Our Lady of the Holy Cross

March 31: Our Lady of the Holy Cross

The Abbot Orsini wrote: “Our Lady of the Holy Cross, at Jerusalem, where is kept a part of Our Lady’s veil, given by Saint Helen.”

The Roman Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, or Basilica de Santa Croce in Gerusalemme in Italian, is one of the seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome. The church dates back to about the year 320, when Saint Helena, the mother of the emperor Constantine, modified one of her rooms in the imperial palace to house the relics of the Passion of Christ that she had brought back to Rome from the Holy Land. Even though the church is located in Rome, it is said to be “at Jerusalem” due to the fact that the floor was covered with earth that had also been brought back from Jerusalem, meaning that the church was built upon the soil of Jerusalem.

Saint Helena travelled to the Holy Land in the year 326, founding churches at the places where Christ was born in Bethlehem, and from where he ascended into heaven. It shouldn’t seem so remarkable that Helena was able to find the holy places such as the Cenacle, for many of the buildings still stood. Then, as now, the buildings were constructed of stone, and so they could not burn, as wood would only be found in furniture, doors and windows. It was also under Helena’s direction that the Cenacle was purified, consecrated, and Mass said there once again. The Cenacle became the seat of the archbishop until the year 636 when the Arabs came with fire and sword.



There are many significant relics kept at the church, including pieces of the cross upon which Jesus suffered his Passion, two thorns from the Crown of Thorns, a piece of one of the nails that held Our Lord to the Cross. Other relics include a piece of the cross of the Good Thief, a bone from the finger of Saint Thomas that he had placed into the wound of Christ after His the Resurrection, and fragments of the pillar Christ was tied to when he was whipped, the Holy Sepulcher, the crib Jesus had used as a baby, and other fragments from the grotto where He had been born at Bethlehem. These relics can still be seen today.

Photo courtesy Moguntiner


Have A Great Story About This Topic?

Do you have a great story? Have You Visited This Shrine? Share it!

[ ? ]

Upload 1-4 Pictures or Graphics (optional)[ ? ]

 

Click here to upload more images (optional)

Author Information (optional)

To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

(first or full name)

(e.g., City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

 submission guidelines.


(You can preview and edit on the next page)



Return to Marian Calendar March

Return to Titles of Mary

Return to Roman Catholic Saints Home Page from Our Lady of the Holy Cross




  Now Available!

Catholic Vitality Publications presents . . .

Defenders of Christendom

Brand new by

James Fitzhenry

Now in paperback!

Battles - Honor - Miracles! This book is filled with amazing stories of little-known Catholic heroes presenting spectacles of bravery and valor never exceeded in all the annals of history. read more. . .


Also available:


Catholic Vitality Publications


Roman Catholic books currently published by Catholic Vitality Publications:

El Cid, God's Own Champion

-the amazing true story of the life of Rodrigo Diaz, El Cid!

Buy 2 and Save!


St. Fernando III

A Kingdom for Christ


- King St. Fernando III, born 100
years to the month after the death of
the Cid. His life was filled with miracles
and many conquests!

Buy Any Two and Save!
Request author signed copies:


Discounts available for bulk
orders and for bookstore
retail sales! Just contact us