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All about the Sign of the Cross and its significance

All about the Sign of the Cross and its significance

The cross is the symbol of Christ’s victory against evil and sin. Through the sacrifice of His only son Jesus on the cross, the Lord gave us salvation from evil, as an immense act of love towards humanity.
At that time, the crucifixion was one of the most popular capital punishments used by Romans, during their occupation in the Holy Land.
In order to always remember that act of love, the crucifixion of Christ, Christians are used to doing the Sign of the Cross before starting their prayers and after ending them as an homage to God’s love for us.
Have you ever wondered why it is so important and what is its meaning?
Discover more about the significance of the Sign of the Cross and learn how to do it properly.

How to make the Sign of the Cross

In order to properly do the Sign of Cross, use your right hand and follow these easy steps.

How to make the Sign of the Cross

  1. Touch your forehead, saying “In the name of the Father”;
  2. Touch the lower middle of your chest, saying “and of the Son”;
  3. Touch your left shoulder, saying “and of the Holy”;
  4. Touch your right shoulder, saying “Spirit”.

    Sign of the Cross according to Pope Francis

    Pope Francis making the Sign of the Cross (source: CNS/Paul Haring).

The Sign of the Cross according to Pope Francis

Lots of people do the Sign of the Cross as a superstitious gesture to ward off bad luck, but by doing so they do not comprehend its deep value and meaning.
For this reason, Pope Francis told us about the true meaning of this very important sign, a hallmark of all Christian people.
During His audiences, Pope Francis explained many times about our daily gestures, such as the Sign of the Cross.
Some people do it as a sign of protection against evil, some do it when they wake up to dedicate the new day to God, some do it before going to sleep, some do it whenever they pass in front of a church… There is not a right moment to do it. According to Pope Francis, doing the Sign of the Cross means to show to ourselves and others to whom we do belong and who we want to be.
By doing the Sign of the Cross we want to declare that we are proud to be Christians and sons of God.
Hang a handmade Wall Crucifix to your wall to show your strong Catholic faith to every person who will enter your home. Let them see how proud you are about belonging to the Lord.

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Two ways to make the Sign of the Cross

In the Latin rite the sign of the Cross is made in two different ways and occasions:

  • The great sign: made with five fingers outstretched that symbolizes the five wounds of Christ. The Christian first has to touch the forehead, the breast and then shoulders, from left to right.

  • The lesser sign: made with the thumb alone on the forehead, lips and breast. In the mass, this way to do the Sign of the Cross is used when the priest blessed the congregation with the Trinitarian invocation, when He says “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”.
    It is usually used prior to the Gospel reading.

Remember to do the Sign of the Cross every time you pray the rosary: before starting your prayers and after ending with them.
Do you need a rosary for your prayers?
Take a look at this magnificent metal rosary, particularly suitable during Easter season. It will help you retrace the Stations of the Cross and the 14 moments of Jesus’s calvary.

Stations of the Cross rosary

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Pope Francis’ Five Finger Prayer: how to pray it→
4 steps of prayer: the ACTS method→
How to pray the rosary→
 

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