Secret Meanings: Symbols of Faith (Part III)

From angels and doves to circles and vines, there are numerous “hidden” meanings within the decorative symbols on crosses and other adornments of faith.

We’re exploring their histories and significance in this new blog series.  Miss the first two parts? Catch up with Part I and Part II of our Symbols of Faith series.


men's gold Irish crossA never-ending symbol, it is not surprising that the circle has come to represent eternity.  It has no beginning or end. When presented in a wedding, for example, the circle takes the corporeal form as the ring which stands as a promise of eternal love and support.  Within its geometric perfection encircling everything, it also serves as a symbol of God, omnipotent and everlasting.
The circle design can be found on our Kilklispeen and Scriptures Crosses.  On the Kilklispeen Cross (pictured right), a circle surrounds four smaller round projections which symbolize the head, heart, hands and feet of the crucified Christ.  Enclosed within the circle, this design comes to represent the eternal sacrifice and afterlife.

Greek Cross

greek cross, phos zoe, gold cross, handcrafted jewelryAlso known as the “crux immissa quadrata,” the Greek Cross is easily recognizable for its four arms, each of equal length.  Oftentimes, the arms of this cross will flare out towards the end (as seen on our Nicene Cross, for example).
According to Symbols Project, “[w]hile the Latin cross is identified with the crucifixion, the Greek cross is usually considered as a sign of God.”
An inherently simple design, the Greek Cross is typically ornamented with additional letters and/or symbols.  Our Phos Zoe Cross is comprised of the Greek Cross acting as a type of ancient crossword with the words PHOS (“light”) and ZOE (“life”) intersecting.  The crossed words reflect the crucified Christ, proclaiming him as the light and life of the word.  proclaims the crucified Christ as the “Light” (PHOS) and the “Life” (ZOE) of the world.

Jerusalem (Crusaders) Cross

jerusalem cross, gold cross, crusaders cross, handcrafted jewelry, symbols, faith symbols A cross design compromised of five smaller crosses, the Jerusalem Cross (also known as the “Crusaders Cross”) was first used in 1099 as a coat of arms by Crusades leader Godfrey de Bouillon for the newly established Kingdom of Jerusalem. This event marked the recapture of Jerusalem and the Christian Holy Land by the First Crusade. “De Bouillon believed that the cross symbolized Jesus Christ and the city of Jerusalem [as] the root of Christianity.”

While the Jerusalem Cross, as a whole, “…represents Christ’s command to spread the Gospel around the world,”  its design is open to interpretation.  Three of the most prominent interpretations say that the five crosses:

James Avery –
Christian Symbols –
Christianity Symbols Illustrated Guide –
The History of Crosses and Crucifixes –
Greek Cross –
Holy Land Treasures: Jerusalem Cross –
Historical Origin of the Jerusalem Cross –
Seiyaku: Jerusalem Cross –
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