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The Crucifix


The crucifix is the symbol of Christ, the Redeemer, “the sign of the Son of man in heaven” (Mt. 24:30).

Prior to the beginning of the fourth century, the cross was little used as a symbol of Christ. The cross was a stumbling block for the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles. There was no need to parade before pagan eyes a symbol, which was to them terrible and degrading until its new significance was preached in order that it might be correctly understood. This Saint Paul did with unique distinction, characteristic of his zeal. The cross, the most inhuman of all punishments, was an unbelievably hideous thing to the pagan world. The ambassadors of the cross were the laughing-stock and “the refuse of the world, the offscouring of all things” (1 Cor. 4:13).

But the shame of the cross became the symbol of triumph. Christ, “lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself" (Jn. 12:32). We see His sign everywhere, on churches, altars and tombs; on schools, convents and hospitals.

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