Sunday, 7 November 2010

The church of Holy Cross in Jerusalem

The church of Holy Cross in Jerusalem, founded in IV century A.D. by St. Helen, mother of the roman emperor Costantine, takes its name from the relics of the holy cross brought here by Helen herself. The church preserves as well many other relics (nobody knows of course whether they are true or not). They are: three pieces from the holy cross, one nail, the inscription placed on top of the cross (I.N.R.I., Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudeorum - Jesus from Nazareth, king of the Jewish people), two nails from the crown of thorns, the finger of St. Thomas who touched the chest of Jesus, fragments of the column of the flagellation, one of the thirty coins used by Judas to betray Jesus, the sponge soaked with vinegar to quench Jesus's thirst and the rock where he was sitting when he was forgiving Mary Magdalene. There is as well a part of the cross of the thief crucified beside Jesus. All these relics have been preserved for 1610 years in a chapel below the actual church and today they are shown in another chapel built in 1930.