Relic of the True Cross

Feast Days: September 14
Time Period: 326
Place: The Holy Land
Patronage: unknown

In the second century, the Roman Emperor Hadrian destroyed all Christian sites including the top of Mount Calvary and Jesus’ tomb, building temples to Venus and Jupiter on the sites. In the 3rd century, Constantine came to power and legalized Christianity. His mother, St. Helena, traveled to Palestine to rebuild holy sites and churches. When she came to Venus’s temple she ordered it destroyed and the earth beneath it removed. Just east of the razed temple were found three crosses and a wood plaque inscribed ‘Jesus Nazaranus Rex Iudaeorum’. The Bishop of Jerusalem asked a terminally ill woman to be brought to the location. When she touched the cross of Jesus she was immediately cured. St. Helena ordered a church to be built on the site. She sent the holy wood to Rome and Constantinople.

She worshiped not the wood, but the King, Him who hung on the wood. She burned with an earnest desire of touching the guarantee of immortality.” St. Ambrose of St. Helena after she discovered the True Cross.