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Friday, 19 July 2024
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The Triumph of the Cross


The Emperor Constantine was still wavering between Christianity and idolatry when a luminous cross appeared to him in the heavens, bearing the inscription, "In this sign you will conquer." He became a Christian, and triumphed over his enemies.

A few years later, circa 320, his mother, St Helena, having found the true cross on which Jesus suffered, the feast of the " Exaltation" was established in the Church.

Later still, after the Emperor Heraclius had achieved three great victories over the King of Persia, who had taken possession of the precious relic, this feast became more widespread and important. The feast of the "Finding" was then instituted, in memory of the discovery made by St. Helena; and that of the "Exaltation" was reserved to celebrate the triumphs of Heraclius.