Cross or Crucifix?

Not Just a Cross but a Crucifix

The Cross and the Crucifix are both Christian symbols, but you are more likely to see a Crucifix, which is a cross with the body (corpus) of Jesus, in a Catholic Church.

Although you may find simplified, bare Crosses, a Crucifix more clearly shows the pain and suffering that Jesus endured in his supreme sacrifice.

The Crucifix is a reminder of God’s infinite love and mercy. God, who is all-powerful, made Himself so vulnerable that He could die, but only so that He could conquer death by his glorious Resurrection.

And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a Cross.

Philippians 2: 8

The price He paid to set us free from our sins: 

The invisible made visible:

The cross is the unique sacrifice of Christ, the “one mediator between God and men”. But because in his incarnate divine person he has in some way united himself to every man, “the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery” is offered to all men. He calls his disciples to “take up [their] cross and follow [him]”, for “Christ also suffered for [us], leaving [us] an example so that [we] should follow in his steps.” In fact Jesus desires to associate with his redeeming sacrifice those who were to be its first beneficiaries. This is achieved supremely in the case of his mother, who was associated more intimately than any other person in the mystery of his redemptive suffering.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 618

The greatest symbol of love:

The Crucifix may point the way to some consolation: 

Jesus is with us in our sufferings:

Today’s Gospel invites us to turn our gaze to the Crucifix which is not an ornamental object or a clothing accessory — abused at times! Rather, it is a religious symbol to contemplate and to understand. Within the image of Jesus crucified is revealed the mystery of the death of the Son as a supreme act of love, the source of life and salvation for humanity of all ages. We have been healed in his wounds. I may think: “How do I look at the Crucifix? As a work of art, to see if it is beautiful or not? Or do I look within; do I penetrate Jesus’ wounds unto the depths of his heart? Do I look at the mystery of God who was humiliated unto death, like a slave, like a criminal?”. Do not forget this: look to the Crucifix, but look within it.

Pope Francis, Angelus Address, March 18, 2018

Physical, incarnational, and tangible:

The history of this distinctive symbol of Christianity:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

It’s never enough:

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