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Different Kinds of Crosses Used In An Anglican Rosary

The word rosary is derived from the Latin word “rosarium” (garden of roses). It is a prayer instrument with rich symbolism. One such part of the rosary is the cross which reminds us that we are praying to meditate the life of Jesus Christ on earth and we can only be saved through Him.
The symbolism of cross or the cruciform is encircled around the four beads which are called “weeks.” Each group is consisted of seven beads. The number seven is important for Christians for it is a reminder of the seven days of God’s creation. The number four signifies the four gospels and the four seasons (summer, winter, spring, fall). There are a total of thirty three beads found in the rosary to symbolize the 33 years that Jesus Christ had stayed on earth.

There are different kinds of crosses that can be found looped in a rosary. The following are:

1.) Icon Cross. This kind of cross is called an icon because it has images of people who are a part of the deeper meaning of the holy cross. Its purpose is to remind and teach the people about the event portrayed in the cross.

2.) San Damiano Cross. This kind of cross is very rich in symbolism. It is based in the Gospel of John. This kind of cross is very well known to be found when Saint Francis of Assisi was asked by Jesus to rebuild the Catholic Church. The original 12th century cross measures 75 inches high, 47 inches wide and 5 inches thick. It was believed that St. Francis, while walking along a ruined church of San Damiano, heard a mysterious voice telling him to pray. In response, he entered the ruined church and prayed. While praying in an ecstasy and great worship, he saw the lips of Jesus Christ moved and uttered the words: “Francis, go repair my house which, as you see, is falling completely to ruin.” St. Francis followed this command. In later years Pope Innocent III, commissioned St. Francis to build the church. Throughout the ages, the St. Francis Cross has been a symbol of Christian renewal.

3.) Celtic Cross. The origin of this popular type of cross is very obscure. Some origins are based on legends and folklore. The ring around this cross is probably of Irish, Scottish or Welsh origin though there are different groups who claim this symbol as their origin. According to a legend, St. Patrick was the creator of the Celtic Cross. While preaching to native converts, he had found a circular symbol of the moon goddess on a stone. He had then drew a Latin cross over the circle and blessed this stone thus creating the cross. Historical records validate this legend as St. Patrick was reported to convert many native pagans and druids that worshipped the moon goddess.

4.) Peace Dove Cross. This kind of cross has a portrait of dove and fish, which are symbols of peace, purity and reconciliation. The latin term for fish, Ichtus, comes from the first letter of Jesus name in Latin – Iesus Christus. This cross has different symbolisms that drive an individual to pray. It is suggested to pray the rosary containing this kind of cross while meditating the words of God when Jesus Christ was baptized “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.”

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