LA SIMBOLOGIA DELLA “CROCE DEI RUSSI” E LA PREDICAZIONE DI SANT’ANDREA

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Also known as the “Eastern Orthodox Cross,” “St. Andrew Cross,” or “Russian Cross,” this cross appears with great frequency in Slavic religious symbolism. Originally a Byzantine cross, the three-bar cross was later adopted by the Russian Orthodox Church. The topmost arm represents the inscription above the crucified Christ’s head – typically the Slavonic translation of “King of Glory.” The center arm, where His hands were nailed, is often accompanied by the inscription “IX IC,” representing “the first and last letters of Christ’s name in Greek.” The letters “NIKA” (meaning “victorious”) also typically appear alongside the three-bar cross, declaring that “…’Jesus Christ is victorious’ (over death and sin).” The bottom arm (or foot plate) can be depicted as tilted or straight. Tradition teaches that when the Apostle Andrew preached in southern Russia he placed a life-size three-bar cross at his side. While explaining the Last Judgement he tilted the foot plate to signify that those on the right side of Christ will go up into heaven and those on the left will go down into hell.

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