September 14 is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. But what does this really mean?
In the fourth century, Saint Helena journeyed to Jerusalem in search of the places where Jesus lived, died, and rose again. She found what tradition held to be the place of Jesus’ burial and found three crosses there — one of which was believed to be the cross Christ died upon because its touch healed a dying woman.
Immediately after this discovery, people began to venerate the cross. Helena’s son, Roman Emperor Constantine, built the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher on the site. September 14 marks the dedication of the church in 335.
After the church was built, the cross was split into three pieces: one was taken to Rome, one was left in Jerusalem, and one was taken to Constantinople. Even today, on Good Friday, Catholics around the world venerate slivers of wood believed to be from the original cross of Christ.
The cross is universally recognized as the mark of a Christian. This feast is a reminder of Christ’s death and its promise of eternal life.
Get to know this feast through our Spotify playlist inspired by the cross — featuring artists Brother Isaiah and Coldplay and themes of hope and heaven.