The Triumph of the Cross

Recently, while touring the five church buildings that will close when our new building opens, an architect was admiring how beautiful the crucifix at St. Anthony’s is. He said that it should be the centerpiece of the new church. Afterwards he asked, “Why ‘Triumph of the Cross Church’ and not ‘Resurrection Church’?”

I explained the importance of the title in the history of the Catholic Church by saying that “Triumph of the Cross” includes the resurrection but means much more. (There will be more articles reflecting on the name in weeks to come.)

In the Fourth Century St. Helena, Emperor Constantine’s mother, traveled to Jerusalem to find the True Cross. On the site of the crucifixion stood a temple to the Roman goddess, Aphrodite. Helena had the temple torn down, and on the spot she built a basilica. While excavating the site she found three crosses buried. She removed the supposed Cross of Christ as a holy relic. The date of the dedication of that new basilica was September 14th. That day became the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

”How splendid the cross of Christ! It brings life, not death; light, not darkness; Paradise, not its loss. It is the wood on which the Lord, like a great warrior, was wounded in hands and feet and side, but healed thereby our wounds. A tree has destroyed us [Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit], a tree now brought us life” (Theodore of Studios).

We have been offered a small relic from St. Helena’s Cross for inclusion in our new church building.

-Fr. McGuire

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