The feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross commemorates the recovery of the Holy Cross, which had been placed on Mt. Calvary, by St. Helena and preserved in Jerusalem. In celebration of the discovery of the Holy Cross, Constantine ordered the construction of churches at the site of the Holy Sepulchre and on Mount Calvary. Those churches were dedicated on September 13 and 14, 335, and shortly thereafter the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross began to be celebrated on the latter date. The feast slowly spread from Jerusalem to other churches, until, by the year 720, the celebration was universal. The Church has a long tradition of venerating the Cross, that’s why Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches always have large crucifixes in prominent places. In the Catholic Church venerating the Cross is a liturgical tradition during Holy Week. 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 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 and thoughts.