St. John's Cross - Celtic Cross (#91036)

St. John's Cross - Celtic Cross

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Item Number: 91036

St. John's Cross - Celtic Cross (#91036)

The Isle of Iona founded by St. Columba from Ireland, occupied a key position between Pictland and Northumbria on the one hand and Ireland on the other. The community of Iona had close links with Ireland in the 8th century and it is known to have been the meeting point of different artistic traditions. St. John's Cross, which has the widest span (almost 7 feet, 3 inches.) of any early cross in Britian, was originally without a ring and because of structural weakness, the ring was added in later. The cross is 17 feet tall and is from the 8th century. The panels of serpent and boss designs and "bird's nest" bosses, and spiral work is very similar to that on the Chi-Rho page in the Book of Kells. St. John Cross represents rebirth in Christ. The "bird's nest" symbolizes birth and the serpents represent rebirth since the snake sheds its old skin.

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