Saturday, 14 September 2013

Exultation of the Holy Cross

From the St. Andrew Daily Missal (1962 Edition):-
"This Feast on September 14 was celebrated originally soley to honour the anniversary of the discovery of the Holy Cross by St. Helena and the dedication of the basilicas consecrated at Jerusalem  on September 14, 335, on the very site of the Holy Sepulchre and of Calvary. But today'sfeast is also the commemoration of another event - the return of the the Holy Cross by the Persians in 629. It had been carried off years ealier on the occasion of a Persian victor and was brought back in triumph by the Emperor Heaclius who ad defeated the Persia armies.

The Liturgy of the Cross is a triumphant liturgy; in it the Church celebrates the emblem of our Redemption. The bronze serpent lifted up by Moses over the people was a foreshadowng of he salvation thatwas to come when Jesus was lifted up on the Cross.
 Alleluia verse from the Mass of the Exultation of the Holy Cross (E.F.)
We should unite ourselves in spirit with the faithful who, in the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem at Rome, today venerate th relics of the sacred wood on which wrought the triumphant work of the redemption of humanity."

Today, I would extend this to suggest we unite ourselves also with the Christians of the Middle East and other parts of the world who are still sharing, in a very real and tragic way, the sufferngs of Christ - may thay also have a share in His Resurrection.

As well as the celebrations of the western Latin Church, this is also one of the great feast of the Eastern Rites, so again an for us to be close in spirit with our brethren in the Middle East, and perhaps also an occasion to pray for a healing of the schism between Catholic and Orthodox.


St Francis receiving the stigmata
Finally, it was also on this feast day in 1224 that St. Francis received the stigmata - again occasioning us to pray for the suffering Church, and for our Holy Father, Pope Francis.

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