Finding of the Holy Cross, gold foil Orthodox icon
on thick wood.
Size: 8 1/4" x 6 3/4"
Sept 14 (Sept 27) - ELEVATION OF THE HOLY CROSS - this feast is a commemoration of four events:
1. Constantine saw a Cross in the sky with the words "In This Sign Conquer."
2. The finding of the True Cross by the Empress St Helena in 319 in Jerusalem.
3. The building of the Church of the Resurrection in 355 at the site of Christ's Crucifixion and burial tomb - at the dedication the Bishop of Jerusalem Makarios raised the Cross to the people and they spontaneously cried out "Kyrie Eleisoin - Lord Have Mercy!"
4. Celebrates the recapture of the True Cross from the Persians in 629. The Persians had possession of the Cross for 15 years having taken it from the Church in Jerusalem.
Traditions surrounding the Feast. St Helena when looking for the Cross found a sweet basil plant (vasiliko) growing at the site of Golgotha. Vasiliko in Greek means "royal" and the plant is known as the plant of the King of the Universe.
Liturgically the Greek and Antiochian church will place the standing cross in a field of sweet Basil or fresh flowers for the procession with the Cross. Sprigs of basil are also used to sprinkle holy water.