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The Symbolism of Catholic Religious Jewelry

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.

Early Catholic religious jewelry:

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

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.

The cross and the crucifix:

Nowadays many different variations of the cross are used in Catholic religious jewelry. The most commonly used form is the Latin cross. The Latin cross is a cross with a long vertical bar intersected slightly above center by a shorter horizontal bar. The Latin cross with the body of Christ, or crucifix, is used by the Catholic Church as a representation of Christ’s sacrifice, while the Latin cross left blank is used by the Protestants as a representation of Christ’s resurrection. 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 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. Here is a good page to view all styles of Catholic religious jewelry.

Where is the best place to purchase Catholic religious jewelry:

To get an idea of the different styles and prices that are available in Catholic religious jewelry it is more convenient to view them online before shopping around at local jewelry stores.

Retail jewelers will sometimes carry a small selection of Catholic religious jewelry, but you are more apt to find a greater selection online. Just type "Catholic religious jewelry " into an Internet search engine like Google or Yahoo and you will find several reliable websites that specialize in Catholic religious jewelry.

The cost of Catholic religious jewelry is dependant upon many variables. In solid 14K yellow or white gold, crucifixes and crosses should cost about $50 to $300 depending on size.

A proclamation of faith:

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.

Casey Buell is an expert in the field of religious jewelry, and a contributor to the award winning religious jewelry website located at http://religiousjewelryshop.com/

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