The cross has such a shape due to the image of Saint Constantine. According to legend, Constantine the Great saw the inscription “win with it” and gave the order to put this cross on a flag during the fight for Roman Empire. Miraculously the Emperor won the battle and converted to Christianity.
Since the beginning of time, the cross of Constantine had various interpretations and looked different, but mostly it had a shape close to an equilateral cross with expanding crossbars and astonishing symbolism, the inscription “win” located between the crossbars has always had a deep point for the Christians. It has meant not only a victory over the man’s enemies but a great victory over the dark evil forces.
The front side of the cross
The cross contains the image of the complete depiction of Mount Calvary, on which Jesus Christ was crucified.
You can see near the Great Savior in the picture:
- Mary Magdalene;
- John the Apostle;
- The Blessed Virgin Mary - Mother of God.
Mary Magdalene was one of his most loyal pupils and followers. According to the Bible legends, Mary Magdalene was one of the first to see a resurrection of the Lord.
John the Apostle was a favourite pupil of Christ. He shared his sufferings with him. He followed him on the way of redemption to Mount Calvary and was at the execution.
The Blessed Virgin Mary also was with her son from the beginning to the end of his torments. They suffered together.
The backside of the cross
The Great Martyr the Holy Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ, the Savior and the Bereginya is depicted on the backside of the cross. She holds seven pointy arrows in her hands. According to legend, when Christ was being crucified with nails, Mary’s agony was so great as though the “tool” pierced her soul, causing heartache and suffering.
It is considered that Christ was crucified not only for the past sins but for the future ones too. This is why at every Liturgy the Son of our God suffers and is crucified again and again for seven deadly sins of men.
The image of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the icon "Semistrelnaya" symbolically shows these sufferings. Mary surrounded by Michael the Archangel and Gabriel the Archangel became a powerful amulet and symbol in prayer. In front of her image mothers pray and ask for protection for their children. Also, men pray, hoping to receive the blessing to protect their families from enemies and evil destiny.
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