The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross originated in Jerusalem in 355 to commemorate the of the Basilica of the Resurrection.
In the icon, St. Macarius is the center of the icon, elevating the Holy Cross and showing it to the people. This elevation of uplifting of the Cross shows its prominence as the sign of victory. Hence the name “Exaltation” or “Elevation of the Holy Cross” St. Constatine the Emperor and St. Helena, his mother, are frequently shown although some icons depict only St. Helena. Gathered about the Cross with St. Macarius and St. Helena are bishop, priest, and hymnographers. 1
1 Come Bless The Lord, GOD WITH US, Catechetical Series, 1976.