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A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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SWASTIKA

A symbol of the Cross, sometimes called the crux gammata, made up of four Greek gammas joined at their bases. It is of Sanshrit origin and means "good omen." It has several recognized meanings, e.g., rotation of the sun, four points of the compass. It has sometimes been referred to as the crooked cross. It was the emblem of the Nazis in World War II. Seldom used by Christians before the third century, and then only to conceal the Cross from unbelievers.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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