The Feast of the Holy Cross celebrated in the Armenian Catholic Churches
The Feast of the Holy Cross celebrated with special rituals in all eastern churches like Armenian, Armenian Catholic, Orthodox and Chaldean Churches.
In the Armenian Catholic Churches of the Eurpean side, the Holy Cross Feast was celebrated with the ritual led by Archpriest Vartan Kazancıyan in the Büyükdere Surp Boğos Armenian Catholic Church, while in the Asia side, the Holy Cross Feast ceremony was led by the Archpriest Mikail Uçar in Surp Levon Armenian Catholic Church in Kadıköy.
In the rituals, the words of the Apostle Paul to the Galatians were emphasized: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
; Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 2:20, 5:24).
This is a holiday peculiar to Armenian history and it is about the cross used in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Visiting Jerusalem during 1st century, the faithful Queen Patronike requested a piece from the Cross of Jesus as a souvenir. She kept this holy present like a treasure and bequeathed it to the faithful women from her family. St. Rhipsime, a Roman noble descending from Patronike, ran away from Rome to Egypt with other faithful women, when the oppression toward Christians started; she took the remnant of the True Cross with herself. When their identities were revealed in Egypt, they went to Armenia through Syria and settled on the slopes of Mount Varag near Van. Then, when they were forced to leave again, Rhipsime trusted the remnant of the True Cross with a monk there. It had been known that this monk buried it somewhere around the mountain before he died. After Armenians converted to Christianity, this mountain attracted many monks. They all wanted to find this precious treasure. After 3 centuries of search, prayer and suffering, God miraculously showed the location of the remnant of the Cross to two monks called Totik and Hovel. One night, a cross made of light appeared in the sky. Heading toward it, two monks found the silver box and the remnant. This light was seen by other people, which is the proof of the miracle. Catholicos Nerses III the Builder turned this event into a holiday and built the Church of Surb Nshan (Holy Seal), which is in ruins today.