Saint Hilary of Poitiers and Trinity Symbolism
There is a title in the Roman Catholic Church bestowed only upon those that have defined or defended basic precepts of the faith. The title is Doctor of the Church and there are only 33 such individuals in the 2,000 year history of the church. St. Hilary of Poitiers is one of the 33 Doctors of the Church because of his writings concerning the divinity of Jesus, which in current day is beautifully depicted by the Holy Trinity crucifix.
Arianism and the Trinity Crucifix
|The violent and bloody Arianism dispute was a foreshadowing of the current Trinity crucifix. The several centuries following the crucifixion of Jesus were times of uncertainty and confusion about Jesus’ earthly life. What was the significance, what was to come next, was he the son of God or simply an earthly being, etc? There was a sect called Arianism which in those early years denied the divinity of Jesus as an equal in the trinity meaning, but rather he was the single highest human ever created. St Hilary’s theological doctrine writings defend the existence and the meaning of the Trinity and ultimately lead to the rejection of Arianism and avoided a major and possibly fatal schism in the early Catholic Church.
The Holy Trinity Crucifix
The configuration of the trinity symbolism on a Holy Trinity Crucifix begins with the central figure of Jesus crucified, thereby reinforcing his humanness in pain, suffering and death. Immediately above his head is the familiar inscription “INRI” meaning “king of the Jews, again referencing the tribulations of his human existence. Immediately behind and larger than Jesus on the cross is God the father with arms outspread wider than the cross, trinity symbolism for the all-encompassing oneness of the separate two. There is a halo around the head of God the father that symbolizes The Holy Spirit and once again has the trinity symbolism of the oneness that envelops the three separates.
Trinity Crucifix Cross