Irish Symbol - Cross

Cross

A comprehensive guide to the Cross traditional Irish Symbol. All you need to know about this symbol which is commonly associated with the wonderful Emerald Isle. Information and facts on this Irish symbol, read about its meaning and origin.

There are a huge number of symbols that are associated with the Irish people of Ireland, learn about the history and origin of Cross, a truly  iconic symbol of Ireland. Read about the symbols history and origins, everything you need to know about the Cross.

Facts about the Cross Symbol

  • The Cross is the most important and universally well known symbol of Christianity

  • The difference between a cross and a crucifix is that a crucifix also has a model of Jesus as he died on the cross, a cross is plain

  • Celtic Crosses are very popular amongst Christians particularly of Celtic or Irish origin. They are more ornate than a plain cross and some feature beautiful Celtic designs and inscriptions instead of a figure of Jesus. Click on the following link to read all about Celtic Crosses

  • The Red Cross are one of a number of organisations who use a cross as their emblem due to its universally recognisable form.

  • The St Brigid's Cross is traditionally made in Ireland to celebrate her feast day on the 1st February. Saint Brigit is one of the patron saints of Ireland and the cross is said to protect the house from evil and fire

  • The Equal-Armed Cross is a symbol that pre-dates Christianity and represents peace. This symbol is commonly used for pharmacies, doctors, hospitals and medical centres all over the world

  • The P-X monogram was used by the early Christian church before the cross was adopted as the universal symbol it is today

The Cross - Irish Symbol
The Cross is without a doubt one of the most universally recognised symbols in the world! People from every nation and religion identify the cross as a symbol of Christianity. Christians everywhere wear their cross pendants or necklaces as an outward sign of their Christian faith. The Irish are a nation of believers, the majority of Irish people being Christian. Southern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland has a strong Roman Catholic majority with Northern Ireland being a mixture of Protestants and Catholics. People from many different religions reside and practice their faith in Ireland but ever since Saint Patrick converted the pagan people of Ireland to Christianity, the Irish have been a very proud Christian race of people who practice their religion wherever in the world they have emigrated to over the years. The Cross symbol can be found all over Ireland, not only worn by its people as Jewelry items but to mark places of worship as well as holy places and graveyards.

Cross Irish Symbol - History
The Christian cross is an important symbol which reminds Christians everywhere that Jesus Christ was crucified and died on a cross. Some people refer to the cross as a crucifix, the difference between a cross and a crucifix being that a crucifix also has an image or model of Jesus as he was crucified

Irish Symbol - Corporate Use
The Cross symbol is used by several large corporations such as the Red Cross and Johnson & Johnson. The Bayer corporation use a cross shape for their logo which is a cross formed by the letters in the company name, a very clever and instantly recognisable design. The cross symbol is also used to identify pharmacies and chemists across the world, an icon for help in emergencies regardless of the language spoken, the cross symbol is universally understood.

Irish Symbol - St Brigid's Cross
The Cross below is traditionally made in Ireland on St Brigid's Day (1st February). The tradition of making a St Brigid's cross goes back hundreds of years. It is woven from rushes to form a central square with four arms creating a cross shape. Every household in Ireland traditionally displayed a St Brigids Cross on the wall to protect the house from evil and fire. St Brigid's cross is both an Irish and Christian symbol and is a popular gift presented to someone moving into a new home. Even today thousands of St Brigids crosses are sold in tourist shops all across Ireland every year and many American, English, Australian and of course Irish homes will have a St Brigid's cross on display in their kitchen!

Cross Symbol - Types
There are several different types of cross symbol:

  • Crucifix - Cross with three-dimensional model of Jesus as he was crucified, early versions of the crucifix were called 'Christus Rex' depicting Christ crowned and robed as shown in the crucifixion picture above

  • Latin Cross, also known as the Passion cross or plain cross is recognised by its long upright

  • Equal Armed Cross also commonly known as the Greek cross is popular in Eastern Orthodox churches and alters usually display five of these crosses to represent the five wounds of Jesus Christ

  • Calvary Cross . This is a Latin cross mounted on three steps as its base, three steps are symbolic, the bottom step represents Charity, the middle step represents Hope and the top step represents Faith.

  • Celtic Cross, also known as the Iona Cross has the addition of a circle to represent eternal life. Click here to read all about Celtic Crosses and view some beautiful examples of Celtic crosses.

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