I wish you a happy feast of “Mesqel”, the finding of the true cross.
Today, on the 16th of Meskerem (Sept. 26), in Ethiopia, we are celebrating Mesqel. The celebration continues tomorrow as well. Our synaxarium indicates that on the 16th of Meskerem the church of the Holy Sepulcher was consecrated by Queen Helena and on the 17th of Mekerem (Sept. 27) the Holy Cross was celebrated and kept in the Holy Sepulcher. According to our synaxarium, Queen Helena found the true cross on the 10th of Megabit (March 20), but church fathers determined that it be celebrated on the 17th of Mekerem because Megabit always falls in the fasting season.
Queen Helena and King Constantine are given a very important place and honor in our church. They are considered as “Equal to the Apostles” or in ge’ez “Sutafei Hawariat”. I personally like St. Helena and St. Constantine very much and usually liken St. Constantine to the Ethiopian King St. Zar’a Yaqob (14th C).
By the way, one amazing thing during the celebration of the holy cross in Ethiopia is the “Mesqel Flower”. It is a unique species of daisy flower which is bright yellow in color and which does not grow in any other country and in any time of the year except the Mesqel season. This flower covers the hills and the plain field throughout Ethiopia just like a yellow carpet. During the Mesqel holiday every person and every home is decorated with this flower. Even the bonfire or the “Demera” is decorated by this amazing flower. Could there be any mystery or divine message behind this flower?