The Celtic cross is a Latin cross surrounded by a circle. Its origin can be traced to the Celtic cultures of the British Isles. A legend tells of St. Patrick preaching to heathens when he was shown a sacred standing stone marked with a circle (symbolic of the moon goddess.) St. Patrick made the mark of a Latin cross through the circle, and blessed the stone, thereby creating the first Celtic cross.
In pagan times, this cross with its axis enclosed by a circle was a symbol of fertility and life, the cross representing male potency, and the circle, female power. Prevalent in Ireland, it is now primarily a Christian symbol signifying the unity of heaven and earth.
This symbol incorporates the letters IHS which is a monogram of the Greek word for Jesus.
The circle is a symbol of eternity and God’s endless love through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. It is often richly decorated with Celtic knot work.
An Ionic cross is very similar, but its ends flair outward.
This Celtic cross is created using a Botonee cross, named because of its modified trefoil (three-lobed) ends. It represents the Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
A modification to the Celtic cross is this addition of the Irish Claddagh symbol. A symbol of enduring love, the two hands represent friendship, the crown signifies loyalty and lasting fidelity, and the sign of the heart symbolises eternal love.
This stone clearly belongs to a Christian woman. The Celtic Cross has multiple symbols all within a circle which represents eternal life.
- The six points of the star relate to the six days of creation and also represent the six attributes of God: power, wisdom, majesty, love, mercy and justice.
- In the center of the cross is the symbol IHS which is a monogram of the Greek word for Jesus.
- The cross symbol has four arms of equal length. It is the traditional symbol of Christian faith.
- On the left arm of the cross is a monogram of the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ: XP. Known as the Chi Rho one letter is superimposed over the other. It is one of the earliest Christian symbols.
- The symbol on the right is Alpha and Omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, also represents the beginning and the end.
This memorial is a stylized Celtic cross. The circle is a crown of thorns. The message is biased towards Christ’s crucifixion rather than the resurrection.