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Domingo 02 de Octubre - Buenos Aires - Argentina
PREMIO MEJOR MEDIO DE PRENSA PUBLICADO EN LENGUA EXTRANJERA - MINISTERIO DE LA DIASPORA DE ARMENIA 2015
Iglesia - Armenian Apostolic Church
Exaltation of the Holy Cross
11 de Septiembre de 2022

Every year, between September 11-17, the Armenian Apostolic Church observes a five-day fast called the Fast of the Holy Cross followed by the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross or Խաչվերաց (Khatchverats), one of the five major feast days in the church.

The Holy Cross refers to the cross on which Jesus was crucified, which was then praised, or “exalted” on three significant instances. The Cross was first revered by St. James the Apostle or Սուրբ Յակոբ (Soorp Hagop) who lifted the Cross and declared “We bow before thy cross, O Christ” or «Սուրբ Խաչիւս աղաչեսցուք զՏէր» (“Soorp Khatcheevus aghachestsook zDer”) – a declaration still used in Armenian liturgy. The second exaltation came in the 300s AD, when the mother of Emperor Constantine traveled to Jerusalem to find relics from the life of Christ. She came across three crosses and in prayer the Holy Cross was identified by its healing powers. According to tradition, the Holy Cross was covered in basil.

The third occasion came in the 600s AD when the Persian King with his army attacked the Byzantine Empire and stole the Holy Cross from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, or Church of the Resurrection as called by the Eastern Christians – venerated as the site where Jesus Christ rose from the dead. The Emperor Heraclius, and his Byzantine army, aided by the Armenian army, fought against the Persians and seized the Holy Cross, and brought it through the Armenian town of Կարին (Garin), or Erzeroom, en route to Constantinople and then to Jerusalem. The Holy Cross was raised up for all to see and admire through this journey to Jerusalem. The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross brings these three accounts together in symbolism and prayer.

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