Monday, October 03, 2005

The Holy Cross

A friend asked me at church over the weekend if I knew when the Cross began to be widely used as a Christian symbol. A Protestant friend of his wanted to equate its usage with St. Constantine's vision of the Cross (as is well known, the Protestants don't generally like St. Constantine!), so as to reject its usage as late and inappropriate. So, I headed over to wikipedia, where I found the following...thought y'all might find it of interest:

"Descriptions of the Cross are to be found in Christian writings from the early 2nd century onwards. The Cross first became prominent in Christian imagery during the 3rd century. An early third century reference (there are few others) is in Clement of Alexandria's unfinished Stromateis or 'Miscellanies' (book VI): he speaks of the Cross as tou Kuriakou semeiou tupon, i.e. "the symbol of the Lord." His contemporary Tertullian could designate the body of Christian believers as crucis religiosi, i.e. "devotees of the Cross" (Apol., chapter xvi)."

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