One into the Other

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The gravestone in the St. Adalbert Catholic Cemetery in Chicago depicts Christ on the cross. The gravestone is a moving and expressive representation demonstrating the pain and the suffering of Christ on the cross. The symbol of Jesus Christ hanging on the cross is called a crucifix. The word crucifix is from Latin and is the combination of two words—cruci and fixus—which translates to one fixed to a cross.

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. William Henry Deacy in Memorials: To-Day for To-Morrow published by Georgia Marble Company of Tate, describes the symbolism of the Latin cross: “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. …the Cross of Calvary, instrument of the Passion… a memorial of the Faith, the Chosen Symbol…

In the gravestone below from the St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery in Chicago, the image of Jesus is depicted standing on a cloud as risen from the dead. On this gravestone the body of Christ forms the cross. In that way the figure of Christ becomes one with the most recognizable symbol of Christianity morphing one into the other.

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