The story of the Holy Cross

The story of the Holy Cross


the story of the Holy Cross

According to the 15th century Cypriot chronicler Leontios Makhairas, after the end of the First Ecumenical Synod in Nicaea (325), St. Helena the mother of the Emperor Constantine I, went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land where she discovered the three crosses on which Jesus and the two thieves had been crucified.

She had them excavated and wanted to bring them to Constantinople, but she is said to have left one of these crosses in Cyprus during an involuntary visit caused by shipwreck, on the south coast of Cyprus, at the mouth of the ancient river Tetios, which has since been named Vasilopotamos in honor of the mother of the king.

Religious history says that the Holy Cross was transferred by a miracle to the peak of mount Olympus (today known as Stavrovouni – “cross mountain”) overnight and that a strong light was coming out of that peak. After several unsuccessful attempts to get the Holy Cross out of that mountain, Helena decided to leave a piece there, and built a small chapel to accompany it.

Subsequently, the reverence and veneration of the holy cross was transmitted throughout Cyprus, with the most important places being the villages of Lefkara, Tochni, Omodos, Angora and Kouka. The Church of the Holy Cross (Sts. Constantine & Helen’s) in Tochni is the only church in Cyprus constructed over a bridge. According to Makhairas, both the original bridge and church were built by St. Helen.


Tochni Area, Larnaca, Cyprus


MYSTAGOGY – the weblog of John Sanidopoulos

Stavrovouni Monastery from Wikipedia

The Holy Cross in Cyprus and related Traditions, Chr. Koulendrou