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Grave of brothers Capuchins

A few years after the onset of Martin Luther in Germany, monastic orders Minorite and the Franciscans from original single order Younger brothers of Francis of Assisi were joined by new one, Capuchins.

Their founder Matthew, native from city Bascio near Pesaro decided to live even stricter in the spirit of St. Francis. In 1525, he moved to Rome and visited Pope Clement VII. He allows Matthew to live "as a hermit without residence and literally by Francis Guides and to proclaim the Gospel everywhere". He was joined by brothers Louis and Rafael from Fossombrone and Capuchin order was born, bearded man dressed in a brown monk's cowl with a long hood. Monastic order was approved three years later, when Pope Clement issued a document, which confirmed Capuchin order and allowed it to accept new members from laity, priests and monks.

In 1613, Capuchins monastery was founded in Maribor. Monastery church was dedicated to Mary, Mother of Mercy. In 1784 emperor Joseph II abolished and dissolved the order, but in 1920, Capuchins returned to Maribor.

Their common headstone at Pobrežje cemetery is marked by two symbols with references on St. Francis. First symbol is composed of crossed arm with T-cross in the background. The right hand is of Jesus, the left, clad in robe represents Francis Assisi. T-cross is a symbol of martyrdom of St. Anthony, the hermit. Description of this cross type appears in oldest manuscripts as the type on which Jesus died. It is described as T-shaped, or composed of vertical and horizontal beams with a small peg at the top. Today, the T-Cross is most often associated in connection with St. Francis of Assisi, who prescribed it to his monks as religious garment. When a monk, wearing this clothing, stretches his arms, he becomes a living crucifix.

St. Francis used the T-cross frequently as some kind of magical sign. He drew this symbol onto the houses, walls and trees, signing letters and blessing homes. In combination with crossed arms, T-cross represents a universal symbol of all Franciscan orders. In other ancient cultures which have used the T-cross, it represented life, resurrection, reincarnation and blood sacrifice.

On both sides of Franciscan order symbol are two letters, Alpha and Omega, first and last letter of Greek alphabet. Letters represent the title of Christ or God in the book of Revelation. Using of first and last letter of Greek alphabet is due to the fact that the New Testament was originally written in Greek language. The symbolism of Alfa and Omega comes from two identical phrases in the book of Revelation, namely, "I am Alpha and Omega" (verse 1: 8, 21: 6 and 22:13). This statement further clarifies the phrase "beginning and end" (Revelation 21: 6, 22:13). It is an early Christian symbol  appearing in the Roman catacombs. A pair of letters is sometimes found in combination with cross, depicted so as to be hung on a horizontal. They often appear on left and right sides of Christ head, in combination with XP-cross or other Christian symbols. Despite the fact that both are Greek letters, this symbol is more frequent in context of West and lesser in East Christian art.

crossed arms
latin cross

Other points at Religious symbols at Pobrežje cemetery

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