Ethiopia– place where portion of the cross on which Jesus Christ is crucified is kept in Gishen.

The festival of True cross celebration is celebrated across Ethiopia on 26/27 September to commemorate the unearthing of the True Holy Cross of Christ. Celebrations begin with the building of the Damera bonfire in all over the country – a conical pyre of poles surrounded by bundles of branches and torches, decorated with green grass and Abyssinian daisies symbolizing the New Year. Millions of people from diverse communities flock to the square as colourfully dressed priests chant hymns and prayers and perform their unique rhythmic dance in front of the pyre. At the climax, the patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church lights the bonfire. Maskel is celebrated nationwide regardless of age, gender, language or ethnicity. Participants are believed to receive spiritual rewards from the celebration and blessings from the Holy Cross. Local churches play a key role in coordinating communities and safeguarding the element. The festival is also a time when families get together and migrant workers return home – reunions that result in the inflow of money, information and new ideas from urban centres to rural areas. Prior to the celebration, personal quarrels and social disagreements must be resolved. In this way, Maskel is an occasion for Ethiopians to promote their spiritual life through reconciliation, social cohesion and peaceful coexistence.

where is the true place kept in?

Gishen is one of the places of immense significance for Ethiopian Church and Ethiopian Orthodox Christians, perhaps even for Christianity itself. It has got a portion of the cross on which Jesus Christ is crucified is located.

The Bible explicitly suggests that the first christian convert was the Ethiopian eunuch, written in Acts 8. Before the disciples of Jesus went outside of Israel to preach Christ, Philip the Evangelist happened to meet Ethiopian eunuch who posed questions about the Christian faith and Jesus Christ before he embraced Christianity. Later on, he came back Ethiopia and preached the faith. The originality of Christianity in Ethiopia and the Ethiopian church is partly attributed to that story.

Gishen Mariam entrance. Source : Ethiosports
Gishen Mariam entrance. Source : Ethiosports

Ethiopian Church teaching has it that the Cross on which Jesus was crucified continued to do miracles and heal patients after the ascension of Jesus Christ. Descendants of the establishment that crucified Jesus Christ were embarrassed about it so much so that they had to hid the cross ; dug deep, buried it and made the place where it was buried a dumping place. Sometime in the forth century, Empress Eleni , who was said to have spiritual guidance, started the search for it, located and uncovered it after excavation work. There after, the cross lived in Jerusalem for centuries and was later shared by the then powerful countries. That’s how Ethiopia got a piece of it. [adToAppearHere]

Emperor Zera Yacob, known in history as Ethiopia’s philosopher king,after experiencing spiritual revelation, is said to have led exploration is search of a cross shaped topography in Ethiopia where he was supposed to place the Cross as per the assignement to do so. The search ended where the present days Gihshen is located- a perfect cross-shaped plateau. Gishen is in North Central Ethiopia in what is now Amhara regional state, north wollo zone.

Cross-shaped topography of Gishen Mariam  Source
Cross-shaped topography of Gishen Mariam

The cross is referred to as, in Ethiopia, Gimade Meskel. It was placed in Gishen on Meskerem 21 sometime in the mid 15th century Ethiopian Calendar (on September 30 in Gregorian Calander) The church of Egziabhier Ab ( translates to God the father) stands, for over many many hundreds of years now, where the cross is kept. Church of Virgin Mary stands adjacent to it.

On this day every year, thousands of Ethiopians make pilgrimage to the holy place of Gishen. Many in fact walk more than 82 kilometers from the town of Dessie in a deliberate move to make the pilgrimage more meaningful. It takes to hike a mountainous topography before reaching the holy place.

In addition to believers in Ethiopia, the place has become for people who make religious travel even from outside of Ethiopia.

How was the cross found?

When Elephant Queen entered Jerusalem, the place where the cross was buried was not easily accessible. There were three reasons for this. The first was that Christians were living away from the city because of the war in Jerusalem from 132 to 135 and the city was completely destroyed. The second is the first mound of rubbish after the burial of the cross in Golgotha, and the third king, Hadrian, in 135, rebuilding the city and rebuilding the city of Venus at Golgotha. The construction of the Venus Temple prevented Christians from getting close to the area.

