Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Cross of St. Thomas

The Cross of Saint Thomas
Last night I polished my silver crosses.  It's a yearly ritual for me, one of my favorite Christmas tasks, and it just doesn't feel Christmassy around here until I've hung all of the crosses on a small tree and placed the tree on a table in the dining room.

I blogged last year about the crosses. My mother started the collection in 1971.  Each new cross was celebrated in our household, and they became a cherished family tradition.   As soon as the new edition arrived, we would unwrap it, admire it and read about the history of the cross that inspired it. When Mom died, Andrew and I split her collection. I took the crosses that had been issued in odd numbered years and Andrew took the even years.  And since then, we've bought the new editions, so our collections are complete.  Or rather, our half collections are complete.

Andrew, being the wonderful brother that he is, gives me the odd numbered crosses as Christmas presents. The latest, which I received for Christmas last year, is based on the Cross of St. Thomas.

Part of the fascination of these crosses is the history of the artwork.  With each new cross I Google (is that really a verb?) the inspiration piece.  2015's version is especially fascinating.  The cross is a symbol of the St. Thomas Christians, or Nasrani, of Kerala, India, in the southern part of the subcontinent.  Their tradition states that they were converted by the evangelist Thomas the apostle in the first century, and they are still worshiping today.  And still mostly in the Indian state of Kerala.
The Nasrani Cross, Kadamatton Church, 9th c.
My silver cross tree is up.  The Christmas season may now begin.

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3 comments:

Maria Shell said...

What a great holiday story!

Kerri Green said...

I'd love to see the whole tree!

Jay Dodds said...

Lovely!!

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