The feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross was established in memory of acquisition and the Exaltation of the Cross of Christ. This momentous event occurred during the reign of Constantine the Great, who was the first Roman emperor to stop the persecution of Christians.
Equal to the Apostles Emperor Constantine, who got the victory in three wars over enemies, saw the sign of God in the sky - Cross with the inscription “In hoc signo vinces”. Desiring to find the Cross on which Jesus was crucified, Constantine sent his mother, pious queen Helen, to Jerusalem. Although the holy Empress Helen was already in advanced years at this time, she enthusiastically took up response to the request.
The Roman emperors-pagans tried to destroy the memories of the sacred places where Jesus Christ suffered and resurrected. Emperor Hadrian ordered to bury Calvary and the Holy Sepulchre and to put on an artificial hill the temple of the pagan goddess Venus and a statue of Jupiter. The pagans gathered at this place and committed idol sacrifices.
Looking for the True Cross, the Queen Helen was asking Christians and Jews, but her search remained unsuccessful for a long time. Finally, she was pointed to an old Jew named Judas, who reported that the Cross was buried at the place, where was the temple of Venus. The temple was destroyed and, having prayed, there began to dig. Soon there were discovered the Holy Sepulchre and three crosses not far from it, plank with the inscription "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews", made by order of Pilate, and four nails that pierced the body of the Lord.
To find out on which of the three crosses the Savior was crucified, Patriarch Macarius alternately hold the crosses one after the other to a seriously ill woman. The two crosses made no miracle, and when the third cross was brought, she was healed that same time. It happened that at that time there was carried the body for burial. Then there were laid the crosses on the deceased, and when the third cross was laid, the deceased came to life. Seeing the risen, all were convinced that there was found True Cross.
Christians in countless came to worship the Holy Cross, asked Saint Macarius to raise, to erect the Cross, that all they could reverently contemplate It even from a distance. Then the Patriarch and other spiritual persons began to raise high the Holy Cross, and the people, crying out: “Lord, have mercy”, adored honest Tree.
St. Helen brought a part of the Tree and nails to Constantinople. Equal to the Apostles Emperor Constantine ordered to erect a majestic and vast temple in honor of the Resurrection Christ at Jerusalem, which included the Holy Sepulchre and Golgotha. The temple had been built for about 10 years. St. Helen did not live up to the consecration of the temple - she died in 327. The church was consecrated on 13 September 335 years. The next day, September 14, there was established to celebrate the Exaltation of the Fair and Holy Cross.