|The Holy Face|
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You because by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world.
What is this?
A couple of not-too-worn metal plates from the garage shop down the road, cobbled together for free or little money, then stuck over each other, up and down, trying to pass along for hands, arms, legs - what? Who is the master artist that came up with this brilliant idea? Who invented this particular definition of sacred and liturgical art?
Bald Eagle wants to know. And, let us be clear, she is not blaming Pope Francis. Maybe he has poor taste or poor eyesight or both. Perhaps it was foisted on him at the last moment with nice smiles all around and he felt incapable of rejecting it. We do not know.
But the artist and the 'consultants'? Bald Eagle would very much like to engage her talons with deep, surgical precision in that regard.
And what's with the wood chosen? Did that perchance originate from Ikea's bargain basement?
Now, compare that cross to this:
|The Agonizing Crucifix of the Precious Blood|
It is well-known that the wood for the Cross of Christ was taken from timber that had floated to the surface of the pool in Bethesda (cf. Jn 5:1-9), near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem. This timber had reportedly originated from three trees - one of cedar, one of cypress, one of pine - that had sprouted centuries before, at the time of Adam's death, but were united together in a single trunk (Geraldine Rohling, Ph.D.; Behold the Wood). It was from these trees and this trunk that Moses had reportedly cut his rod and underneath which David had composed most of his Psalms. Solomon used the wood from these trees in the construction of the Temple, then cut down all the rest and buried them where the pool was later dug.
Do we, therefore, want that thing depicted in the extreme left photograph above to be our new standard for the Cross - iconoclasm at its most stunning - when Christ Himself wants to be known, seen, and loved?
Ne Evacuetur Crux!
|Ex Ligno Vera Crucis|
Domini Nostri Jesu Christi
Here for your edification and compensation for the cross of Pope Francis, ladies and gentlemen, are two short and thick pieces of the True Cross of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in a sealed brass reliquary. This precious relic comes with official documentation of its authenticity from Archbishop Paul Karatas of the Chaldean Catholic Archeparchy of Diyarbakir, Turkey. His coat of arms is also on the intact seal inside the reliquary. This very precious relic was given to me by an Orthodox monk in Southern Bulgaria.
|Detail of the True Cross|
The Cross upon which Christ had been crucified and died was found on September 14, 326 by the Empress-Saint Helena, mother of Constantine, and authenticated by miracles. Hence the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Part of the True Cross was enclosed in a silver reliquary and given to the Patriarch of Jerusalem for public veneration. Other parts were translated to Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey) and widely distributed.
A large portion of the Cross can be found in the Greek Treasury at the foot of Mount Golgotha in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre - Church of the Resurrection, Jerusalem. Other sizeable portions can be found at the Basilica della Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, Rome, Italy; at the Koutloumousiou Monastery on Mount Athos, Greece; and at the Gishen Maryam Monastery in the Wollo region of Ethiopia. Fragments of the True Cross can also be found in several churches and private collections around the world.
|Official Documentation of the Relic|
Veneration of the Holy Cross
Here are a few photographs of the public veneration of the Relic last year at Santa Venera Catholic Church in Malta:
|On the altar before Mass|
|Public veneration of the Relic|
|The pastor is holding the Relic|
© Marcelle Bartolo-Abela, aka the Bald Eagle.