“When she came, she took the Jews and tortured them until they showed them the tomb of the Lord Christ, and compelled them to go up to that hill, and his glorious cross had been uncovered.” On the other hand, on March 10, Sardis revealed that she had confided in a mystery by troubling a Jew who knew the story. This statement agrees with the description of the ancient documents. Although Zeusman refused, the story of a Jewish elder showing Queen Eleni the place where the cross was buried is very similar to the story of an old church called Kirios. At this time it does not seem that this Jew could speak of destiny or prayer. This idea may have been the archbishop of Jerusalem at the time.

What I haven’t found in other records or scans yet is the story of “the sum and the smoke looked.” St. Jared reveals the smoke on the cross in the smoke. As the Queen Mother of the Elephant, she would only accept the information the Jews gave and would not start digging. It was confirmed by the Jews in prayer. Then when the incense was offered, the smoke pointed to Golgotha. We can’t keep records about this.

How was Easter celebrated?

They say that the cross was discovered on September 17th in Ethiopia and Egypt. I did not find any definitive information on when the excavations began. Our experts say the excavations began on September 17 and are completed on March 10. It could take on the current technology. But on March 10, he has his own story. It is the day when the cross was brought back to Golgotha ​​by the King’s Herald, where he was captured by the Persians.

It is customary for ancestors to link Tank with history, so the cross may have been brought to Golgotha ​​on March 10 to coincide with the date of its founding. It tells us that on September 16, it was the day when the churches were built by Queen Eleni in Jerusalem and the surrounding area. On September 17, St. Eleni is the chapel of the Cross church built in Golgotha ​​where the cross is located.

However, because it does not celebrate the Feast of Fasting, it tells us that when the Mass was celebrated on September 17, scholars observed that there was a system.

How did he get into Ethiopia?

There are two kinds of stories about how the Gemma Cross has entered Ethiopia. One from Egypt and the second from Jerusalem. The problem with the cross came to Ethiopia because of the difficulty of the sword. In this period, when the Egyptian authorities tortured Egyptian Christians, they beat King Swede to the south of Egypt. Moreover, he restricted his business line. As a result, supplies from Ethiopia and Nubi dropped.

The Egyptian authorities who threatened the situation laid the yoke on the Egyptian Christians. Egypt’s bishop and authority agreed and sent a messenger to Ethiopia. The patriarch John in Jerusalem was involved. Abune John came as the leader of the messengers.

It was David who was on the throne at the time, and he agreed that he would not close the business and that the authorities would not harass the Christians. King David asked for a cross from the Lord to serve as a tie to the agreement. The authorities agreed.

In 1387, the experts bringing the cross were sent to Cairo. The couriers were carrying 20 camels loaded with gifts to the authorities. ዐፄ David had already communicated with the Archbishop John of Jerusalem, and he sent him a picture of Luke, a portrait of the Lord, and a cross. Gemma Cross eagerly followed on September 16 and stayed in the church the king had raised. (Tekle righteous Mecca, From the God of Yukon to the Virgin, pp. 116-118)

On the other hand, when the cross came to Ethiopia, David went down to Sardin. There, Bazaar’s horse trampled on them, and they died. There is also the story that the Gemma Cross has remained at Smyrna. It is difficult to accept this story when we think that Sudan was invaded by the Arabs at the time, and that Stern was close to their empire. Moreover, it is difficult to say that from thirty to thirty years Jacob lived there thirty years. Perhaps I think the story of the plantation of the righteous plant is better.

On the other hand, the story of the Gemma cross comes from Jerusalem in light of Jerusalem’s situation at the time. This is because after the siege of Jerusalem by Salah Din in 1187, the cross was removed from the area. The Roman emperors failed to negotiate for him. The Crusaders, too, did not find the cross, but they entered Jerusalem and brought in others to sacrifice.

