This Triumph Wing cross, lovingly hand detailed in clay mold, then wax mold, and then hand-poured in brass, is a work of art destined to bring forth hope in the midst of the heaviest and loneliest sufferings of life. From the sorrow of the cross to the triumph of the cross, overflows hope and new life, redemption and restoration. Each piece is prayed over and meditated upon, carrying deep biblical messages and ancient symbolism, with words from Jesus and echoes of faith tradition…
The crown of thorns transects the horizontal beam with angel wings wrapped in loving protection around it, reminding us of the triumph of the Resurrection in Jesus’ life, and in our own life. Resurrection and restoration through Grace are possible, no matter how lost or traumatized we feel. Let us open our hearts up to Jesus’ healing Grace, outpoured from the cross, and let him transofrm us. The brass cross is heavy, powerful, and the perfect size to fit in a hand or hang on a wall as a reminder of the redemptive birthright that belongs to a soul loved by God.
3 Centuries after the horrific crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the form of the cross had taken on merely private devotional practices by select individuals who were followers of the nascent church. St. Paul, a deep friend of the crucified Christ, had said, the cross was literally, “scandalous” to human common sense, very hard for the “wise of the world” to accept, but full of hope to anyone who has experienced weakness. In 306 AD, a pagan monotheist, devotee of the sun god Sol Invictus (“the unconquered sun”) and newly appointed Emperor of the Roman Empire, changed history for Christians forever. This man was Emperor Constantine. When Constantine rose to the throne, Christianity remained an illegal, dangerous and yet secretly growing religion, oppressed by decades of devastating martyrdoms. Historians detail and corroborate the dramatic story that right before an impossible battle, the Emperor and his army beheld a vision of a cross of light in the sky above the sun with the words “In hoc signo vinces” (‘In this sign conquer’). That very same night, Constantine had a dream in which Christ himself told him he should use the sign of the cross against his enemies. He was so convicted, that
the next morning he had the Christian symbol marked on his soldiers’ shields. Their victory was overwhelming! Constantine’s heart was deeply moved and he attributed the victory to the god of the Christians. Soon after, he issued the Edict of Milan, granting religious freedom to Christians. From that point in history, the use of the Cross as an official symbol of the followers of Christ took root. Devotion that was fervently spread by none other than Constantine’s own mother, Helena, for she, too, became a Christian. Just a few years before, an earlier emperor had razed Jewish and Christian holy sites to the ground, erecting temples to Roman gods of the time. With her son’s permission, Helena led an excavation of Jerusalem, and uncovered the true cross of Jesus, furthering devotion to the cross as sign no longer of just torture, but of salvation and redemption. . .a sign of the greatest sacrifice…a sign of love.
In this sign we will all conquer. We will conquer despair and trials, pain and suffering, and all the sufferings of our fallen human nature. We are reminded by gazing upon this work of art, that we are all freed from our own suffering and bound together in love. Jesus Christ inserts himself into our brokenness, and lifts us up as an eternal sacrifice to His Father, sanctified by the Holy Spirit and honored by His human mother. He gives us hope and new life. Behind every human suffering and death is resurrection, and we are free to live in the mystery that love surpasses all time and transcends all wounds. Never give up hope in new life. Instead, triumph.