The Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, or the Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-creating Cross, originated in the fourth century when Empress Helena – mother of the Emperor of Byzantium, Constantine the Great – went to Jerusalem in search of the lost Cross of Christ. Also, the fourth century saw the beginning of Christian pilgrimages to important Biblical sites. The Cross was found and after a feast the Cross was split up and relics of it placed in churches, where people could come and pay their respects to them. For Christians, the Cross is a sign of protection and victory. The Christian message of the Cross is that Christ overcame death by rising up after his death on the Cross. The Cross and Easter are inseparable. This feast is one of the 12 Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church.