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    Which relics of the Holy Cross are authentic? The Biblist explains how they can be recognized

    One could say this: if one can trace the path of a particular relics of the Holy Cross located in one or another part of the world (also in Poland) to the beginning of the 4th century, (until the 320s and to St. Helena) then it can be said – this is precisely the fragment of this beam that Helena found in Jerusalem – explained on the Polish Radio the biblist Fr. Waldemar Chrostowski

    The clergyman was a guest of Radio 1’s ‘Signals of the Day’ broadcast today.  A lecturer at the University of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński referred to i.e., the discussion about the authenticity of the relics of the Holy Cross scattered throughout the world.

     

     The clergyman pointed to the extreme opinion on this issue, stressing that “common sense” is needed to consider it.  “It is certainly not the case that all relics are authentic, because their path to a particular temple, to a particular church, to a particular place, to a given chapel, was very long and sometimes very twisted, and we do not exactly know it,” he said.

     

    According to him, however, it would be “conceited” to claim that none of these relics is authentic, “because the worship of the relics of the Holy Cross dates back to the beginning of the 4th century and is associated with the person of St. Helena and with an event that has grown into a legend.”

     

    – This event took place in Jerusalem.  When Christianity ceased to be a persecuted religion, and by the power of the Milanese Edict in 313 it became a religion allowed in the Roman Empire, Helena went to Jerusalem and searched there for places related to life, but also the ordaining, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  And this memory of her stay in Jerusalem has become a legend – and let us remember, that this legend is not an invented one, but a heart-fed memory, fed with emotions, fed with love – and this legend proclaims that by erecting the Basilica of Anastasis, or resurrection, Helena came across a grotto, shown today in the Basilica of the Tomb of the Lord and named after the grotto of St. Helena, where she found many wooden crosses, and in any case, many wooden beams, at least a significant part of which could serve as crosses – explained Fr. Prof. Chrostowski.

     

    He stressed that it was not known which of these beams “and whether at all” were related to the death of Jesus.  To check this, a sick person was brought “and at one of these beams the sick person recovered”.  “This beam was considered a relic of the Holy Cross,” the cleric said.

     

     She added that she was “taken to Jerusalem, where we have a special shrine of the Holy Cross next to St. John’s Basilica in Lateran.”

     

     – Then it was distributed into small pieces and distributed to various shrines.  One could say this: if one can trace the path of a particular relics of the Holy Cross located in one or another part of the world (also in Poland) to the beginning of the 4th century, (until the years around 320 and to St. Helena) it can be said – this is the fragment of this beam that Helena found in Jerusalem – he explained.

     

    According to the Biblist, “this discussion must stop because we can’t say anything else.”  He added that in places where a fragment of the Holy Cross is shown, he “grew piety, faith, and prayer, liberating huge amounts of trust in the Lord God.”  “And this is also the other side of the authenticity of the relics of the Holy Cross,” the cleric argued.

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