Crossing oneself or making the sign of the cross has become synonymous with the Roman Catholic faith. A catholic priest makes the sign when blessing someone and a follower of the religion makes the sign when receiving a blessing in church or passing by a church or even when feeling thankful or frightened.
Marking oneself as a Christian
In the olden days, most ancient cultures and tribes used markings and adornments to distinguish themselves from members of other groups. Roman Catholics probably began crossing themselves as a communal way to identifying and marking themselves as Christians.
A sign of the belief in the Holy Trinity
Crossing oneself is a sign that corresponds to the words “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” which is the Holy Trinity or the Blesses Trinity. By making the sign of the cross on one’s person, a roman catholic reiterates his beliefs in the religion.
A symbol of Christ on the Cross
Making the sign of the cross is a direct reference to Christ’s crucifixion. By making the sign, a catholic person essentially “Places oneself on the Cross” or marks an understanding and remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice for those who believed in Him.
An appeal for divine protection
When a person crosses themselves in times of stress or when they are frightened or under duress, the sign of the cross is marked as a symbol of protection from the devil and malevolent forces.
A mark of thanks
When a roman catholic crosses himself in response to a happy news or sight, he is essentially invoking his faith in the religion and asking God, Christ and the Holy Spirit to bless him and to say thanks.
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