Saint of the Day for 14 September: Exaltation of the Holy Cross
The Christian feast celebrating Christ’s victory over death
Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Easter Victory Trophy
I surrender myself, O God, into your hands. Turn this clay over and over, like clay in the hands of the potter. Give it a shape and then break it, if you will. Ask, command, what do you want me to do? Uprooted, humiliated, persecuted, misunderstood, slandered, disconsolate, suffering, useless to everything, all that remains is for me to say, following the example of your Mother: ‘Let it be done to me according to your Word. Give me the love par excellence, the love of the Cross, but not of the heroic crosses that might nourish self-love, but of those vulgar crosses, which unfortunately I bear with repugnance… of those that one encounters every day in contradiction, in failure, in false judgments, in coldness, in the rejection and contempt of others, in the malaise and defects of the body, in the darkness of the mind and in the silence and aridity of the heart. Then only Thou shalt know that I love Thee, though I may not know it, yet this is enough for me. Amen.
Saint Patron of
Carini, Palo del Colle, Montemurlo, Cassano all’Ionio, Besana in Brianza, Ficarazzi, Belmonte Mezzagno, Cutro, Trabia, Vittuone
Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, which, on the day after the dedication of the Basilica of the Resurrection erected on Christ’s tomb, is exalted and honoured as a trophy of his Easter victory and a sign that he will appear in heaven to announce to all the Lord’s second coming.
The Saint and Mission
The Exaltation of the Holy Cross, which is celebrated on 14 September, is an anniversary of fundamental importance in the Christian tradition. This liturgical feast not only commemorates the invention of the true cross by St Helena, but also places special emphasis on the profound significance of the cross of Christ as an instrument of salvation and a revelation of divine mercy.
The context of ‘mission’ on this anniversary can be approached from different angles, each of which enriches our understanding of the message of the cross:
The celebration of this feast invites us to renew our Christian witness in the world, taking the cross as a symbol of dedication and selfless service. It emphasises the importance of living a life rooted in Gospel principles, putting love for God and neighbour at the centre.
Education and Formation
The Exaltation of the Holy Cross recalls the need to educate future generations in the history and deeper meanings of the cross. It is an opportunity to form young people through religious education, encouraging them to reflect on the centrality of the cross in Christian life and mission.
Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue
The feast can also be seen as a starting point for ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue, through which we can build bridges with other Christian denominations and religions, sharing the rich symbolism of the cross and seeking common ground in the aspiration for peace, justice and brotherly love.
The cross, a symbol of sacrifice and redemption, invites us to a mission of social commitment. It spurs us to work for a more just and compassionate world, taking on our shoulders, as Christ did, the burdens and sufferings of others.
Call to Conversion
Finally, the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross reminds us of the primary mission of every Christian: conversion of the heart. It invites us to a personal and community renewal, to let ourselves be transformed by God’s grace, humbly accepting the gift of salvation that the cross offers us.
In conclusion, the Exaltation of the Holy Cross offers us a profound and multifaceted perspective on our mission as Christians. It invites us to a profound reflection on our role in the world, illuminated by the light of the cross, symbol of hope, redemption and unconditional love.
The Saint and Mercy
The Exaltation of the Holy Cross, celebrated on 14 September, is a solemn moment when the Christian community honours and reflects on the profound and multifaceted significance of the cross, the central symbol of the Christian faith. In meditating on this event, mercy becomes an inescapable theme, since it is through Christ’s supreme act of sacrifice on the cross that God’s mercy is manifested most completely and definitively.
The cross, in itself, is an emblem of pain, of suffering, but in the Christian context it takes on a deeper meaning, becoming the symbol of a mercy that goes beyond human understanding. It is the place where the injustice and cruelty of humanity are met and overcome by the endless mercy of God, who offers hope and redemption through the sacrifice of his Son.
In the exalting act of the cross, we see a God who is not distant and indifferent to human pain, but a God who actively shares in human suffering, taking upon himself the burden of the world’s sins to bring healing and renewal. It is a profound and radical demonstration of mercy, in which God shows a love that is stronger than death, a love that forgives and redeems.
The mercy that flows from the cross invites us, as believers, to enter into a deeper relationship with God, accepting the immeasurable gift of love and forgiveness. It also challenges us to live as bearers of mercy in the world, reflecting Christ’s sacrificial love in our daily lives.
Celebrating the Exaltation of the Holy Cross means, therefore, renewing our commitment to live a life marked by mercy. It means opening our hearts to compassion, actively seeking to alleviate the suffering of others, forgiving those who have harmed us, and always seeking justice and peace.
The message of the cross is ultimately a message of hope, a testimony that love and mercy can triumph over evil and pain. It is a call to look beyond the cross, towards the resurrection, keeping faith in the promise of a future of redemption and new life.
In this sense, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross offers us a moment of profound reflection on the central value of mercy in Christian doctrine, on the importance of living as people of mercy, and on the hope that comes from accepting God’s merciful love, supremely revealed on the cross.
The feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross was celebrated in memory of the prophetic words of the Divine Master: “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will bring all things to myself” and “when you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know who I am”. This feast, according to many authors, was already fixed on 14 September and…