churches to keep evil spirits at bay and to mark the graves of those who claimed their promise of eternal life. The main reason for the large number of variations was the use of the cross in heraldry. Heraldry was the art of creating and displaying coats of arms during the Middle Ages.
THE CROSS ADORNED – A cross that is decorated with lilies or floral arrangements. This form of cross is very popular during Easter celebrations.
THE CROSS AIGUISÉE (Equisée) – A cross with square endings and triangular caps. It symbolizes the suffering (passion) of our Lord.
THE CROSS ALISÉE PATÉE – This is a variation of the Cross Alisée. The outside edges of the cross conform to a circular shape.
THE ANCHOR CROSS – 1. A cross in the form of an anchor. It symbolizes hope and stability in Jesus. The anchor cross is an ancient Christian symbol, dating back to the 2nd century. It was frequently used in the catacombs to decorate the tombs of the dead. Because it was illegal to practice Christianity in the Roman Empire, symbols used in the catacombs were frequently of common objects (anchor, shepherd, dove, etc.) that could hold double meanings. In this way the symbol would not look blatantly Christian, concealing its Christian meaning from all but the informed few.