San Damino Crosses
The Cross of San Damiano Symbolism
The San Damiano Cross was originally painted by an unknown artist in the twelfth century. The Damiano crucifix is especially moving to those who are looking for penance.
Painted on the San Damiano Cross:
The San Damiano cross gives a picture to all the followers of Jesus Christ to live the way of the cross and follow in the love of Jesus for all mankind.
- Wide eyes and calm face of jesus - calls penitents to follow jesus
- Jesus Crucifixion – penitents face a life of joy surrendering themselves for others
- The Cock at Jesus Legs – symbol of Peter denying Jesus three times and a reminder of humanity’s sins
- A Small Creature, Possibly a Cat or Fox – a symbol of sly deceitful acts
- Jesus Towers over both the Cock and Fox – Jesus overcomes all of man’s sins
- Long Black Band behind Jesus’ Arms – symbolizes the empty tomb of Jesus.
- Above Jesus Is the Glory of Heaven – symbolizes Christ’s Resurrection
- The Hand of God the Father over Jesus – The Father’s hand blesses all who worship Jesus and His own Son.
- Angels and Saints – Welcome Jesus to glory and all penitents to paradise.
- The Black at Christ’s Feet – The foundation of Christ’s Church
- Surrounding Jesus are Followers of Jesus – these holy people are models for all sinners on living a life in Christ. Represented are the Virgin Mary, St. John the Evangelist, Mary Magdalene, Mary Clopas, and a Centurion.
- People behind the Centurion – the crowd of people who watched the crucifixion.
- Angry Man in the Front of the Crowd – symbolizes the people who mocked Jesus and for penitents, he represents the choice between following Jesus or rejecting Him.
- Two Romans on each Side of the Cross – One offers Jesus wine from the sponge and the other pierces His side. This represents people who are working each day but not caring about the morality of the work.
- The Red Border – symbolizes what Christ taught about His being the vine and His followers are the branches. Followers must live a life of penance.
- Gold Scallop Shells on the Border – These are symbols of Baptism used centuries ago which represents the penitent being reborn in the life of Jesus.
- The Wounds of Jesus – Calls all followers to give their lives for others just as Jesus did.
- Loincloth – The color of white which symbolizes virtue and purity. The three knots represent the Trinity. It reminds penitents to live pure and virtuous lives.
- Christ’s Hair – Three strands on the left and three strands on the right represent six days to create the world and the head of Jesus symbolizes the seventh day, honoring the Lord.
- Halo – contains a glorified cross. This symbolizes that penitents live the way of the cross for salvation.
- Colors of the Crucifix – Red stands for sacrifice, gold for glory, black for sin and repentance.
San Damiano Cross