This morning I wore a necklace with a Huguenot Cross pendant, and a friend noticed and asked about it. I told her that it was a Huguenot Cross and is often worn by Protestant believers in Europe. It’s full of symbolism, but all I could think of at the moment—the opening song had just started up—was the most obvious: a dove dangling at the bottom is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
Here’s a shot of mine:
When I got home, I decided to refresh my memory on the symbolism, as it’s quite detailed.
- The shape of this cross was modeled after the Maltese Cross; and the cross is, of course, to remind us of the cross on which our Savior died for our sins. The cross is empty, further symbolizing His victory over death–He is risen and alive!
- Eight points around the edges add up to represent the eight Beatitudes.
- Between the arms of the cross, the fancier pendants have the image of a flower of French origins, the fleur-de-lys (mine doesn’t have them, but you can see it here)–and the three petals of the fleur-de-lys are supposed to represent the Trinity.
- The fleur-de-lys also suggests purity.
- There are four fleur-de-lys, one for each of the gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
- Do a little math, and you’ll discover that the three petals multiplied by four fleur-de-lys adds up to….twelve. The number of Jesus’ disciples (after subtracting Judas and adding in Matthias).
- The inner ring formed by the string of fleur-de-lys form the crown of thorns that the soldiers twisted together and set onto Jesus’ head.
- The fleur-de-lys, when set next to each arm of the cross, end up forming an open-spaced heart. Considering Christ’s heart reminds us of His sufferings.
- And then, as I already mentioned, the dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit. During times of persecution, the dove would be replaced by a pearl, symbolizing a teardrop.
My friend was particularly struck by my pendant, because she had just finished a book (from this series ) depicting in historical fiction the persecution of the Huguenots. This site offers an overview of the persecution endured by these French Calvinists, or Protestant Reformers. It’s not a happy history.
My dad tells me that my family lineage includes some Huguenots. I don’t know the details of their part in the bigger story. I wonder what they endured?
I wonder if they ever wore one of these crosses?
I wonder if they wore it with a dove…or a teardrop?
I’m grateful that for now, today, in the United States of America, we are free from that kind of persecution. We must beware, though. One day we may find ourselves in the same situation as the Huguenots.
Today I could wear mine with joy while worshiping in a Protestant Reformed church…with a dove.
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