14kt gold Saint Olga cross pendant with Saint Andrew cross cutout.
The Saint Olga cross features the letters “IC” and “XC,” the traditional Greek abbreviation for Jesus Christ. On this cross the letters “IC” represent the Greek characters Iota and Sigma the first and last letters of Jesus. The letters “XC” represent Chi and Sigma the first and last letters of Christ. The starburst symbol at the top front of the cross represents the Light of Christ and is shown above the engraved Saint Andrew cross. Many of these crosses feature a Slavonic inscription on the reverse side which silently petitions: “Save and Protect.”
The Saint Andrew cross (sometimes referred to as an Orthodox cross or three-barred cross) shows up frequently in Eastern European and Slavic religious art and symbolism. The first short bar represents the sign on the Jesus’ cross, many times with “INRI,” the Latin initials for the phrase: “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” The middle bar is the longest, and the bar upon which Jesus’ arms were outstretched and nailed. The final, bottom bar is the footrest, supporting Jesus’ body. Several reasons have been given for the slant of the bottom bar. One surmises that, at the moment of Jesus’ death, His foot slipped, and the footrest tilted. Another, more symbolic interpretation (and our favorite), refers to the thief who was crucified next to Jesus (on his right side, to be precise). This “Wise Thief” repented his sins, and went to heaven. The unrepentant thief on the left side of Christ had another destination after death. As to the name of the cross, tradition teaches that when the Apostle Andrew preached he would always have a life-size three-barred cross at his side. When he would get to the Last Judgement, he tilted the footplate to signify that those on the right side of Christ go to heaven, while those on the left side will go to hell.
Chain is not included.