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The Various Catholic Symbols and Religious Jewelry

 

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By: Thomas Briner

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hristianity is the form of religion where people follow Christian denomination. To preach the Christian religion, people use to go for prayers in Christian church. Christian church are the worldwide traditions which represents the Christian faiths, preaches, worship, religion and saying of the god Jesus Christ.

Catholic religious jewelry has a long and rich history, developing from simple anchors into a myriad of different forms and representations, each with its own story. Catholic religious jewelry began as a way for Christians to identify each other while avoiding persecution, but today we wear Catholic religious jewelry as a proud proclamation of our faith.

The cross is one of the earliest and most widely recognized Christian symbols. The use of the cross as a Christian symbol starts with Christ Himself. Since, through His death, Christ sanctified the very implement of His torture, the cross has come to signify His victory over death and sin.

The cross did not become openly used in Catholic religious jewelry until around the 3rd century A.D., when the emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion of Rome. Since then the cross has become the most significant of Christian symbols, and has been widely used in art and Catholic religious jewelry.

Catholic religious jewelry played a important role in the protection and promotion of early Christianity. In early days, Christians were often persecuted for their faith, so it was not safe to openly display the cross. So they instead wore other forms of Catholic religious jewelry, such as the Ichthys (two intersecting arcs resembling the profile of a fish) and the anchor (or mariners cross). The Ichthys was probably used in Catholic religious jewelry as a reference to Christ as “the fisher of men”. The anchor was used in Catholic religious jewelry as a symbol of hope based in the faith in Christ. Early Christians used these forms of Catholic religious jewelry so as to avoid persecution.

The cross and the crucifix:
Nowadays many different variations of the cross are used in Catholic religious jewelry. The most commonly used form of the cross is the Celtic cross, Latin cross, Calvary cross.

The Celtic cross is a cross with a circle around the cross bar. The circle represents the sun, which was worshiped by the Irish prior to their conversion to Christianity.

The Latin cross is a cross with a long vertical bar intersected slightly above center by a shorter horizontal bar. The Latin cross can be of two types used for two different purposes: The Latin cross with the body of Christ, or crucifix and The Latin cross left blank. The former is used by the Catholic Church as a representation of Christ’s sacrifice, while the later is used by the Protestants as a representation of Christ’s resurrection.
The Calvary cross has three graded steps leading up to it. It is believed that the steps represent the hill of Calvary , the place where Jesus was crucified. These are just a few of the different types of crosses used in Catholic religious jewelry.

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Religio Mag
Written by Religio Mag

5 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    April 02, 2015

    I wear my gold cross necklace everyday 🙂

    Reply

  2. Avatar
    April 05, 2015

    I’d be curious to read about what symbols other religions use to represent their faith in jewelry or accessories as well?

    Reply

  3. Avatar
    April 09, 2015

    Something that wasn’t mentioned in this article was the rosary. I see many people wearing the rosary as jewelry too. This is pretty interesting though as far as the history behind all these symbols.

    Reply

  4. Avatar
    April 09, 2015

    What I wonder though is if people use these symbols as jewelry because they really believe in whatever being they worship or not? are they necessarily religious? Celebrities sport religious symbols all the time but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are religious; it seems to be more of a fashion statement then them proclaiming any sort of desire to be religious or that they acknowledge those symbols as a part of their faith.

    Reply

    • Avatar
      March 15, 2017

      That is true. For example I’m catholic but I do not wear crosses or anything I actually believe(like) jewelry that is some sort of protection like the evil eye or the hand of Fatima

      Reply

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