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Holy Cross Day 

Historically, the feast has been associated with the dedication on Sept. 14, 335, of a complex of buildings built by the Emperor Constantine (c. 285-337) in Jerusalem on the sites of the crucifixion and Christ's tomb. This shrine included a large basilica and a circular church. Constantine's mother, Helena (c. 255- c. 330), supervised the construction of the shrine, and a relic believed to be the cross was discovered during the work of excavation. Claims by the Church of Jerusalem to have the cross date from the mid-fourth century, and the pilgrim Egeria mentions a feast commemorating the discovery of the cross in Jerusalem in the late-fourth-century. This feast has also been associated with the exposition at Jerusalem of the cross by the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius (575-641). He recovered the relic from the Persians who took it from Jerusalem in 614 when they destroyed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Although the authenticity of alleged relics of the cross may be questionable, Holy Cross Day provides an opportunity for a joyous celebration of Christ's redeeming death on a cross. See Cross; see Relics. 




Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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