Saturday, September 14, 2013

September 14


I FIND the name of this Festival given in full as the Exaltation of The Holy Cross, and to it is dedicated one of the passion flowers.

The Cross was in truth exalted fully and finally when our Lord Jesus Christ hung thereupon on Mount Calvary. But this Feast Day has a later origin, some persons tracing it to a commemoration of that celestial cross which (as is related) led the Emperor Constantine to victory; others, to a recovery of the captive material cross from Chosroes the Persian by the Emperor Haraclius.

Not one exceptional day, however, but every day, from Baptism onwards is the good Christian's "Holy Cross Day." Even as our Lord proclaims to us all: "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me."

In the Eastern Church there exists an austere Religious Rule, according to which, "When the last offices are closed, a representation of Christ on His Cross is attached to the foot of the bed, so that the eyes of the dying person may rest upon it, and then all go out, and leave the soul to make its departure in complete solitude, in the presence of none save the symbol of the Redeemer."

"Hold Thou Thy Cross before my dying eyes."

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