Orthodox baptismal cross | 24865


  • Russian cross
  • Bronze/brass/yellow metal/copper
  • 17th century
  • 4.8 x 2.2 cm | 1.9 x 0.9 in


On Golgotha, the emblem of the cross intertwined with a spear and a stem of hyssop bears an inscription: “Jesus Christ, the King of glory, prevails.”

On the reverse side, it is known as the Arma Christi, also referred to as the Instruments of the Passion.

The Russian cross, alternatively called the Orthodox cross, Byzantine cross, or Slavic cross, possesses a distinct design within heraldry, featuring two horizontal arms and one slanted arm.

The short top arm symbolizes the titulus board, where the inscription INRI was displayed during Jesus’ crucifixion. INRI stands for the Latin phrase Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum, meaning “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.”

The longer middle arm served the purpose of securing the arms of the crucified individual.

The inclined lower arm represents the suppedaneum, a supporting footplate or footstool upon which the crucified person’s feet were positioned.

Source: © Ikonen Mautner. Typing errors, other errors or changes reserved. For more information: “Das Synaxarion. Die Leben der Heiligen der Orthodoxen Kirche.” (http://www.prodromos-verlag.de/buecher.html) and Joachim Schäfer: Das Ökumenische Heiligenlexikon – https://www.heiligenlexikon.de

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Orthodox baptismal cross | 24865
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