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2024 Spring Appeal – “This is My Body…This is My Blood.”

Finding of the Holy Cross

The Invention of the Holy Cross

The Finding of the True Cross, Roodmas, or Crouchmas

In the fourth century, the Emperor Constantine had given his mother St. Helena whatever she needed from the imperial treasury to fulfill her plans to locate major Christian relics. In the year of Our Lord 326, just outside Jerusalem, the now elderly empress ordered a pagan Roman temple torn down. Beneath it she discovered Calvary and Our Lord’s Tomb. Constantine later had the Church of the Holy Sepulchre constructed over the sites to ensure they would never again be lost. At the sites, Helena also discovered the remains of three separate crosses. Refusing to accept anything other than the definitive relics, she came up with a test. A woman who was at death’s door was brought from the city and invited to touch the remains of each cross. The first and the second had no effect, but upon touching the third cross, the woman was miraculously healed. The True Cross had been identified, and this Finding, also known as the “Invention”, is celebrated today. The feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14th commemorates the restoration of the True Cross to Jerusalem after it had been captured by pagans. Both feasts are also known as “Roodmas” or “Crouchmas” in older English.

 

Traditional Roman Martyrology for May 3rd

AT Jerusalem, the finding of the holy cross of our Lord, in the time of the emperor Constantine.

At Rome, on the Nomentan road, the holy martyrs Alexander, pope, Eventius and Theodulus, priests. Alexander was bound, imprisoned, racked, lacerated with hooks, burned, pierced in all his limbs with pointed instruments, and finally put to death, under the emperor Adrian and the judge Aurelian. Eventius and Theodulus, after a long imprisonment were exposed to the flames, and then beheaded.

At Narni, St. Juvenal, bishop and confessor.

At Constantinople, the holy martyrs Alexander, soldier, and Antonina, virgin. In the persecution of Maximian, under the governor Festus, Antonina, having been condemned to remain in a house of debauch, was delivered by Alexander, who secretly exchanging garments with her, took her place. They were tortured together, and both having their hands cut off, and being cast into the fire, were crowned at the end of their noble combat for the faith.

In Thebais, the holy martyrs Timothy and his wife Maura. The Arian prefect caused them to be tortured, and then fastened to a cross, on which remaining suspended and alive for nine days, and encouraging each other to persevere in the faith, they consummated their martyrdom.

At Aphrodisia, in Caria, the holy martyrs Diodorus and Rodopian, who were stoned to death by their fellow-citizens, in the persecution of Diocletian.

On Mount Senario, near Florence, the blessed Sostenaeus and Uguccio, confessors, who responding to a voice from heaven, departed this life on the same day and at the same hour, while reciting the angelical salutation.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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