A small next-to-skin cross is filled with images glorifying the Life-giving force of Cross of Christ. On the obverse we see the crucified Savior Himself. According to the Orthodox canon Jesus Christ looks not dying but triumphant on the cross. By His death on the cross the Lord expiated human sins and opened the gates of heaven and futurity for people. Therefore on the Orthodox crosses Jesus Christ appears as victor. From above the Crucifixion image is blessed by God’s arm. That is a symbol of the presence of God the Father and the Holy Spirit who accompanied Christ in His earthly life. The Orthodox Church steadily teaches that not physical suffering and death but Savior’s triumph over death is an eternal, indestructible fruit of Cross, that in canonic texts is called “victorious sign”, “death for death”, “invincible victory”.
From four sides the cross beams are ended with circles having letters X inside. That is the sacred cryptogram “Gonfalons of Christ are Eulogy on Christians”. Gonfalon is a battle standard of Christians waging on a relentless struggle against their sins, against demonic temptations. A first gonfalon appeared in 4th century under St. Constantine the Great, King and Co-Apostle, who started depicting cross instead martial symbols on the standards. St. Eusebius of Ceasarea, the biographer of Constantine the Great attests that the holy Emperor has always used such a crossed standard as a defense weapon for overcoming adverse and hostile force, and ordered such standards to be carried in all the troops. Since then one more name – “Banner of Church” – has been added to numerous names of cross.
The same cryptogram is repeated on the cross reverse. The glorification image of Cross of Christ is completed with doxology from the Canon to the life-giving cross written by St. Gregory the Sinaite in 14th century:
“O, God, be praised your precious cross!”