The History and Significance of the Jerusalem Cross

​Where does the Jerusalem Cross ​fit into our Faith?

​The cross is one of the most recognizable symbols in the world. Throughout history there have been many variations of the cross, each holding historical or cultural significance. The Greek cross, Latin cross, Celtic cross, and the Jerusalem cross are just a few examples of the different types of crosses created throughout the history of our faith. Some crosses, such as the Latin cross, are simple in design, while others, including the Celtic and Jerusalem crosses are more elaborate.

jerusalem cross

​Jerusalem Cross inlaid into a marble plaque

​Historical Origin of the Jerusalem Cross

​The Jerusalem cross consists of a large center cross with four smaller Greek crosses (a cross with four equal arms, similar to a plus sign) in each quadrant. Also known as the Crusader cross, the Jerusalem cross dates back to the 11th and 12th century when the Crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099, establishing Christianity in the area. (At that time, Muslim forces controlled the area). One of the leaders of the Crusades, Godfrey de Bouillon, was the first to use the Jerusalem Cross as a distinct symbol of the new Crusader state, known as the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. De Bouillon believed that the cross symbolized Jesus Christ and the city of Jerusalem which is the root of Christianity.

Even after the overthrow of the Crusader state in 1291, the cross remained a symbol of Jerusalem for Christians and became the emblem of the esteemed Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Today, the Jerusalem cross remains the emblem of the Order, and is still the symbol of all those who work to preserve Christianity in Jerusalem.

High Polish Jerusalem Cross Pendant with Chain

​What Does the Jerusalem Cross Symbolize?

​The Jerusalem cross is believed to represent several things.  Historians note that the four crosses surrounding the large center cross represent the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The four crosses also are believed to represent the four corners of the earth, in which Jesus desired His word to be proclaimed by His disciples. The large cross symbolizes Christ.

Other historians believe that the five crosses together symbolize the five wounds Jesus suffered on the cross. The four small crosses represent the four wounds of Jesus’ hands and feet, while the large cross signifies Jesus’ pierced heart.

​How to Use the Jerusalem Cross

​The Jerusalem cross’ eye-catching design makes it a popular choice among those who are looking for a unique way to express their faith. It’s perfect for those searching for a cross that reminds them of Jesus’ connection to the Holy Land. The cross can be worn as a necklace, cuff links, or as a pin. Key rings, letter openers, and bookmarks adorned with the Jerusalem cross are just some ways to pay homage to the land where the roots of our faith are buried.

​Do you have Yours?

Author: Stephen Connelly

Stephen was born in Ireland but now calls Massachusetts home. He is married and together they have four children. Stephen loves writing, especially on his favorite subject Catholicism, and we are extremely fortunate that he has chosen to write for the Catholic Faith Store.

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  1. It’s a symbol that should be easily recognized and known world wide. Offense to others? I’ll not give it a second thought, this isn’t a symbol of some evil organization.

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  2. I went on a tour bus ? to Egypt,Jordan,Israel . To see where Jesus walked . When I was in Israel the bus stopped so we could buy souvenirs . I have a friend in the USA who immigrated from Cyprus to New York .
    He wore a gold chain with a gold cross in the shape of an anchor from his old country . I served in the navy two
    Years on the oceans of this earth. I liked the Anchor Cross . So when I was in the jewelry section of the store I asked the salesman to see a Anchor Cross . We were not that far from Cyprus and the salesman returned and told me he did not have one ☝️. But he has something for me . He came back with this Christian cross with 5
    crosses on it . I ❤️ it. My wife paid $800 dollars for my birthday gift . My Jesus was crucified and so were millions of others in the HolyLand . It’s a cross to me to wear so others will see it and ❤️ there neighbor .Amen

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  3. If this is a sign of the fall of Islam “Crusader Cross” would Muslims find this offensive?
    I was just given a shirt with this symbol on it and would not want it to get in the way of sharing Christ with a Muslim
    -Truth without love is brutality
    -Love without truth is deception
    Thank you,

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    • Offensiveness is not a mortal sin, and the West, Christendom, is being colonized by our historical enemies. Do you think Urban II was concerned about being offensive? No, he was defending the faith and Christian lands so Christians could live and worship in peace in their own lands. Our forefathers would be shamed by our acquiescence to barbarians, and our children will curse us should we fail, and it’s out of love that we should fight for Christendom, our faith, our people.

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  4. Because he feels he is appropriating it, he understands it’s a symbol of the fall of Muslim control of Jerusalem and doesn’t see it as a Christian symbol, just Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the center of the world and the center of the big cross represents that and the four rivers of Eden.

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  5. Any Idea why a Jewish Billionaire that is a member of the Illuminati and Club of Rome would draw this symbol on his hand?

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    • Brother. God knows out thoughts and minds…everything we are…we were and tbat we will be….such trivialites need not be debated…Know one is fooling God…the faithful will be uplifted while the test fall away….be concerned only with the steadfastness that is in your own heart

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    • He’s a closet Christian.

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    • There is a similar symbol Freemasons have called a Masonic Cross but it doesn’t have the four smaller crosses in the corners.

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    • Who is this person you are talking about? We’re curious to find out.

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