Our Lord Jesus Christ is the beginning and the source of the world harmony and love. That is why His image is in the center of any next-to-skin cross. The saints in a pose of prayerful intercession are beside Him. They are bestowed a peculiar grace of helping people in maladies and miseries, and bringing them to the Kingdom of Heaven.
On the top there is the image of the most favorite Russian saint – Nicholas the Wonderworker († 342), the Bishop of Myrah, Lycia capital. Many times in his life St. Nicholas pacified storm, healed sick persons, predicted the future and appeared before those in need of his help even if they were hundreds miles away. After death St. Nicholas, the Man of God still keeps on making wonders and deeds of mercy. He is commemorated twice: on December 19(6), the day of his decease, and on May 22(9), when in 1087 his incorruptible relics were transported to Bari (Italy) staying there hitherto.
On the left, on the right and at the bottom there are great Russian saint wondermakers: Holy Hierarch Alexander of Svir` (on the left) (†1533), On the right there is St. Seraphim of Sarov, and St. John of Kronstadt (1829—1908) (at the bottom).
St. Alexander of Svir` († 1533) built a small monastic cell-hut in the forest not far from the river Svir`, where he was honored with seeing two apparitions. In 1508 the saint was the secret viewer of the Life-Giving Trinity; and some years after the Most Holy Mother of God with the Divine Infant in Her arms appeared before him. Now his undecayed relics rest in the monastery after his name Сейчас нетленные мощи St. Alexander of Svir` is commemorated on September 12 (August 30) and April 30(17).
The Most Holy Mother of God herself appeared before St. Seraphim of Sarov (1754 – 1833) once and again calling him the “favorite of mine”. Leading the life full of self-denial; eating only water and glague the saint kept on saying to his disciples: “Acquire a peaceful spirit, and thousands around you will be saved.” Nowadays the relics of St. Seraphim of Sarov rest in the Convent of the Virgin in Diveevo the place for which was indicated to him by the Mother of God Herself. He is commemorated on January 15 (2) and August 1 (July 19).
St. John of Kronstadt (1829 — 1908) when being alive was worshipped as “All-Russian parson” since almost 6 thousands persons daily came to him in order to make their confessions and to listen to his sermon in St. Andrew’s Church in Kronstadt. The prayer of the saint was so powerful that he healed even through telegrams. Once he raised a person from the dead with the medical committee watching. St. John of Kronstadt is commemorated on the day of decease, December 20 (January 2). His relics rest in the Convent of St. John in St-Petersburg.
The central part of the cross reverse is occupied by one of the most worshipped icons of the Most Holy Mother of God – the Kazan icon, a sacred object not of human making. It appeared miraculously in Kazan in 1579. Innumerable are the wonders made by this icon: relief in wars, in illnesses, in family life…In the times of Disturbance (1604 — 1613) when people’s volunteer corps headed by C. Minin and D. Pozharsky liberated Moscow from Polish invaders; the icon became the shield and the benediction of them. Thus the icon observance was established both on July 21 (8), the day of invention; and on November 4 (October 22), the day of Moscow liberation.
The Mother of God is surrounded by images of holy wives who gave their lives to God. On the top and at the bottom we see icons of Equal-to-the-Apostles Nina (280-335) and Olga († 969). The Church equated the feats of these holy women with the Deeds of the Apostles, the closest Disciples of Christ. Young Nina (280 – 335) came to Georgia from distant Palestine in order to preach Christ in the land where His tunic was kept. And her preaching changed the destinies of the Caucasus nations. Commemorated is on January 27 (14).
Russian Princess Olga († 969) was the first of Russian Princes who adopted Christianity, and by her issionary activities prepared Russia for getting baptized by her grandson Vladimir. Due to her Christian communities and churches appeared almost in all Russian towns by 988, Christianity being peacefully spread all over Russian lands never coming into conflict with heathenry. Commemorated is on July 24 (11).
On the left there is the image of St.Tatiana Martyr († 235), deaconess who rejected wealth and comfort, and managed to evangelize even her executioners by way of her martyr feat. Commemorated is on January 25(12).
On the right there is the icon of St. Blessed Matrona of Moscow (1885-1952). Being blind from birth she had started healing and prophesying since the age of seven. Up to the end of her life she received about forty people a day, spending nights in praying. Now wonders are worked at her grave in the Danilovskoye cemetery. Commemorated is on May 2 (April 19), September 3 (August 21), October 5 (September 22).