Elevation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross

Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23).

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Each person must take up his own cross. The burden in this world is different for each person, and each has been chosen by God to bear certain struggles for his own salvation and the salvation of those around him. The cross is to be taken up daily. Commitment to following Christ is not just a one-time event. Rather, it is the continual practice of faith and obedience, even to the point of being shamed and persecuted by the world.

Reflection By Saint Nikolai Velimirovic

The power of the Cross is mysterious: no matter how unexplainable, it is true and indisputable. Yet St. John Chrysostom speaks of a custom in his time, in which the sign of the Cross is attached “on the emperor’s diadem, on the accoutrements of the soldiers, and it is traced on parts of the body – the head, the breast and the heart – and also on the table of oblation and over beds… If we need to expel demons, we use the Cross; it also helps to heal the sick.” St. Benedict made the sign of the Cross over a glass of poison, and the glass burst as though it were struck by a stone. St. Julian made the sign of the Cross over a glass of poison that was brought to him and drank the poison, and he suffered no harm. The Holy Martyr Basilissa of Nicomedia protected herself with the sign of the Cross, stood amidst the flames and remained unharmed. The Holy Martyrs Audon and Senis crossed themselves when wild beasts were released on them, and the beasts became docile and meek as lambs. The sign of the Cross has been the most powerful weapon against the temptations of the demons, from the time of the ancient ascetics to the present day. The most horrible of the devil’s devisings vanish into nothing, like smoke, when a man traces the sign of the Cross over himself. Thus, it is a sign of the Lord Jesus Christ’s love for mankind that the Cross – at one time a sign of criminality and shame – became, through His Crucifixion and Resurrection, the repository of all victorious power and might.

Hymn of Praise By Saint Nikolai Velimirovic

Save, O God, Thy people!
Save, O Lord—
By Thine Honorable Cross, Thou dost shine upon us,
The Cross is power and a sign;
The Cross is salvation.

Save, O God, the Patriarch
And the Assembly of [Orthodox] Bishops;
Grant them strength to serve
Thine Honorable Cross!
The Cross is power and a sign;
The Cross is salvation.

Save, O God, all those
Who are in authority;
May the Most-holy Cross protect them
From dark destruction!
The Cross is power and a sign;
The Cross is salvation.

Save, O God, all people
Who pray to Thee.
By Thy Cross, may they quickly overcome
Every difficulty.
The Cross is power and a sign;
The Cross is salvation!

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