Festival in Memory of the Lodging of the True Cross and the Council of Nicea

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Kassa Nigus – Mahibere Kidusan – October 2016
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church celebrates yearly two special events on Meskerem 21st (October 1): the lodging of a piece of the “True Cross” in Gishen Debre Kerbe and the Council of Nicea which took place in 325 E.C.
Gishen Debre Kerbe is one of the ancient, most sacred monasteries in Ethiopia which popularly known as the second Jerusalem. It’s set at elevation of 3,019m above sea level in Ambasel woreda some 80km northwest of Dessie, Wollo and 480 km north of Addis Ababa. The cross-shaped mountain of Gishen is home to four churches: Gishen Maryam, St. Gabriel, St. Michael and Egziabher Ab (God the Father).
The Festival celebrated each year on Meskerem 21 (October 1) is for various reasons; according to manuscripts of Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church, it is the date whereby Emperor Zara Yaqob (1434–1468) brought a piece of the “True Cross” on which Jesus Christ was crucified to Gishen Amba and buried it under the church of Egziabher Ab (God the Father), where it remains to this day and, it is also the monthly commemoration date of Saint Mary. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church celebrates recurrently the discovery of the true cross on September 27th and the lodging of the piece of the True Cross at Gishen Debre Kerbe on October 1.
The second festival is in memory of the Council of Nicea. The First Council of Nicea was a council of Christian bishops convened in the Bithynian city of Nicaea by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in 325. This first ecumenical council was the first effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom.
Its main accomplishments were settlement of the Christological issue of the nature of the Son of God and His relationship to God the Father, the construction of the first part of the Creed of Nicaea, establishing uniform observance of the date of Easter, and establishment of early canon law. The Council of Nicea upheld the doctrine of Christ’s true Divinity, rejecting Arius’s heresy.
On the 1st day of October, thousands of pilgrims pay their annual pilgrimage to Gishen Debre Kerbe to celebrate these historical incidences.
Glory be to God!!