This is the crowning of the celebrations of the Holy Cross, within the cycle of an entire calendar year. The Apostolic Churches owe this important feast, upon which the other celebrations of the Cross throughout the year are established, to Queen Helena (Heghineh), the mother of Byzantine Emperor Constantine. In 327, the Queen, who was in her mid-seventies, set out on a long journey to Jerusalem with the primary intention of finding the actual Cross upon which Jesus Christ had been crucified. Following a series of inquiries, with the help of a local Jew named Judas in Golgotha (where Christ was crucified), the Cross was discovered, and the authenticity of the relic was tested by a miracle.
When the Cross was unearthed, two other crosses were found in the same place. Jesus was crucified with two thieves, and when the three crosses were discovered side by side, it raised questions about which was the True Cross. Just then, a funeral procession was passing by. The procession was stopped, and the corpse of the deceased was placed upon the first cross. Nothing happened. The corpse was then placed upon the second cross. Again, nothing happened. Finally, the corpse was placed upon the third cross which happened to be the True Cross. Immediately, the deceased came back to life having touched the very wood upon which Jesus had been crucified.
After that miracle, Judas Cyriacus is converted to Christianity and later becomes a bishop of Jerusalem. After the discovery of the Holy Cross, Heghineh renovated the Holy Places of Jerusalem and built the Church of Holy Resurrection of Golgotha, where later the Lord’s cross was installed.
Queen Heghineh (Helena) passed away in 330 A.D.
For information on all the Feasts Dedicated to the Holy Cross please click here.