Discovery of the Holy Cross

Which Cross will You Carry? You Have to Pick One.

According to ancient church history the true Cross of Christ was discovered in the year 327AD by the loyal and faithful soldiers of Queen Helena the pious and God fearing Saint, Queen Helena mother of Saint Constantine the emperor who declared the edict of Milan stating Christianity as the official state religion of his empire.

  • Previously, Christians along with Jews, were severely chastised, victimized and persecuted by the Romans by the former Caesar Hadrian. Naturally, Christians, seen as a sect of the Jews, were often more horribly treated in Jerusalem itself and saw the destruction of Jerusalem, including the temple in the year 70 A.D. then renamed Aelia Capitolina. In his zeal to destroy the sacred places of Judaism and Christianity he unwittingly ended up preserving the sacred Christian centers by razing it to the ground wear today stands the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem’s old city.
  • It was in Jerusalem, after the destruction and time of more relative peace under the rule of Constantine and the rising of Christian centers and greater gentile conversions, that Queen Helena gave her monetary and moral support and the building up the church in Jerusalem.
  • To this day the icon of the saint, depicts her holding the cross as the one who was given the special and humble privilege to discover The True Cross of Christ in Christian posterity.
  • Fragments of the True Cross are preserved in many of the ancient Christian centers including the Armenian Church. It is exalted with great pomp and ceremony for the edification and the spiritual enlightenment of the faithful on the Feasts of the Holy Cross. While the historical evidence of the discovery of the True Cross is overwhelming and universally excepted it has very deep personal importance for Christians especially ancient orthodox Christians whose Armenians have some of the most significant history of recorded Christian antiquity.
  • The personal ramifications are that in fact the Cross is never truly hidden but revealed always in the mind, soul and body of every Christian with churches themselves often being built in cruciform architecture. With our baptism we are literally immersed in the blood of Christ, born again and take on a spiritual life of cruciform eternity. It is for this very simple yet profound reason that Christians throughout history have always blessed and sealed their bodies and the bodies of their loved ones with the sign of the holy Cross in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
  • Everyone of us is challenged in life to see their cross plainly marking their life either as a blessing or curse. The cross is unavoidable and is carried by all of Adam’s offspring and not just Christians. However, the Cross is either a sign of death or a sign of life. For the Christian it is the sign of life and the path through which we passed from this life to the resurrection. For those who have no hope, it is folly and a curse. These reject the gift of the Cross and inherit only death and curse. With great exaltation and humility like Queen Helena herself we receive our prophetic role, become the Christopher (Christ-bearers) and recognize in glorious discovery that we are redeemed Cross-bearers of the true and precious Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, being saved it is the power of God, Amen.
  • “While in this life suffering is necessary with the glory of the resurrection, misery is optional” A quote by my mom, Diramayr Jacqueline Souin the night before she passed away.

    For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

    inspired by 1 Corinthians 1:18

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    Published by

    Fr. Shnork Souin

    Priest of the Armenian Orthodox Church

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