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Shop our Online Catalog: Four Way Five Way Medals

Four-Way Crosses A multi-purpose symbol

A 4-way cross is a single cross that contains four different saint’s medals. Many have all four arms the same length. At the top is a Sacred Heart of Jesus medal, at the bottom is a Miraculous Medal, relating to Mary, on the left is a St. Joseph medal and a St. Christopher medal is on the right arm of the cross. Christian medals have been worn since the early Christian era. A medal from the 2nd century with St. Peter and St. Paul was found. During the 16th century was very popular and indulgences were given for particular medals.

The 4-way cross was a way to combine four popular Catholic medals in one medal. Some have “I am a Catholic, please call a priest” on the back in case the wearer is in an accident and critically injured. Some simply say “Pray for us” as most medals do and some are blank o the back. It is more convenient to ware one medal than four medals which would be heavy and awkward, also with the four way medal; it is possible to wear another saint’s medal too. Another possible reason for its creation is to show that devotion to Mary is not separate from devotion to Jesus or the saints.

It is believed that the first four way medal was not a cross. Even now some are four individual oval medals forged as one. It’s possible this was the design of the first four way medal. It may have been cumbersome to wear so many medals so the four way medal was born. Today the 4-way cross can be a Latin cross or a Maltese cross, where the four arms are equal. Some are very elaborately engraved even showing the oval shape of each medal. Some have a dove, the symbol of the Holy Spirit, in the middle.

The four medals on the 4-way cross are each very special. The sacred heart medal is a symbol of Gods love and life itself. It also symbolizes the essential or heart of the matter implying that religion is most important. The Miraculous Medal represents conversion to Christianity and the worship of Mary as a devout person. It gives the promise of many blessings to those who wear it. St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus, is considered an exemplary father and a just person. He was a working carpenter and taught Jesus the trade. St. Christopher is the patron saint of travelers as he used to ferry people across a treacherous river. He was an early Christian martyr, third century, whose miracles converted many to Christianity, and for that he was imprisoned and killed.

A 4-way cross is very beautiful. Whether gold or silver, with detailed work or simple they have a charm and elegance unlike any other religious medal.  There are tiny four way medals for children. It would make a good first communion or confirmation gift.  There is also a patriotic four way medal with the medal encircled by red, white and blue enamel ring that has the words land, air, sea, space and USA on it.


Faith-full stocks a vast inventory of religious jewelry, religious statues, patron saint medals, religious gifts, religious home decor, church supply , and Christmas decorations. If you can not find what you are looking for call us at 281-852-9909. Our home office is located in Houston, Texas with warehouses located throughout the United States that enable us to service all 50 states including Wichita, Kansas, St. Louis, Missouri, Raleigh, North Carolina, Santa Ana, California, Anaheim, California, Islip, New York, Wichita, Kansas, St. Louis, Missouri, Tampa, Florida, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Cincinnati, Ohio, Toledo, Ohio, Aurora, Colorado




This article was published on Thursday 04 February, 2010.

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