The Exaltation of the Holy Cross (629)

The Holy Cross on which Our Lord was crucified was first discovered by Saint Helena in the year 326. A large part of it was placed in a church in Jerusalem. This Holy Cross was stolen from Jerusalem in 615 by Chosroes, a king of the Persians. After many prayers and fasts, and a battle to recover it, the Emperor Heraclius defeated Chosroes and brought back the Holy Cross to Jerusalem, fourteen years after it was stolen. This was in the year 629. Part of the Cross was kept in Jerusalem, but a great part of it was brought to the Church of Holy Cross in Jerusalem, in Rome, one of the seven great churches of the Holy City. How close the wood of this Cross was and is to the heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, anyone who is her child can see. The Holy Scripture tells us, “There stood by the Cross of Jesus, [Mary] His Mother.” Mary stood above Jesus in the crib; Mary stood below Jesus on the Cross. Mary took Jesus from her arms and put Him in the crib. Mary took Jesus from the Cross and held Him in her arms. Both the Holy Cross and the Holy Crib have churches for themselves in Rome: the Church of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem and the Church of Saint Mary Major, and both are guarded there by Mary’s love.

See also: The Devastation of Catholic Europe: Some Causes and Consequences of the Protestant Revolt

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British Library, Royal MS. 15 E. I, f. 16. Heraclius returning the True Cross to Jerusalem (source)

British Library, Royal MS. 15 E. I, f. 16. Heraclius returning the True Cross to Jerusalem (source)