of the True Cross
Feast Day: 14 September

Cyril of Jerusalem, writing in 346, notes that “the saving wood of the Cross was found at Jerusalem”, referring to its discovery a decade earlier by Helena, mother of the first Christian Roman emperor. Veneration of the Cross is known from the end of the 4th century.

Fragments of the Cross were used by the Greek Christian rulers of Constantinople as diplomatic gifts. Following the conquest of Constantinople in 1204, the availability of these, and other Passion relics, increased. The story of the Cross was considerably embellished in the 13th century when a genealogy was created linking the wood to the Garden of Eden.

The feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (14 September) continues to be celebrated; the Finding of the True Cross (3 May) was suppressed in 1969.

Relics from the Cathedral Collection...