The meaning of the celebration
+ The Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross celebrates the finding of the relic of the True Cross by Saint Helena around the year 320.
+ Helena’s son, Constantine, built a basilica on the site of the Holy Sepulchre (the tomb of Jesus) and Calvary and this church was dedicated on September 14, 335. This is the same Church of the Holy Sepulchre that pilgrims can visit today.
+ The Entrance Antiphon for the Mass of today’s Feast reminds us of the meaning of the celebration:
We should glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
in whom is our salvation, life and resurrection,
through whom we are saved and delivered.
For prayer reflection
“The works of God prosper only in the shadow of the Cross.”—Blessed Francis Mary of the Cross Jordan
Through the centuries, a handful of religious communities have taken their names from the Cross of Christ. To learn about some of these communities, visit the links below:
The priests and brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross: www.holycrosscongregation.org
The Brothers of Holy Cross: https://www.holycrossbrothers.org/
The Benedictine Monks of Holy Cross Monastery (Chicago): http://chicagomonk.org
The Trappist Monks of Holy Cross Abbey (Berryville, VA): www.virginiatrappists.org
The Crosier Fathers and Brothers: www.crosier.org
The Sisters of the Holy Cross: https://www.cscsisters.org/
The Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross: http://www.holycrosssisters.org/
The Daughters of the Cross: http://www.daughtersofthecross.org.uk/
The Discalced Carmelite Nuns of the Monastery of the Holy Cross (Iron Mountain, MI): www.holycrosscarmel.com
On September 14 we also remember Blessed Maria Celeste of the Holy Redeemer. Having become a nun in Scala, Italy, a series of visions inspired her to establish a new community of women religious and, with Saint Alphonsus Liguori, she is honored as the cofounder of the Order of the Most Holy Redeemer (more commonly known as the Redemptoristine Nuns). Blessed Maria Celeste died in 1775 and was beatified in 2016.
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,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.