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The Exaltation of the Cross in art


Helena | CC BY 2.0

Zelda Caldwell - published on 09/14/21

On September 14 we celebrate the discovery of the True Cross by St. Helena.

On the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross we mark the day when St. Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine, visited Jerusalem during the 4th century and discovered the True Cross.

Tradition tells us that Helena, in the company of St. Macarius, bishop of Jerusalem, found three crosses buried beneath a pagan temple. After unearthing the crosses, she held each one up to a sick woman. Upon being touched by the third cross, the woman was miraculously cured, and it was determined that this was the one on which Jesus had died.

On today’s feast we also commemorate the dedication in 335 of a shrine built on the site of the discovery of the Cross. Destroyed by the Persians in 614, it was replaced by the Crusaders with the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 1149.

Enjoy the slideshow below of images of St. Helena discovering the True Cross.

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