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Calvary Cross


Article: 101.009

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Status: In stock
5'790,00 UAH

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Technique:Miniature relief, casting, gilding, niello, handwork.
Average weight, g:17,0
Materials:Silver (925). Gilding (999).
Dimensions, mm:57х34х02

 


     A silver cross pendant with Calvary and a prayer on its front side, and with floriated reverse. This pendant is made in a typical style for Orthodox cross pendants popular during Peter I period. Large crosses with embellishments and red or metal beads in the center appeared in Russia between the end of 17th and beginning of 18th centuries. They combined two types of crosses: “in blossom” and “sun”.  The embellishments symbolize simultaneously the rayed sun, a berried branch twined around the cross, and the crown of thorns with blood drops. This is the symbol of glorifying Christ, of Righteous Offspring (Jerem. 23:15), the Crown of Truth (Tim. 4: 8), the Crown of Glory (Peter 5:4), Sun of Truth (Mal. 4:2).
     On the front side of this cross pendant is depicted eight-pointed cross standing on Mount Calvary marked as a half-circle at the base of the cross and with inscribed letters МЛРБ that stands for “Let be Eden on the Execution Place”. On both sides of the eight-pointed cross in Old Slavonic is written «Ис Хр» titles of Jesus Christ Holy name. Back side is decorated with floral ornament.
     The eight-pointed cross shape is the most commonly used shape in Orthodox tradition and according to the Old Believers is the only true shape. It is in line with the evangelic description that says that after the Crucifixion two more crossbars were nailed to the four-pointed cross: beam for feet and name board with letters “JNRJ (Jesus Nazarene Rex Judaic)”. On the top of Orthodox crosses the plate with words “King of Glory” is usually put. Because Golgotha is the place of Christ's glory. Here He redeemed the world with His Holy blood, opened the way to the Kingdom of Heaven to all mankind and prepared Himself a Throne, on which He will sit on the Day of Last Judgment.
      Foot board of the cross is generally depicted inclined. It represents a measure of human deeds, a scale at which on the Last Judgment Day will be put good and evil deeds of each human being. Christ was crucified between two thieves. One of them blasphemed the Lord, and the scale was full of sins, thus foot board bended down as if pointing the way for him to hell. The other robber repented his sins and asked the Lord for mercy. On his side foot board was pointed to the Kingdom of Heaven.
      On the both sides from the cross are depicted the instruments of Christ's sufferings, a stick with a sponge and a lance. With sufferings and death Christ has overcome the evil of this world and trampled death. Thus near the cross is written “NICA”, which means “I won, overcame”. Upon resurrection the Lord spoke to His disciples with those words: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
       The basic four-pointed shape is full of symbolism as well. St. John Damascene (7th century) wrote: “As four ends of the cross are held and joined by its center, so by the Divine strength hold are height and depth, length and width, i.e. visible and invisible creatures”. In other words, each cross contains mystical image of the Lord, His Kingdom of Glory for “may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,” (Ephs. 3:18).
       The transverse beam signifies the earthy; the vertical beam indicates the earth aspiration for Heavens. The upper part of the cross belongs to the realm of Divine being that is if separated by the short upper crossbeam.
      In Christian art both kingdoms - of earth and of Heaven – were often depicted as trees or other plants. For earth Kingdom they are symbols of spiritual renewal, rebirth and of the Mother of God; in the Kingdom of Heaven they symbolize Eden and Christ. The reverse is floriated as if showing the entire world, all its ends that are reaching out for God, aspiring to unite in Christ who is symbolized by a fleuron in the center. Sprouts reaching for the center consist of twelve joints. That is the image of twelve Apostles, Christ’s disciples. They were called upon to bring the world to God by evangelism.
       The main artistic concept of the cross lies in glorifying of the Lord’s Life-Giving Cross and its redeeming force for all human beings. The prayer on the obverse in Old Slavonic is dedicated to it: “Oh, Cross, you are the guard of the entire Universe, the beauty for Church, the power for rulers, strengthening for the faithful, glory for angels, pest for demons”. (Prayer put on this cross pendant is a reduced version).
      Cross is a symbol of faith and devotion to God, sacral sign of the Sacrament of Baptism through which one obtains the second, spiritual birth. Christian is adopted by God, is a member of His Church, and lives with a hope of salvation and eternity, since Jesus said: “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5). Cross protects you against all sorts of evil, especially against invisible enemies and helps to be closer to God. 
      “Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matt. 16:24).