HUGUENOT CROSS

The Huguenot Cross is believed to have been a sign of recognition among the French Protestants as early as the 17th century. It was patterned after the Order of the Holy Spirit insignia worn by Henry IV of Navarre, who issued the Edict of Nantes in 1598 to protect Protestant freedoms. The Huguenot Cross was designed and first manufactured by a certain Mystre of Nimes in 1688. It is commonly known as the Maltese Cross as it has as its predecessor the badge of the Hospitaler Knights of St. John of Jersusalem also known as the Knights of Malta.

The cross is a symbol of all that is holy. It consists of an open four-petal Lily of France in which each petal radiates outward in the shape of a "V" to form the Maltese Cross. The four petals signify the Four Gospels. Each petal has two rounded points that represent the eight Beatitudes. The four petals are joined together by four fleur-de-lis. Each fleur-del-lis has three petals. The twelve petals of the four fleu-de-lis signify the Twelve Apostles. The open space in the shape of a heart is found between the arms of the cross, a symbol of loyalty, that suggests the seal of the great French Reformer, John Calvin. The desending dove represents the "Sainted Spirit" - the guide and counselor of the Church.

 

 

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