Making the sign of the cross is to mark ourselves as Christians, and it is something we should do often to remind ourselves that we belong to God, Pope Francis said today.
“The cross is the badge that shows who we are: our speaking, thinking, looking, working [we are] under the sign of the cross, that is, the love of Jesus, to the end,” the Pope said.
“Making the sign of the cross when we wake up, before meals, before a danger, to defend against evil, [at] night before sleep means to tell ourselves and others who we belong to, who we want to be.”
Pope Francis spoke about the sign of the cross during the weekly Wednesday general audience in St. Peter’s Square today.
The Pontiff also noted the importance the sign of the cross plays in the Baptismal Rite, like in the Baptism of children, when the parents and godparents express the desire for the sacrament on behalf of the child, demonstrating it through the sign of the cross traced on the forehead of the child.
“The sign of the cross expresses the seal of Christ on the one who is about to belong to him and signifies the grace of redemption that Christ has acquired for us through his cross,” he said, quoting from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The Pope also explained the way adult catechumens are marked with a cross, on each of the senses.
They are crossed with the following words, he said: “Receive the sign of the cross on your ears to hear the voice of the Lord; on the eyes to see the splendour of the face of God; on the mouth, to answer the word of God; on the chest, because Christ dwells through faith in your hearts; on the shoulders, to support the gentle yoke of Christ.”
“Christians become the extent to which the cross is imprinted in us as an ‘Easter’ mark, making visible, even outwardly, the Christian way of facing life,” he said.
Hannah Brockhaus, Catholic News Agency