Religions around the world use symbols and signs to represent their faith. But perhaps none is so widely recognized or accepted as that of the simple cross. Christians have valued the significance of the cross for centuries. It is a representation of their beliefs that Jesus Christ died on the cross.
Crux immissa, or crux capitata, is the cross that is in the Latin design. This cross depicts the transverse beam set at about 2/3 up the vertical. The Greek cross has the transverse beam set half-way up the vertical. It has been adopted by the East and by Russia.
Crosses have played important roles in the architectural and decorative designs of church buildings since at least the fourth century. However, over the years many forms of the cross design have developed. Some are very simple and others are elaborate.
The Christian cross is a religious symbol of Christianity. It is a representation of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. When the cross includes a representation of Jesus’ body it is considered a crucifix rather than a cross. For many the cross represents a payment made on our behalf. It represents death and life itself. Simply put, its meaning is sometimes explained as a way of representing the belief that we die in sin and live for righteousness.
The Rosary is the traditional essence of Roman Catholic devotion. Because the use of the Rosary involves both a vocal and a mental prayer it totally unites the person as he prays.
The history of the Rosary is not completely clear. It is believed that the Hindus used a repetitive system for counting prayers approximately nine centuries before Christ. Rocks, sticks or even notches in wood were used as counting mechanisms. It was during the 15th century that many of the features of today’s rosary were developed.
The Dominicans were very influential in the spread of devotion and the use of the Rosary.
Origins of the familiar prayer of today are listed below:
Our Father direct from the Gospel of Matthew
Hail Mary derived from the scriptural greetings of Gabriel and Elizabeth to Mary in Luke’s Gospel
Glory Be common doxology used when praying psalms
Salve Regina this addition came much later in the use of the Rosary
Pope John said that the purpose of the Rosary was three-fold: mystical contemplation, intimate reflection, and pious intention. The Rosary prayer is also a wonderful way of family prayer.