FEAST OF THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS, SEPTEMBER 14
Early in the fourth century St. Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, went to Jerusalem in search of the holy places of Christ's life. She razed the second-century Temple of Aphrodite, which tradition held was built over the Savior's tomb, and she built the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher over the tomb. During the excavation, workers found three crosses. Legend has it that the one on which Jesus died was identified when its touch healed a dying woman.
The cross immediately became an object of veneration. In Jerusalem toward the end of the fourth century, according to an eyewitness, the wood was taken out of its silver container and placed on a table together with the inscription Pilate ordered placed above Jesus' head: Then "all the people pass through one by one; all of them bow down, touching the cross and the inscription, first with their foreheads, then with their eyes; and, after kissing the cross, they move on."
To this day the Eastern Churches, Catholic and Orthodox alike, celebrate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on the September anniversary of the dedication of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. In AD 614 the Emperor Heraclius recovered the cross from the Persians, who had carried it off 15 years earlier. According to the story, the emperor intended to carry the cross back into Jerusalem himself, but was unable to move forward until he took off his imperial garb and became a barefoot pilgrim.
Unlike the cross on the Feast of Good Friday, which was an instrument of death, on September 14 we celebrate and exult in the cross of Christ which is a sign of triumph: Good over Evil. It is a cross that gives life. It the “New Tree of Life” referred to in the Garden of Eden as mentioned in the Book of Genesis.
The Maronite Church blesses water on the Feast of the Holy Cross. Water will be blessed by the Bishop at the 7 o’clock Liturgy. Bring a small container to take to your home.
Scripture Readings For September
* September 11 Eighteenth Week of Pentecost - SUNDAY THE FRUIT OF THE WORD: LOVE OF NEIGHBOR (Parable of the Vineyard Tenants) Book of Offering Page 425 or 492 1Pet 1:22-25 Mk 12:1-12
* September 14 Wednesday - FEAST OF THE HOLY CROSS Book of Offering Page 606 1Cor 1:18-25 Jn 12:20-32
* September 18 - FIRST SUNDAY AFTER THE HOLY CROSS Book of Offering Page 606 2Tim 2:1-10 Mk 10:35-45
* September 25 - SECOND SUNDAY AFTER THE HOLY CROSS Book of Offering Page 606 1Cor 15:19-34 Mt 24:1-14
SPECIAL SECOND COLLECTION
September 18, 2016
All Catholic parishes in the United States have been asked to take up a special collection for the victims of the flooding in Louisiana. Bishop Elias would like to have all of our parishes participate in this special collection. The funds collected will help our Maronite Families in Louisiana who need assistance, along with sending funds directly to Catholic Charities USA.
This collection will be held at St. Raymond on Sunday September 18, 2016. Please make your checks payable to the parish; the collection will be taken up after the regular Sunday collection. If someone would rather donate through a credit card they can call the Chancery 314-231-1021 or donate directly on our website: www.eparchy.org