In my opinion, we must have got the cross from Alexandria. When Queen Eleni completed the construction of the Jerusalem churches, the Fathers of Constantinople, Antioch, and Alexandria sent priests. It is likely in this period that Gemma had crossed to Alexandria. Later, when David asked for his cross, they probably sent him a gift for the patriarchs of Alexandria. On the other hand, the authority will likely be under pressure.

In his book “History is the Market, the Idea of ​​All” in the book Alew Tessa, they say: “David got his cross by blocking the Nile and bothering the Egyptians. The concerned Egyptian authorities demanded that they send the cross to the messengers they sent, and the authorities report that the Egyptian fathers had been handed over to them.


Celebrations are one of the many festivals celebrated in Ethiopia. Some scholars say Queen Eleni is the origin of the celebration. But in the ancient records of Queen Eleni I find nothing to support this. However, there are records that when the churches of Jerusalem celebrated the temple, they took the torch and lit a torch to bless.

With this, the Ethiopians have begun to celebrate the Passover with a celebration. Belarus is an expression of the spiritual competence of our forefathers, not from outside. They celebrated the celebration of our Lord’s baptism by taking down the Ark from the feast and returning the feast.

The hierarchy is celebrated from the north to the south at the same time and in the same order. The golden age of southern Ethiopia is known from the time of the Abyssinian period to the reign of the patriarch Jacob. The Crusade system must have been established and celebrated in the South at this time or earlier. For centuries it is necessary to make a system culture.

The cross is one of the Christian ceremonies that cannot destroy it in the south. His glory and favor are still celebrated in Wolayita, Gamo, Gofa, Guruga, Wrath, and Seas. Some people don’t even remember the system, even when the teaching was lost.

This implies that the festival of bread can be in our country before the arrival of the half-cross. In this case we still have access to newsletters and archives.

On the other hand, our tradition of celebrating the celebration of Deborah and the New Year’s celebration with the bread and lamps gives us a clue that the celebration is not only associated with the celebration of the cross.

It seems that Ethiopian intellectuals have adapted this candlelight system from the ancient national tradition and the light system in Jerusalem. Each year in Jerusalem, it was a system of lighting the annual lampshade from the Lord’s tomb. This system is a combination of different light and oil lamps. May the blessing of the fathers who have set up this system for us to shine on the feast on behalf of the Ethiopian torch.

Geshen and Gemma Cross

The monastery in the monastery says that the cross was settled by Geshen Mary. The main reason for this is that the vision of the Cross was given to the patriarch Jacob. Amba Ghechen has been the seat of the kings since the reign of King Yuko. One of them will reign and the others will sit in my bosom in peace. There was a church, a palace, and a palace built for the king’s sons. For this reason, the Geez books call her place by different names. “The Desert” is the place of kings, “Amba Gessen”, Debre Berbebe.

ዐፄ The descendants of Jacob knew Geshen when he was captured and imprisoned in the palace like the other kings. To celebrate the half-life that David brought, David had reason to think. Originally, according to the king, the place where the cross was and the place where the descendants of Jacob reigned. They were both in a trance. On the other hand, because Jacob had a special love for the cross, he wanted to transfer it to a place where he would have been permanently preserved from the place where it had been built. That’s when he saw that vision.

What is surprising is how the congregation kissed him after the cross had been laid in Gshechen. Because it was a place where the fortress was guarded by the soldiers and entered by only the king’s sons. It shows how strong the fort was when we realized that the left wing was unable to break twice. It is likely that the pilgrims entered the fort after the left, but the fort was not a prison of the kings. By the time of Gondar, the parishioners were transferred to the fortress, and the parishioners were able to enter.

It does not appear that when the Confederate forces marched into the fort on February 22, 1532, they looted the royal garb, not trying to take down the cross.

Menelik built the existing church of God the Father, and the Empress Menon built the church of Our Lady. (Prince Ras Amru Haile Selassie, from what I remember. P. 168, 169).