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Catholic Dictionary




Primarily the instrument of suffering on which Christ died and redeemed the world. It also stands for whatever pain or endurance that a Christian undergoes, and voluntarily accepts, in order to be joined with Christ and co-operate in the salvation of souls. The Cross is, therefore, a revealed mystery, taught by Christ when he said, "If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Matthew 16:24). The mystery of the Cross is one of the principal themes of St. Paul's writings (Romans 5:8; I Corinthians 1:17; Galatians 4:16; and Philippians 2:6-11).