September 14, 2019
When Christianity became legal in the fourth Century Saint Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, went to Jerusalem in search of the holy places of Christ’s life. Among her main objectives was to find the place where Our Lord was crucified. She razed a pagan temple on what tradition said was the Savior's tomb and built what is today the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher on that spot.
During the excavation, workers found three crosses. Tradition tells us that the one on which Jesus died was identified when its touch healed a dying woman.
The cross immediately became an object of veneration. To this day, both the Eastern Churches, as well as the Catholic and Orthodox churches, celebrate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on the September anniversary of the basilica’s dedication.