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The Papal Crucifix The Long and Rich History that Predates It

The papal crucifix is a very unique crucifix on the papal staff carried by John Paul II, the current pope.  The crucifix itself was revised and adopted by Pope Paul VI when he was elected and has been used ever since.  The staff itself is often associated with the shepherd’s crook or an adaption of the ordinary walking sticks that were used on journeys and in churches before seats were adopted.  At a very early date, the crosier, which predates the papal staff, began to be associated with the Episcopal office of the Pope.

The evolution of the staff and the is very interesting and a subject of much debate amongst scholars.  The first was a rod of wood that was bent or crooked at the top that was known as the pedum.  The second had a knob with a cross on it and was called the ferula or cambuta.  In the third form, the top resembled a Greek T with the arms of the cross often being twisted to represent two opposing serpents and was known as the crocia.

While the early forms of the staff were made of wood, they were later made of solid ivory, gold, silver and enamelled metal and the embellishments on the knob of the staff have also included dragons being impaled by a cross, as well as other forms of ornamentation such as wreaths and flowers, and sometimes including saints.  It is sometimes said that the embellishments on the papal crucifix as we know it today were designed because it made the staff lighter for Pope Paul VI to carry in his advanced years.

Many Catholics have replicas of the papal crucifix that they hang in their houses, over doorways, as well as ones that they wear in the form of necklaces or charm bracelets.  The papal crucifix is also usually included on rosary beads and other religious icons and in its simple form is a depiction of Christ nailed to the crucifix.  The crucifix is available made of many materials, from resin for the larger crucifixes to precious metals such as gold, silver and pewter for the jewelery items.

The papal crucifix is often given to people, especially children, for their first communion as it is one of the holiest of symbols.  If you are looking for one, it is readily available in fine jewellery stores and religious stores as well as on the internet.  These days many people are turning to the internet to find crucifixes, as they are for other items, as it is a very convenient way to do your shopping.   The internet also offers a global marketplace and there are indeed some very good quality crucifixes available from other countries.  In the global marketplace there is a lot of competition, as well as many countries where labour costs are cheaper and these savings are passed on to the consumer.  It is also a great way to find replicas that are unique and beautifully hand crafted.



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 Saturday 09 January, 2010.

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