5 Types of Crosses and Their Meanings

It might shock some, inspire others. But the truth is, the cross is a small-scale reproduction of the instrument of death on which Christ breathed his last. It became the «emblem» of Christians only after Constantine the Great extended the religious tolerance to their community in A.D. 313. Before that, Christ’s followers could only live their faith secretly.

Tau Cross

Popular especially in its olive wood versions, the Tau is actually the last letter of the Old Hebrew alphabet. First adopted by the early Christians as a symbol of their devotion, later it became the coat of arms of the Antonine monks, as well as the distinctive symbol of the Franciscans. It comes hand in hand with the concepts of salvation and redemption.


Egyptian Cross

Both the meaning and the shape of this cross are mesmerizing – Ankh symbol comes from the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character conveying the concept of “life”. “Breath of life” being its literal meaning, this cross symbolizes eternity and is frequently seen in ancient Egyptian art in the hands of deities. It passed in the Christianism through Coptic Christians.


Peace Cross

The origins of this cross date back to early Christianity. It features the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last letters of the classical Greek alphabet. In the very center of it we see the Staurogram, — a combination of the 'χ' ('chi') and 'ρ' ('rho') letters — which is nothing but the abbreviation of the name of Christ.


Christian Cross

Strictly speaking, Christian cross is the instrument of the crucifixion of Jesus. However, the Christian cross has plenty of variants, each of which has its own special design and evokes a particular episode of Christian history. Saint Damian cross and St Benedict cross are a few examples of that.


Pope Francis Cross

We’ll never get tired of this one – it’s the cross that Cardinal Bergoglio chose to accompany him through his papacy. This pastoral cross is dramatically atypical and features the figure of the Good Shepherd. And just like the Good Shepherd of the parable, Pope Francis guides us through difficulties of life and helps us to stay on the right path.


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