On Wednesday, September 14, the Franciscans processed to the Holy Sepulcher in order to celebrate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
The mass, celebrated at Calvary, was presided over by Br. Dobromir Jasztal, the Custodial Vicar. “The feast on September 14 is called Exaltation of the Cross because it celebrates the exciting and victorious nature of the Cross without forgetting its heartbreaking meaning,” began the friar in his homily. This is the result of the Church's tradition, and it highlights different aspects of the mystery of Salvation. The friar explained that ever since the fourth century, the joy of having found Christ's Cross prompted believers to use it as a sign of victory.
“And representing the Cross is not a sentimental devotion,” the friar clarified, but the translation of Jesus' words in speaking about His cross: “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself (John 12:32).”
In order to venerate the Cross and live out its mystery in our daily lives, the friar explained, believers must learn to contemplate the painful representation of the Cross but also its victorious meaning. “We venerate the Cross of the Risen Christ with all its wounds and we contemplate the Resurrection of the Crucified Christ with all of its light and victory over evil and suffering.”
The relic of the Holy Cross, which was carried in procession to the altar of the Apparition, while passing before the Shrine that is undergoing restoration, was venerated by the pilgrims and faithful who were present.