she and her son built at Jerusalem.

See the lives of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. It is affirmed by St. Read Gretzer on the Cross. It was shown publicly to the people at Easter.

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The same was also called the church of the sepulchre, or of the resurrection; though this was properly only the title of the holy chapel in it, which stood over the sepulchre or cavern in which our Saviour was buried, which was in the garden adjoining to Mount Calvary: so that this great church covered the sepulchre, and was extended so far on Mount Calvary as also to include the rock Golgotha, and the very place where the cross of Christ stood at his crucifixion.

Constantine also built a church upon Mount Olivet, over the spot from which our Saviour ascended into heaven. This place was venerated by Christians from the very time of his death, as much as the fear of their enemies would permit.

A Heapin' Helping of Three Cross Faith

And this may account for the industry of the Pagans in filling up the sepulchre or cavern with stones, heaping rubbish over it to a considerable height, and setting up the most infamous of their idols over it, that the Christians might seem to worship a Venus when they came hither to pay their homage to Jesus Christ. We find the festival of the invention or the discovery of the cross solemnized in the Latin church ever since the fifth or sixth century.

Helena in the church at Jerusalem, upon its discovery in , which continued to the year , when the great church of the resurrection was built at Jerusalem by the orders of Constantine the Great, and dedicated on the 13th of September that year, as St. Sophronius, Or.

Crucis in Bibl. Nicephorus, and the Typic of St. Sabas mention.

The cross was exalted or set up in that church the day following which was Sunday. Hence both the Greeks and Latins kept this feast on the 14th of September: and St. After the recovery of the cross by Heraclius, this festival began to be kept in the Eastern church with greater solemnity and a fast. At Jerusalem the cross was shown to the people to be adored on Easter Monday, and also in the middle of Lent, as we learn from St. Sophronius, St. In the Latin church, this was celebrated on the 3rd of May; whether this was the day of the discovery of the cross by St.


The cross was chosen by our dear Redeemer to be the glorious instrument of his victory and triumph over the devil and sin; and by his death thereon he has purchased for us redemption, grace, and glory. The cross is his holy standard, under which all his followers fight his battles; and, according to the holy fathers, will be borne before him in a triumphant manner, when he shall come in glory to judge the world. The church professes a very high regard and veneration for this mysterious and salutary sign, giving it an honourable place in her churches, making frequent use of it in her holy offices, in the administration of the sacraments, and on many other occasions: in which particulars she imitates the earliest and purest ages of Christianity.

What obedience are we here taught! What patience do we here learn! What meekness and humility! And it is on the cross and in his sacred passion that he has principally set us the most moving example, and pressed upon us the most endearing precepts of these virtues. Whence assiduous meditation on the sufferings of Christ is the great school of Christian perfection. Where did the glorious St. Austin glean his spiritual science but, as he himself tells us, in the wounds of his Redeemer?

It was in them that the admirable St. Francis conceived his seraphic ardours.

Thomas Aquinas studied his sacred science and virtue in the book of the cross, and always had recourse to God at the foot of the crucifix. He accordingly resolved to build a magnificent church in the city of Jerusalem. Saint Helen, the Emperor's mother, desiring to visit the holy places there, made a journey into Palestine in , though she was at that time near eighty years of age. On her arrival at Jerusalem she was inspired with a great desire to find the identical cross on which Christ had suffered for our sins, in order to build the proposed church on the site of Calvary.

But there was no mark or tradition, even among the Christians, to show where it might lie. Saint Helen consulted everyone in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas, whom she thought likely to assist her in discovering the cross. She was credibly informed that, if she could find the holy sepulchre, she would also find the instruments of the punishment, since it was the custom among the Jews to dig a pit near the place where the body of a criminal was buried, and to throw into it whatever had contributed to his execution.

The Roman pagans who were dominated by an aversion to Christianity had done what they could to conceal the place where our Saviour was buried by heaping on it a great quantity of stone and rubbish, and building there a temple to Venus. They had also erected a statue of Jupiter in the place where Our Lord rose from the dead. The pious Empress therefore ordered the profane buildings to be pulled down, the statue broken in pieces, and the rubbish removed.