12 Different kinds of crosses and their meanings

Byzantine Cross

The Byzantine cross, also known as the Russian Orthodox cross, has three horizontal crossbeams and the lower, slanted one, and is a distinctive feature of the cultural landscape of Russia.

Celtic Cross

In Scotland and Ireland, huge crosses of this shape give life to their landscapes. It is popularly believed that St. Patrick introduced the Celtic Cross in Ireland when he was converting the pagans in Ireland to Christianity.

Latin Cross

Also known as "crux ordinaria," the Latin Cross represents the crucifixion of Christ. It is the most commonly used cross in Christianity, alongside the Greek cross.

Coptic Cross

Similar to a Greek cross but with abundant, detailed decoration, the Coptic cross is used by both Coptic Catholics and the Coptic Church of Alexandria, Egypt.

St. Peter's Cross

An inverted Latin cross is referred to as "St. Peter's cross." When martyred, the Apostle said he was not worthy of dying the same death as Jesus. He was then crucified head down, according to some traditional sources (including Origen and Eusebius of Cesarea).

Papal Cross

The papal cross marks the authority of the pope. Its three crossbars echo the shape of the traditional papal tiara. An episcopal cross, proper to a bishop, has only two crossbars.

The Cross of Santiago

The cross of Santiago (St. James) is a cross with flourished arms, often surmounting a scallop shell. It was the emblem of the 12th-century Spanish military Order of Santiago, named after St. James the Greater. The scallop shell, found on beaches near the shrine of Santiago de Compostela, is both a pilgrim badge and a symbol of Baptism.

Greek Cross

With arms of equal length, as in a "plus" sign, it has been commonly used since the 4th century.

Blooming Cross

The cross of the Armenian Apostolic Church is also known as "the blooming cross," because its arms end in branches of trefoil buds. Cross-stones, or khachkars, are carved stone steles with the cross surrounded by ornate decoration.

Anchored Cross

Also known as St. Clement's cross, it is an early Christian symbol referring to the way the saint was martyred (he was drowned with an anchor tied to his neck by order of the emperor Trajan) and is also a symbol of the faith Christians are "anchored" to.

Christ's Monogram

Though not a cross per se, the Chi-Rho (or Xi-Rho) monogram, also known as "Christ's Monogram," is one of the earliest Christograms. It is formed by superimposing the first two letters—xi and rho —of the Greek word ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ (Christ) in such a way that the vertical stroke of the rho intersects the center of the xi.

Jerusalem Cross

Consisting of five Greek crosses it is said to represent either the five wounds of Christ or Christ and the four Gospels.