08 May 2017

The Solemnity of the Finding of the Holy Cross celebrated in Jerusalem

On Sunday, May 7, the Custos of the Holy Land, Father Francesco Patton, presided over the Mass in memory of the Finding of the Holy Cross in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher. This Solemnity is celebrated only here in Jerusalem.

Liturgies

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We must be proud of the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in which we find our salvation, life and our resurrection ....

This was the fulcrum of the Liturgy of the Solemnity of the Finding of the Holy Cross, celebrated on Sunday, May 7, in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher.

The Mass was presided over by the Custos of the Holy Land, Fr. Francesco Patton, in the presence of the Franciscan Friars and the faithful who filled the St. Helena Chapel ...

In the homily, Father Patton explained that in the year 326 or 327, St. Elena, mother of Emperor Constantine, while on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, decided to return to the Christians the holy places that had been kept hidden during the period of persecution.

During the search, the Custos said, three crosses were found. The True Cross of Christ, according to some stories, was identified when, approaching a sick woman, she was immediately healed ... Other texts tell that a dead man resurrected after being placed on the cross of Jesus.

Fr. FRANCESCO PATTON, ofm
Custos of the Holy Land
"This message, linked to the finding of the True Cross, also reveals something important to us about the mystery of the cross: that only in the Cross of Jesus can we find healing and salvation ..."

The relic of the Holy Cross is presently still venerated during this special celebration.

Fr. FRANCESCO PATTON, ofm
Custos of the Holy Land
"Clearly, when we celebrate this feast, we present not only a liturgical choreography, we focus not only on the amount of incense we use or on the movements we make... this holiday is the occasion to remember the mystery of the Cross as a mystery of Salvation and to remind us that we are called to follow the Lord Jesus on the Way of the Cross."

Until 1960, the Church celebrated the Feast of the Holy Cross twice a year: the celebration of its finding would take place in May and its exaltation in September ... afterwards these festivals were unified. Only here, in the Holy Sepulcher, for historical and other reasons linked to the Status Quo, the Finding of the Holy Cross is still celebrated today.

The celebration ends with a procession during which the relic is carried around the Edicule of the Holy Sepulcher, after which the faithful have the opportunity to pray close to this great sign that witnesses the love of Jesus.