Inspired by this thread.
Anyway, to answer my own question, I have indeed seen a bit of the True Cross. (Well, you know what I mean, that’s how it was presented to me.)
I did my junior year of college in Jerusalem, and on Easter Sunday, my friend J. and I went down to the Old City to see what was going on at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The CotHS is a really bizarre place, one of my most favorite churches. It has weird rooms going off in odd directions, the altars of several different denominations next to each other, ancient graffiti carved into the walls, and odd relics. It’s dark and dank and smells of incense.
Anyway, J. and I wanderd in in the middle of a Roman Catholic service. We watched respectfully for a while, and were about to go exploring around the church when a Greek Orthodox monk approached us and asked us if we’d like to see something. We agreed and followed him into what was apparently the Greek Orthodox Monk Coffee Room Addition to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. He produced a framed piece of wood carved in the shape of a cross.
“This is a piece of the True Cross!” he told us. “The cross Jesus died on!”
We made appropriate noises of awe. The monk was pleased. We had a good story. We did not tell him we were Jews. Everyone was happy.
From Mark Twain, I have an idea that loads of churches have pieces of the True Cross, but despite having been to a few European cathedrals, that’s the only bit I’ve ever seen. Anyone else have a different story?