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Holy Cross Exaltation


Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Constantine the Great, crowned Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in the fourth century on the Isles of Britain.

Constantine had a vision in which he saw a cross-shaped pattern of stars in midday sky. He believed that this would ensure his victory over Maximus. This vision was confirmed in a dream in which he saw the Cross of the Lord, and the words, “By this sign, conquer.” Constantine did indeed defeat the more powerful army of Maximus and took possession of the Roman throne.

St. Helen, Constantine’s mother, journeyed to the Holy Land and the Cross of the Lord was uncovered, along with the two crosses of the criminals who were crucified with Him.

When each cross was placed in turn over the body a man who was being taken to be buried, it was easy to identify the true Cross. When he was covered with the Lord’s Cross, he was miraculously resurrected. People then venerated Christ’s Cross. Macarius the Patriarch raised the Cross so the crowds could see it and venerate. The Feast of the Exaltation of the Most Precious Crusade was born out of this. Early Eastern Churches regularly celebrated the feast.

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