Feast of the Elevation, or Exaltation,
of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross

During the church year, we celebrate holy days. These celebrations remind us that God has a plan of salvation for us and for the world. We see God’s loving plan in the lives of the saints. Saint Helen found the cross of Christ where sweet-smelling basil was growing. A sick woman and a dying man were healed when a piece of the true cross touched them. On September 14, we bless basil and other herbs and use them to decorate the cross. We fast and we lift up the cross and pray, “Lord, have mercy!” just like St. Helen.

When Moses lifted up the bronze serpent over the people to heal them (Numbers 21:6-9), it foreshadowed the healing and salvation we would receive through Jesus who would be lifted up on the Cross (John 3:14). Jesus trampled death by death! To follow Christ we must take up His cross by being obedient to the Father’s will, especially when it is hard. We know we will triumph as long as we are with Jesus.

Our strength and protection is the Sign of the Cross. The Cross is a source of light, hope, and victory for Christ’s people! When we received Chrismation, we were anointed with the Sign of the Cross as the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit, by which we joined Jesus as children of God the Father. Let us look to the cross frequently and give our entire selves back to God — mind, soul, heart, body, thoughts, and will.
Elevation of the Holy Cross Outline