Corner of the Cross — Holy Cross Church, West Sacramento

In the left rear corner of the nave are several exhibits which form a sort of museum called the “Corner of the Cross” related to the parish name of Holy Cross. The pieces are very interesting and provide both a historical and liturgical perspective of the background of the church.

The first exhibit is the actual cross which topped the steeple on the former Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church at the corner of Yolo and Hobson in the city of Bryte (now part of West Sacramento). The plaque says that the approximately 6-foot wooden cross was “rescued” by Mrs. Eliza Sequeira when the old church was demolished in the 1960’s; and given to Holy Cross Church at the time of her death in January of 2003. A second historical piece is a plaque, from the original parish church building, engraved with “1915”, the year of the building of the original parish church called “Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament” near the corner of E Street and 3rd in the former city of Broderick (now part of West Sacramento). Another item called the “2nd Millennium Cross” is a small cross emblazoned with iconography showing important scenes in the two-thousand-year-old history of the Catholic Church. A very special relic is housed in the upper corner of the display: a piece of the True Cross of the Crucifixion along with a certificate of authenticity. The relic was presented to Holy Cross Church in 1995 by Sister Mercy Longwich, R.S.M. and the document of authenticity is signed by Angelo Cardinal Priest Dell ‘Acqua of the Titular Church of Sts Ambrose and Charles, Vicar General of His Holiness the Pope and Judge of the Roman Curia on November 30, 1971.

The largest piece in the group of exhibits in the “Corner of the Cross” is an icon done in the Greek style titled “Exaltation of the Holy Cross”. The description of the icon on monasteryicons.com reads as follows: “Our Exaltation of the Cross icon shows the story of when the mother of the emperor Constantine the Great, Saint Helen, ordered the construction of many new churches over the holy sites of Christ’s Nativity and Crucifixion. During the excavations for the latter church, three crosses were discovered, which at Saint Helen’s insistence were tested to see if one of these was the Holy Cross on which Christ was crucified. When a woman near death was touched with the third cross and miraculously restored to health, Saint Helen declared it the True Cross, and her son Constantine ordered the building of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre”.

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