Inverted Cross Definition

The crucifixion of Christ made the cross become one of the symbolic elements of the Christian faith. However, there are several versions of this religious symbol. One of the most unique is precisely the inverted cross. Regarding its interpretation, it is an element that can be assessed from two totally opposite approaches: Christianity and Satanism.

Its origin is related to the apostle Saint Peter

After the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, his most direct disciples (the apostles) spread the teachings of their teacher in different territories. The Apostle Peter settled in the city of Rome at a time when Emperor Nero severely persecuted Christians. In this context, Peter was martyred to death.

The texts that refer to his martyrdom are mainly two: the letter of Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, addressed to Timothy in relation to the executions of Peter and Paul of Tarsus and, on the other hand, the testimony of the Christian theologian Origen in the century ll d. C. In both it is stated that Peter was crucified, but before the execution he asked his executioners to be placed on an inverted cross so that his head was upside down.

The apostle made this request for a reason: he did not want to die like Jesus, since he considered himself unworthy of it. His captors agreed to the request and finally Peter was crucified upside down. In this way, the inverted cross became a sign of humility for Christians.

Note that in Catholicism the pope is presented with this symbol in some acts and with it the message of humility of the apostle Peter is transmitted

In the Christian tradition the inverted cross is known as the cross of Saint Peter. Other crosses linked to Christianity are that of San Andrés, that of San Patricio or that of Magellan.

A symbol of Satanism that is also used in different cultural contexts

The different satanic currents express their rejection of Christianity. One of the ways to communicate your opposition is through the inverted cross. This symbol is present in the liturgy of the black masses.

The inverted cross is very present in all kinds of cultural manifestations: in the aesthetics of some heavy metal bands, in satanic-themed horror movies, or simply as a provocative logo on tattoos and T-shirts.

In any case, through this symbol a rejection or a direct mockery of Christianity is communicated.

Photos: Fotolia – Ralelav / Antonio Ayuso