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Celts High Crosses

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Celtic High Crosses

The Celtic high cross is a prevalent symbol of both the Celt's art and religion. It is also referred to as the Cross of Iona or the Irish cross. It’s described as a cross that has a ring around its intersection. It is said to be the symbol of Christianity at the time religion was adopted by the Celts. The symbol itself, though, is said to have been in existence even before Christianity came about. It is also believed to have been influenced by the Anglo-Saxon tradition of cross making.

The earliest Celtic crosses were believed to be built as early as the 7th century in most European countries, specifically in Britain and Ireland. Most Celtic crosses have rune inscriptions on them.

To date, there are still a number of existing Celtic crosses scattered all around Wales, Cornwall, Iona and Hebrides.

The origin of the design of the Celtic cross may have been related to the popular story of St. Patrick. He was said to have brought Christianity to Ireland and knowing that Irish were mostly pagans, he was believed to have combined the cross (a symbol of the Christian religion) and a circle (a symbol of pagan sun-god) to entice them to convert, thus rises the symbol for Celtic cross.

In Irish Catholicism, the ring in the Celtic cross is a symbol of God's eternal love and the cross itself a symbol of Christ's ultimate sacrifice. The circle would also symbolize the undying mystery of how the crucifixion of Christ brought human salvation then and today.

Original Authors: Jennifer Tumanda
Edit Update Authors: RPN
Updated On: 22/01/2007



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