FEAST OF EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS
Sept 14 2009
Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is the last one of the five
major feasts of the Armenian Apostolic Church. It is the most important
feast among the feasts dedicated to the Holy Cross, as it is dedicated
to the history of the return of the Holy Cross from imprisonment,
its elevation and glorification. In the Armenian Apostolic Church the
Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is celebrated on Sunday
during the period between September 11-17. This year that date is
September 17, and the Monday following the Feast is a Memorial Day.
In 610 A. D, the Persian King Khosrov with a large army attacks the
Byzantine Empire. Enthusiastic about the initial victory, in 614
A. D. the Persian army enters Jerusalem. Many people are killed and
many are imprisoned. Pontiff Zakaria, the Patriarch of Jerusalem is
imprisoned, too. However, the Persians are not satisfied and enter
the Church of Holy Sepulcher and take the Holy Cross kept in the
Church. The Holy Cross had been found and installed in the Church
for the Christians to worship by Heghineh, the mother of the King
Costandianos, in the beginning of the 4th century.
In 628 A. D., the Byzantine army led by the King Herakles fight against
the Persians to return the Holy Cross. The Armenian army regiment,
led by Mzhezh Gnounie, supported the Persian army. With the Lord’s
help the Byzantine army wins the battle.
For Christians the Cross is God’s power and strength and pride of
all prides, on which Christ’s innocent blood was shed. By means of
the Cross Jesus proved His love towards mankind, and the Cross became
for us the symbol of hope, love and saving.
In many places the Holy Cross is accepted as a symbol of the fall
time. The following day of Holy Cross is a Memorial Day; the relatives
visit the graves of the dead.