Festival of the Holy Cross
"The Cross is a positive sign
The Cross is a banner of victory
In the Cross we greatly glory
For by it we attained our salvation"
The feast of the Exaltation of the Cross is in honor of the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Observed on September 14, it is also known as 'Holy Cross Day'. The liturgy of this feast in the Syrian Orthodox Church recalls the tradition which narrates the story of Helen, mother of Emperor Constantine, who went to Jerusalem to look for the Cross. On her way to Jerusalem, she left one of her servants on a mountain. Once the cross was discovered, she ordered her men to light a fire on top of a nearby mountain. Having seen the fire, the servant staying on the next mountain lit another fire, and in this manner the news of the discovery of the Holy Cross reached the capital, Constantinople.
On this day, during the Holy Qurbono, the order of Zuyoho is celebrated.
It was also on this day, our Patriarch, Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I, was consecrated Patriarch of Antioch in 1980. Hence, September 14 is now celebrated as the 'Patriarchal Day'
For the Orthodox believer every object that was touched by our Lord is holy and venerable. The Holy Cross on which His body was crucified and His life giving precious blood flowed down is the most adorable of all. By its physical appearance and its power of enlightenment, for a believer, it stands for everything positive:
Light over darkness
Life over death
Endurance over affliction
Salvation over slavery
Truth over falsehood
Verity over vanity
Jesus said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."