Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 20 April |
home iconChurch
line break icon

Pope Francis: Pay attention when you make the sign of the cross!

Pope Francis makes sign of the cross

Andreas Solaro / AFP

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 04/05/17

The gesture of blessing reminds us that good ideas and good will are not the source of salvation: "The only salvation is in the crucified Christ."

Wearing a crucifix around our necks and making the sign of the cross shouldn’t be mindless practices, but constant reminders of the mystery of sin, the cross and salvation.

The pope offered this reflection Tuesday during his morning homily at Mass in his residence, the Casa Santa Marta.

The readings of the day recounted the story of how the Israelites were being bitten by poisonous snakes, and how God told Moses to make a bronze snake and mount it on a pole, assuring that whoever looked on it would be saved from the snakebites.

“The bronze serpent was the sign of two things,” the pope said, as Vatican Radio reported: “the sign of sin and the seductive power of sin, and a prophecy of the cross.”

The pope noted how St. Paul teaches that Christ took on the wounds of sin: “For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin.”

“Salvation comes only from the Cross,” the pope affirmed. “There is no salvation in ideas, there is no salvation in good will, in the desire to be good … The only salvation is in the crucified Christ, because like the bronze serpent, He was able to take all the poison from sin and heal us.”

Pope Francis said we should ask ourselves what the cross means for us, and if we make the sign of the cross as a prayer.

The Church proposes “a dialogue with the Mystery of the Cross, with God who became sin for our sake,” he said. “Each of us can say He became sin ‘for love of me.’”

At Aleteia today, learn about the origin and meaning of the sign of the cross.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Top 10
1
SPANISH FLU
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
2
EUCHARIST
Philip Kosloski
5 Fascinating facts about Jesus in the Eucharist
3
MASS
Philip Kosloski
5 Essential things used at Mass and their symbolism
4
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
5
COUPLE
Cerith Gardiner
7 Joys to be had from a lengthy marriage
6
OSORNO
Brett Salkeld
How to vaccinate like a Catholic
7
PRINCE PHILIP
Cerith Gardiner
The lasting lesson from the late Prince Philip
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.