Catholic Dictionary




The most popular profession of the Christian faith in action form. The cruciform sign professes one's belief in human redemption through Christ's death on the Cross. The pronunciation of the names of the Three Divine Persons professes belief in the Holy Trinity. the first of the Church's sacramentals, it has its origins in apostolic times. It is made by saying, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit," and its action takes the form of a cross. One touches the forehead, the breast, and the left and right shoulders with the right hand as the words are recited. The prayer ends with "Amen" and is regularly made with holy water as a person enters a church or chapel or, in religious communities, upon entering one's room.