The Cross – Beacon of life, courage and liberation

To every culture of death this piece of wood fixed on Calvary gave a new life challenging the awful practices in the name of faith and superstition, fate and deadly past. To every history of injuries and wounds it became the healing wine and soothing olive oil.

The Cross – Beacon of life, courage and liberation

By Joe Palathunkal

Nothing in the world is more viewed by the human eyes than the Cross and on every Good Friday its significance is reminded through the Way of the Cross across the globe by the 2.5 billion Christians of the world. In these days of the pandemic corona which has claimed 83000 lives, the humankind is in fact on a way of the Cross.

The Cross is viewed by the people of all the continents, all the races, all the colours and all the creeds. All the dynamic philosophies that affect humankind have something to do with this dry wood that is the only tree with life, life in its varied dynamism.

When people were lead to torture and slaughter in the early centuries they held on to it because it gave them an unusual courage on the face of death. Nothing mattered to them even the roar of lions or the howl of the beastly rulers. They stood firm holding on to the Cross when death stared at them like a Dracula and the political system suck into their blood like a vampire.

To every culture of death this piece of wood fixed on Calvary gave a new life challenging the awful practices in the name of faith and superstition, fate and deadly past. To every history of injuries and wounds it became the healing wine and soothing olive oil.

The Cross since it appeared over the Milvian Bridge in the bright sky like an unusual light defeating the sun-god and the faith anchored on it, this Tree of Liberation conquered an emperor and his morbid conscience bidding him to conquer in this sign. And since then that sign did conquer billions of minds and hearts across the continents and became a beacon of courage and freedom.

The conversion of Constantine to the Cross was the turning of humankind to this most hallowed symbol and his mother went on a journey in search of the original Cross on which man’s perverted cruel concept of man and religion crucified the Author of life.

And Queen Mother Helen’s search did not go in vain. That the Cross was discovered after an earnest search reveals that this fount of life is available only to those who search for it looking at it as a source of life. Helen Augusta did that and therefore the discovery of the Cross is the greatest discovery of life in human history.

The identification of the true Cross did prove that it was indeed the discovery of life. The three crosses unearthed posed the most intriguing question – which is the one on which Jesus the source of abundance of life was crucified?

A terminally ill woman on the point of death was asked to touch the three crosses and she did it one by one. And when she touched the third one her illness disappeared and she regained life. The Queen Mother fixed this third one as the original one on which Jesus died.

But remember, this discovery of the original Cross became possible only by the demolition of the temple of Venus on the site. Helen had the courage to order the demolition of the magnificent temple and excavate the site for the object of her search. The liberating life of the Cross will come to any human person only when she or he is ready to demolish the undesirable old however beautiful and magnificent it may look. Every people who got liberation and dynamism through the Cross did demolish the old anti-life beliefs and practices.

When the great explorers dared the raging seas on ships bearing a Cross, for them it had become the armor to protect their life. Catholic explorers Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, Amerigo Vespucci, Pedro Alvares Cabral, Bartolomeu Dias or Vasco da Gama had a Cross fixed on their flagships.

Their discoveries of the new lands gave the tremendous impetus to the Catholic missionaries to venture into the continents of North America, South America, Africa and Asia and to establish a system based on the dynamism of the Cross and the great vision of humanity that emerges from it. It has demolished the anti-life practices and values of these continents. Again proving Cross is a source of life. It has been also the source of courage and inspiration to live and die for Jesus and his kingdom. When Peter and Paul were crucified in Rome, it was the beginning of the Cross growing into a gigantic Tree of Life to give light and life to all the people.

It was the Cross that gave courage to Isaac Jogues, Jean de Brébeuf, Jean de Lalande and companions to venture into North America and become its first martyrs for Christ. They bore the Cross to bring light and life to the whole continent. If North America is today the most prosperous continent it is because of the vision that the Cross imparted to its people.

When the Japanese crucified the 26 Catholic martyrs including Gonsalo Garcia from Vasai in India, it was the Cross that gave them the courage to face torture and death for Christ and his kingdom values. See, the transformation that has taken place in the whole of Japan.

Wherever the Cross reached, there was zest for liberation and life. Today Cross is the sign of life as we witness it as the only sign of the Red Cross, hospitals and ambulances. All the freedom struggles of the world had their origin on the value systems that were born from the vision of the Cross. Undoubtedly the liberation theology of the Catholic Church had its origin only on the Cross.

If today many nations have Cross on their flags and emblems it is a loud proclamation that the Cross was the driving force behind every true national liberation. As flags of Denmark, Figi, Finland, Georgia, San Marino, Norway or U. K. rise to the skies on their national days, the people salute that undeniable symbol of liberation - the Cross. No wonder then, that on Good Friday the skies across the world reverberate with this greatest hymn to the Cross – “We Adore You, O Christ, and We Bless You, Because by Your Cross You Have Redeemed the World.”

(Image/Photo Courtesy:,

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