Dear Sacred Heart Family,

We celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14. The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross celebrates two historical events: the discovery of the True Cross by Saint Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, in 320 under the temple of Venus in Jerusalem, and the dedication in 335 of the Basilica and Shrine built on Calvary by Constantine, which mark the site of the Crucifixion. According to a tradition, Saint Helena, mother of the emperor Constantine discovered the cross of Jesus on September 14, 320 in Jerusalem. Then she commissioned the construction of the Holy Sepulcher Church over the place of crucifixion and resurrection on Golgotha (consecrated on September 13, 335). The feast of the cross (September 14) probably originated as a feast associated with the consecration of the Basilica: the church anniversary was complemented by public exposition of the cross for veneration on the next day.

The cross is the central symbol of our faith. It crowns our churches; we wear it around our necks; we honor it in our worship. We bless ourselves by tracing a cross on our head, heart and shoulders; parents lovingly trace this sign on the foreheads of their children. Saints and sinners have died gazing upon the cross and drawn comfort from the sight. The cross is a paradox: an instrument of torture and death, which the power of Christ’s Resurrection has transformed into an image of hope and of life that never ends. May we never fail to give honor to the Cross of Christ.

Lord, help us to gaze upon the Cross. Help us to experience in Your own sufferings a taste of Your final victory. May we be strengthened and healed as we look upon You. Jesus, I trust in You.

In Christ & Mary Immaculate,

Fr. James Kaniparampil CMI

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