Today the church celebrates The Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Today’s feast celebrates a double anniversary. In Jerusalem, Constantine erected a round church, the Anastasis above the empty grave of Jesus, and a basilica, the martyrium, in the square between the two churches, a shrine marking the place of the crucifixion.
Dedicated in 335, they were destroyed by the Persians in 614. The two churches were rebuilt by the patriarch Odistus of Jerusalem in 626, but were later destroyed by the Muslims in 1009. The present Church of the Holy Sepulchre, rebuilt by the Crusaders, was dedicated in 1149. Today also commemorates the discovery of the Lord’s cross by The Empress Saint Helena in 320. Saint Helena was Constantine’s mother.
Let us pray. O God who willed that Your only begotten Son should undergo the cross to save the human race. Grant we pray that we who have known His mystery on earth may merit the grace of His redemption in heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, Amen.