Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Jerusalem Cross: A Geography of Jesus and the World

The Jerusalem Cross was the cross of the Crusaders, the Kingdom of Jerusalem, is on the flag of the Franciscan Order, and a variation of it is on the Georgian flag. The emphasis on the cross, it shows up five times(!), led Catholicgauze to wonder why there are so many crosses on the symbol. For the longest time I thought it was merely to push the Christian nature. This past weekend I found out that the five crosses represent the spatial layout of Christ on the Cross and the geography of the world.

The Jerusalem Cross Representing Jesus on the Cross

In this context the Jerusalem cross represents the five wounds of Christ. The large, main cross shows Christ's pierced side while the other four crosses symbolizes the crucifixion.

The Jerusalem Cross as Geography

The Jerusalem Cross also represents the spread of Christianity. The main cross is supposed to be centered on Jerusalem which was considered the center of the world. The four smaller crosses represent the message of the four gospels (Mathew, Mark, Luke, John) spreading throughout the world. Four is also used to symbolize the four corners of the world which the Bible makes reference to several times.

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