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The cross is often shown in different shapes and sizes, in many different styles. It may be used in personal jewelry, or used on top of church buildings. It is shown both empty, and with the body of Christ (corpus) nailed to it, in which case it is typically called a crucifix. Roman Catholic depictions of the cross are often crucifixes, in order to emphasize Christ's sacrifice; but many Protestant traditions depict the cross without the corpus, in order to emphasize the resurrection.

Crosses are a prominent feature of Christian cemeteries, either carved on gravestones or as sculpted stelae. Because of this death meaning, planting small crosses is sometimes used in countries of Christian culture to protest alleged deaths.

Crosses have been erected or carved on pagan sites of worship like mountain tops or menhirs to counter their influences. In Catholic countries, crosses are often erected on the peaks of prominent mountains, such as the Zugspitze or Mount Royal, so as to be visible over the entire surrounding area.

Perhaps the best-known form of the Christian cross is that depicted here, called the Latin cross, an equal-armed cross with a longer foot. It may be so called because it is the type of cross used in the Latin (Roman Catholic) church, as opposed to the Eastern Orthodox cross.

Other forms of the Christian cross include:

In heraldry, while the overwhelming majority of forms of crosses are symbolic of Christianity, it should be noted that a very few, such as the cross moline, are not. See cross (heraldry).

See also: Christian symbolism, Sign of the Cross

Compare the crossed circle of the Norse god Odin. 'Cross' itself is a word taken from Old Norse, which supplanted the former word 'rood' in Old English. See Roodmas, Rood screen, Rood loft.

Alternative theological views of the cross

A number of Christian Anabaptist theologians including John H. Yoder and Walter Wink suggest an alternative reading of the cross in Jesus's teaching. Instead of seeing Jesus instructions to "take up the cross" as simply a spiritual call to endure suffering, they interpret the phrase as a call to a life of radical Christian discipleship that may end in death at the hands of the state. For these theologians, accepting the possibility of crucifixion (often the penalty for political prisoners in Roman times) means rejecting the use of violence as well. This view would be most prevalent among Mennonites and other Peace churches with a history of martyrdom. This view is for the most part shared by Roman Catholic and Orthodox theologians, with the exception that they do not completely reject the use of violence.

Since the 1930s Jehovah's Witnesses have taught that Christ died suspended not on a cross, but on a torture stake. The New Testament word for cross is stauros, which can refer either to a cross or to a single upright position stake without a crossbeam; Jehovah's Witnesses accept only the latter meaning, believing the cross to be a pagan symbol. Cruciform symbols do antedate Christianity; see cross for more information.

For Muslims and Jews the symbol of the Cross or Religious Icons are sacrilegious as God cannot be depicted in any physical form. For more on Jesus see Non-Christian perspectives on Jesus

Further reading

External links


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Eusebius of Caesarea (~275May 30, 339) (often called Eusebius Pamphili, "Eusebius [the friend] of Pamphilus") was a bishop of Caesarea in Palestine and is often referred to as the father of church history because of his work in recording the history of the early Christian church. An earlier history by Hegesippus that he referred to has not survived.

Eusebius describes in his Life of Constantine (To Open Click) [1] (http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-01/Npnf2-01-29.htm#P7646_3165242) how the site of the Holy Sepulchre, originally a site of veneration for the Christian community in Jerusalem, had been covered with earth and a temple of Venus had been built on top. (Although Eusebius does not say as much, this would probably have been done as part of Hadrian's reconstruction of Jerusalem as Aelia Capitolina in 135, following the destruction of the Jewish Revolt of 70 and Bar Kokhba's revolt of 132-135.) Following his conversion to Christianity, Emperor Constantine ordered in about 325/326 that the site be uncovered and instructed Saint Macarius, Bishop of Jerusalem, to build a church on the site. In this Life, Eusebius does not mention the finding of the True Cross.

Socrates Scholasticus (died c. 380), in his Ecclesiastical History, gives a full description of the discovery [2

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"Eusebius" redirects here. For other uses, see Eusebius (disambiguation).

Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 260–c. 341), "the" Eusebius: the famous historian of the Christian Church.

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Finding of the Holy Cross By-hist.edu see at end  --

326

Incidents leading up to the Finding of the Holy Cross are not all that edifying, in fact very shocking.

Murder of Fausta

Shortly after the Council of Nicaea Constantine returned to Rome. What happened on his arrival we may never know exactly, but he murdered Crispus, his son of a previous marriage, then had his wife, Fausta, stabbed to death and drowned or scalded to death in her hot bath. It is said his mother, St. Helena, a Christian for some years, went screaming through the palace, and her journey to Jerusalem, which began immediately, perhaps from Naples, may have been in expiation for her son's crime. She was 78 at the time.

Site Already known

The general area of Christ's death and resurrection had already been deter mined, safely concealed under a pavilion supporting a pagan temple which Hadrian had deliberately erected over the sacred spot in order to smother all Christian sentiments. Bishop Macarius of Jerusalem had already spoken to Constantine about the possibility of finding the exact locations.

Helena was very wealthy in her own right, and Constantine put his murdered wife's estate, together with resources from the Empire at Helena's disposal, and on arriving in Jerusalem she commissioned a team of priests and archeologists (such as they were in those days) to find the exact spots.

As Eusebius tells us, hundreds were employed in the "dig". Buildings, temples and terraces were torn down, and several tons of dirt removed, till after some weeks the limestone hill of Calvary was exposed. The workers continued to chop away to separate this holy hill from surrounding rock, when suddenly in a ditch three crosses were discovered. It was like a miracle. Bishop Macarius prayed, "Make known to us, O Lord, which of these three crosses served for your glory".

True Cross

A dying woman was brought and one by one the crosses were touched upon her; as the third cross was place on her she suddenly rose from the stretcher and walked away. When Constantine heard the news he wrote a glowing letter to Bishop Macarius, then immediately commanded that fitting shrines be built over the site, dedicated 335, as the pilgrim Silvia Eletheria described in 393, three buildings: a church in honor of the passion, a shine in honor of the cross, and a third in honor of the resurrection.

St. Helena herself commanded that the true cross be divided, one part left in Jerusalem, one part to Constantinople (both eventually lost), and another to Rome from which slivers were taken till now it is scattered all over the world.

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 Notes—Being Compiled (1)--In this Life, Eusebius does not mention the finding of the True Cross

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his Life of Constantine http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eusebius_of_Caesarea#The_Life_of_Constantine [1] 2.4 The Life of Constantine

Comp—Articles

http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/encyc/encyc13/htm/iv.iii.htm#iv.iii

CROSS: 1, 141, 160; 2, 309; 3, 251, 309-310, 312, 313-----

Daughters of the: 12, 412

EXALTATION OF THE: 3, 310

finding of the: 3, 310; 5, 208

form of the: 3, 312

INVENTION OF THE: 3, 310; 5, 208

Ladies of the: 12, 412

ORDERS OF THE: 3, 311

St. Andrew's: 1, 171; 3, 310

sign of the: 3, 309

Sisters of the: 12, 412

stations of the: 11, 70

For as the Father hath life in himself;

 so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself,--- Open  AFact.htm