September 14, 2012

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross - September 14th
Novena Prayer

Jesus, Who because of Your burning love for us, willed to be crucified and to shed Your Most Precious Blood for the redemption and salvation of our souls, look down upon us and grant the petition we ask for: (mention your request).

We trust completely in Your Mercy.  Cleanse us from sin by Your Grace, sanctify our work, give us and all those who are dear to us our daily bread, lighten the burden of our sufferings, bless our families, and grant to the nations, so sorely afflicted, Your Peace, which is the only true peace, so that by obeying Your Commandments we may all come at last to the glory of Heaven.

(Pray an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be.)


(Novena prayer courtesy of EWTN Global Catholic Network,
("Crucifixion", Painting by Spanish painter Alonso Cano {1601-1667}, Oil on Canvas, c. 1640.)


This day also is called the Exaltation of the Cross, Elevation of the Cross, Holy Cross Day, Holy Rood Day, or Roodmas. The liturgy of the Cross is a triumphant liturgy. When Moses lifted up the bronze serpent over the people, it was a foreshadowing of the salvation through Jesus, when He was lifted up on the Cross. Our Mother Church sings of the triumph of the Cross, the instrument of our redemption. To follow Christ we must take up His cross, follow Him and become obedient until death, even if it means death on the cross. We identify with Christ on the Cross and share in His cross.

We make the Sign of the Cross before prayer, which helps to fix our minds and hearts to God. After prayer we make the Sign of the Cross to keep close to God. During trials and temptations, our strength and protection is the Sign of the Cross. At Baptism, we are sealed with the Sign of the Cross, signifying the fullness of redemption and that we belong to Christ.

Let us look to the cross frequently, and realize that when we make the Sign of the Cross we give our entire self to God — mind, soul, heart, body, will, thoughts.

BONUS ACTIVITY:  Tradition holds that sweet basil grew over the hill where St. Helena found the Holy Cross, so in Greece the faithful are given sprigs of basil by the priest. Cook a basil pesto, tomato basil salad (with the last of the summer tomatoes!) or some other type of recipe that includes basil, and explain to the tradition to your family.

BONUS GRACES:  The Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday following September 14th (the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross) mark one of the quarterly sets of Ember Days of the Church.  Click here for a detailed explanation.  Don't miss this special opportunity for efficacious prayer and fasting!


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