Jerusalem Cross

"Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem"

Since its inception, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has used the Jerusalem cross as a symbol of its outreach. Traditionally, it represents Christ's command to proclaim the Gospel to all the world, starting, Christ told his apostles, in Jerusalem. This mosaic panel depicts a large, central cross with a smaller cross in each of its four quadrants. Each small cross has five additional and even smaller crosses within it suggesting the evangelistic mission of the Christian church throughout the world.

The Jerusalem Cross was first used as a coat of arms for the Latin Kingdom in Jerusalem. During the Crusades, it was referred to as the "Crusaders Cross". The four small crosses are symbolic of the four Gospels proclaimed to the four corners of the earth, beginning in Jerusalem; the large cross symbolizes the person of Christ.

This cross is known as the Jerusalem cross, the cross of Palestine, and was used as a symbol for the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem after the Holy city had been conquered by the crusaders until the kingdom of Jerusalem was conquered by warriors from inner Asia fighting for the sultan of Egypt in 1244. The Jerusalem cross was the banner used to represent the Crusaders' Kingdom of Jerusalem. Nowadays the Jerusalem cross appears on, among other places, the medal of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre , which is presented by the pope.

This ancient Christian symbol is used here in two ways, to show Jesus as both the messenger and the message. Christ is represented by the central cross, surrounded by the four evangelists, represented by four smaller crosses. Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word of God, is proclaimed through the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The Gospel is likewise represented by the central cross, surrounded by the four directions, represented by the four smaller crosses. The Gospel is proclaimed to the four corners of the earth, to the north, south, east and west.

"Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem" The insignia of the Equestrian Order is easily recognizable the world over. The use by the Order of the blood-red Jerusalem cross of the early Crusaders has been continual since its adoption by Godfrey de Bouillon in A.D. 1071. It is visible insignia of the order, marking it in a special, historic way. The mantle of the Order, revived by Pius X, is the oldest link to the Crusaders, who originally adopted a creamy white woolen cape marked by a large red Jerusalem cross on the left breast. In 1888, a black silken mantle, with the red Jerusalem cross emblazoned in the same fashion, was adopted for the newly accepted women with the title Lady. The collar is of black velvet, and a mantilla of fine, long black lace in the Vatican and Spanish mode completes the official garb for the Ladies of the order.The Jerusalem cross predates Godfrey's adoption of it; in fact, it can be traced to Charlemagne in the year 800. "It consists of five red and gold trimmed crosses, with a gallow cross in the center, inset at the intersections with four small Greek crosses, representing the five wounds of Christ."

The Jerusalem Cross symbolizes the five wounds of Christ. It is sometimes called the Crusader's Cross as it can also represent the spreading of the Gospel from Jerusalem to the four corners of the earth (Acts 1:8).