March 19, 2020 - Baramhat 10, 1736
Commemoration of the Appearance of the Glorious Cross
The church celebrates the appearance of the glorious Cross of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ twice:
The First on the sixteenth day of the month of Tute, 326 A.D. by the hands of the righteous Empress St. Helen, the mother of Constantine the great, the righteous Emperor. This Saint when her son Constantine accepted the Faith in the Lord Christ, she vowed to go to Jerusalem. Her righteous son prepared everything needed to fulfill this holy visit.
When she arrived to Jerusalem with multitude of soldiers, she asked about the place of the Cross but no one would tell her. She took one of the jewish elders and pressured him by hunger and thirst until he was forced to direct them to the place where they might find the Cross at the hill of Golgotha. She ordered them to clear out the site of Golgotha where they found three crosses and that was in the year 326 A.D. However, they did not know the cross upon which Our Lord Christ was crucified, they brought a dead man and they laid upon him one of the crosses and then the other but he did not rise up but when they laid the third cross upon him he rose up immediately, then they realized that this was the Cross of Our Lord Christ. The Empress and all the believers kneeled down before the Holy Cross, and she sent a piece of it with the nails to her son Constantine. Immediately after, she built the churches that were mentioned on the Sixteenth day of the blessed month of Tute.
The Second celebration that the church commemorates the Cross is on the Tenth day of the month of Baramhat by the hands of Emperor Heraclius, in 627 A.D. When the Persians were defeated by Heraclius they retreated from Egypt to their country. On their way back they passed through Jerusalem, a persian prince entered the church of the Cross which was built by Empress Helen. He saw a great light shinning from a piece of wood located on a place decorated with gold. He thrust his hand to it and there went forth from it fire which burned his fingers. The Christians told him that this is the base of the Holy Cross and they told him how it was discovered and no one was able to touch it except a Christian. He deceived the two deacons who were standing to guard it and gave them much money so they would carry this piece and go with it with him to his country. They took it and put it in a box and went with him to his country along with those who were captured from the city of Jerusalem.
When Emperor Heraclius heard that, he went with his army to Persia, fought with them and slew many of them. He traveled about this country searching for this piece of the Holy Cross but he could not find it, for the Persian prince had dug a hole in his garden and ordered the two deacons to put the box in it and buried it and then he killed them.
One of the captives of that Persian prince which was the daughter of one of the priests, was looking out of the window by chance and saw what happened. She went to Heraclius the Emperor and told him what she saw. He went with the bishops, priests and the soldiers to the place. They dug there and found the box, they took the piece of the Holy Cross out, in 628 A.D., wrapped it in magnificent apparel and Heraclius took it to the city of Constantinople and kept it there. May the blessings of the Holy Cross be with us and Glory be to God forever. Amen.