September 14 commemorates the Elevation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross, or commonly known as the Feast of the Holy Cross in the western church. In short, Emperor Constantine sent his mother, Empress Helen, to the Holy Land to find the Cross of Christ in Jerusalem in the year 326. The site was nearly forgotten due to the shameful desecration at the hands of previous pagan emperors. But, by Helen’s actions and those of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, St. Macarius, the site was located and the Cross of Christ was identified. Once again the Cross of Christ was elevated, but now to be venerated by the faithful.
However, St. Constantine had his own encounter with the Cross when he was a younger man, and not yet a Christian. Read the rest of this entry »