Nicephorus writes that St.
John the Evangelist blessed himself with the sign of the cross before dying. St.
Paul used this same sign to restore sight to a blind man. Many even affirm that
Our Lord Himself taught this sign to the apostles and that he used it to bless
them on the day of his Ascension. “The sign of the cross,” says St. Ignatius of
Antioch, a disciple of St. John, “is the trophy raised against the power of the
prince of this world; when he sees it, he is afraid; when he even hears of it,
he is filled with terror.” Tertullian in the second century says, “At every
fresh step and change of place, whenever we come in or go out…we impress upon
our forehead the sign of the Cross.”