Today is the feast of the Triumph or Exaltation of the Holy Cross. It commemorates the finding of the relic of the Cross (326AD) and it’s recapture from the Persians. (628AD)
Today is traditionally a fast day, along with Friday and Saturday are the fall Ember days.
Liturgically the Office hymn for today is Vexilla Regis written in the 7th century by Fortunatus.
Abroad the Regal Banners fly, now shines the Cross’s mystery;
Upon it Life did death endure, and yet by death did life procure.
Who, wounded with a direful spear, did, purposely to wash us clear
From stain of sin, pour out a flood of precious Water mixed with Blood.
That which the Prophet-King of old hath in mysterious verse foretold,
Is now accomplished, whilst we see God ruling nations from a Tree.
O lovely and reflugent Tree, adorned with purpled majesty;
Culled from a worthy stock, to bear those Limbs which sanctified were.
Blest Tree, whose happy branches bore the wealth that did the world restore;
The beam that did that Body weigh which raised up hell’s expected prey.
Hail, Cross, thou the only hope of mankind! now On this triumphant day,
Improve religious souls in grace, the sins of criminals efface.
Hail Cross, alone the hope of all, we pray! Now, On this triumphant day;
grant to the just increase of grace, and every sinner’s crimes efface.
Blest Trinity, salvation’s spring, may every soul Thy praises sing;
To those Thou grantest conquest by the holy Cross, rewards apply. Amen.