The Latin Cross



Born August 28, 1860

Died January 24, 1944

The plain white marble Latin cross marks the grave of Christine Williams Biddle in the Laurel Hill Cemetery at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Latin cross is universally recognized as the symbol of Christianity. Though it may look simple to the eye, the symbol is imbued with deep meaning to all Christians. In 1928, the Georgia Marble Company of Tate, Georgia, published a book of monuments titled, Memorials: To-Day for To-Morrow by William Henry Deacy, which describes the symbolism of the Latin cross on a three-step base, “Faith had brought Him to Calvary. The Betrayal, the Trial, the piercing Crown of Thorns, the tortuous road to Golgotha, the cruel weight of the Cross, the hour of Crucifixion—through all these Faith had led Him on. What wonder, therefore, that he Cross of Calvary, instrument of the Passion, has been throughout the ages a memorial of the Faith, the Chosen Symbol?”.

The Latin Cross, however, is not the only symbolism in the monument, which may be lost on many viewers. In this monument, the cross rests on a foundation of three progressively larger stones as a base. Each represents a different virtue—“Faith in the will of God…Hope for the dawn of that yet more glorious day and Charity toward all men.”

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