Sunday, September 14, 2008

Triumph of the Holy Cross

Today is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. The Church has celebrated this feast since September 14, 335, when the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was dedicated.

St. Helen, mother of the Emperor Constantine, had the church built over the spot of Jesus' Crucifixion and burial, which she helped to rediscover on a trip to the Holy Land. Saint Helen is said to have discovered the True Cross of Christ, along with the crosses that were used to crucify the 2 thieves.

This feast is also called the Triumph of the Cross and is celebrated in a more festive atmosphere than would be appropriate on Good Friday.

We share this feast day with our Orthodox brethren.

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross, You have redeemed the world.

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"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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