Feast of the Exaltation of the Life-giving Cross of the Lord
The miracle of attaining the Cross of the Lord is traditionally remembered by Orthodox believers on September 27. This event appears significant: seeing the shrine, many pagans turned to the bright Christ’s faith, and Christians were entrenched in their love and devotion to God.
History of the Exaltation
Bright holiday came to us from time immemorial. In the 4th century, thanks to the Roman emperor Constantine and his mother, St. Helen, Equal to the Apostles, Christians regained shrines associated with the last moments of the Savior’s life path.
According to legend, after the conquest of Jerusalem by the Roman pagans, the tomb in which Christ was buried, together with Golgotha, was covered with earth, and a temple was built over them in honor of the pagan goddess Venus. The memory of the torments that the Son of God endured for human sins, and about the miracle of the Resurrection, was diligently worn out. However, two centuries later, Constantine, who had triumphed in three battles and who had seen God’s dispensation in his brilliant victories, set out to find the Life-giving Cross.
He entrusted this mission to his mother, Queen Helen.
Elena went to Jerusalem. Inquiries of local residents for a long time did not bring results, but finally one old Jew, whose name was Judas, pointed to the pagan altars of Venus and said that it was there that the shrine was buried under a layer of earth. After praying to the Lord, Christians began digging up the ground in the place of the altars.
And indeed, they found the Holy Sepulcher, and with it, three crosses. In order to determine on which of them the Savior was executed, they were in turn applied to a recently deceased person. When, after the touch of one of the crosses, the miracle of resurrection occurred, the believers realized that this was the Life-giving Cross.
Many Christians gathered around the holy place: they appealed to Patriarch Macarius with a request to raise the Cross, so that everyone could worship him. Macarius offered up a shrine high above the crowd, and believers bowed before the Holy Cross, praying fervently to God.
At the place of Calvary, where the Savior accepted suffering in the name of human souls, a temple was erected at the behest of Constantine. It was consecrated on September 14 (September 27 — in a new style), and since then the miracle of finding the Cross of the Lord has been celebrated on this date.
On the feast of the Exaltation, nature unfolds by the winter: the day is shortened, the evening becomes long. Our ancestors believed that evil and good at such a moment enter into struggle, and only the Life-giving Cross erected above the world can overcome the darkness. Therefore, they drew crosses over the doors: it was believed that the cross would not allow trouble and illness into the house.
This tradition is common in our time. A barely perceptible cross over the entrance to the house will protect the well-being of those living in it.
On this bright day, it is worth visiting worship and worshiping the cross, asking God for help and forgiveness of sins. The Slavs on the Elevation made a procession around the village, asking for well-being for each resident. In addition, they installed roadside crosses so that each wandering traveler could turn to God.
It is worth remembering that the September 27 Elevation falls at a time of strict fasting, and one cannot indulge in excesses. On this day, well cook dishes from cabbage. Apart from the fact that cabbage is rich in vitamins and will bring undoubted benefits to the body, it has a close relationship with the ancient tradition.
Our ancestors sometimes called the Elevation “cabbages”, because on that day they began to stock up on it for the winter and organized gatherings with cabbage dishes, helping the owners to cut its forks together. Such classes were accompanied by songs and conversations of young boys and girls: many marriages grew out of just acquaintances that took place on the “skit”.
On this September day, people usually refuse to go hiking in the woods: according to an old belief, a great many snakes are slipping at this time, and they prepare to go to the ground in whole balls to spend the winter there. In addition to snakes, the Slavs were wary of Leshego, who made people wander around the forest to exhaustion, or even frightened him with a cry, depriving a person of his mind.
On the day of the Exaltation, you should remind yourself of the great sacrifice of the Savior in the name of the people and think about how to become better and change your life for the better. Sincere repentance of bad deeds is the first step towards this. On this day your prayers will surely be heard. Pray for yourself and your loved ones, ask for help from the heavenly forces and do not forget to press the buttons and