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Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Finding of the Holy Cross / Easter: May 3rd

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After the victory Constantine gained through the power of the Cross which he had seen in the heavens, and whose sign he reproduced in the Labarum, St. Helena, his mother, went to Jerusalem to try to find the true Cross. At the beginning of the second century, Hadrian had Calvary and the Holy Sepulchre covered over with earth, the top of which became a terrace of 100 feet in length, where were erected a statue of Jupiter and a temple of Venus. The Empress had them razed to the ground, and dug up. The laborers found the nails and three crosses. The miraculous cure of a woman authenticated the sacred tree, to which we owe "life, salvation and resurrection".

St. Helena divided the precious wood in three. One part was deposited in Rome in the church of Holy Cross in Jerusalem. The second in Constantinople and the third in Jerusalem. This last relic having been carried off by the Persians and recovered by Heraclius, this emperor solemnly brought it back to Jerusalem on May 3rd, 628.
Excerpted from Saint Andrew Daily Missal

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