Today we celebrate the consecration of the
sanctuaries of the church of Resurrection in Jerusalem in the year
When she arrived there and received the blessings of the holy places, she searched for the wood of the Cross and found it after much toil. She praised it with great veneration and paid to it much reverence and honor. She commanded the building of the sanctuaries of the Resurrection, the Golgotha, Bethlehem and the manger, the upper room of Zion, Gethsemane and other sanctuaries, and that they be inlaid with pearl and covered with gold and silver.
There was in Jerusalem a saintly bishop who advised her not to do that, saying, "After a while foreign people will come and seize this place and destroy it and take the precious stones and the silver and the gold. But it is preferable to construct the buildings well and give the remainder of the money to the poor and the needy." She accepted his advice, gave him the money and set him in charge of the work.
When she returned to her son and told him what she had done, he rejoiced, and sent large sums of money and commanded to pay the workers their wages in full so they would not complain. When the building of the holy places was finished in the thirtieth year of the reign of Emperor Constantine, he sent vessels and precious vestments for the altars. He sent word to the Archbishop of Constantinople and to St. Athanasius, Pope of Alexandria, to take their bishops and to go to Jerusalem where they would meet the Archbishop of Antioch and the Bishop of Jerusalem, to consecrate these sanctuaries.
They tarried there until the sixteenth of the month of Tute, when they consecrated all the altars that had been built. On the seventeenth day they marched with the Honorable Cross around all the holy places where they worshipped God, offered the offerings, and venerated the Cross and honored it. Then they returned to their chairs.
Their prayers be with us to the last breath. Amen.
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