Penal Cross Plaque
Lough Derg, in Co. Donegal, Ireland is the site of the famous pilgrimage of St Patrick's Purgatory. Penal crosses were made at Lough Derg in the 18th and 19th Century. These were sold to pilgrims as souvenirs of their visit. The crosses were embellished with symbols of the passion and death of Christ.
1. The dice with which the Roman soldiers cast lots for Christ's garments.
2. The hammer which was used to drive the nails into Christ's hands.
3. The pincer for withdrawing the nails.
4. The sun, the moon and the stars representing the homage of all nature or in remembrance of the eclipse of the Crucifixion.
5. The cords which held Christ to the pillar shown still attached to His left wrist.
6. The Jug of Vinegar.
7. The Spear used to pierce Christ's side.
8. The Scourge shown as a handle with three lashes attached to it.
9. The ladder used to take Christ's body down from the Cross.
10. The Nails which held Christ to the cross.
11. Cherubs winged head possibly represents the resurrection angle.
12. The Cock and the Pot.
This has its origin in one of the Gospel apocrypha called the Gospel of Nicodemus which dates from the fourth century. Judas having repented of his betrayal of Christ, brings the thirty pieces of sliver back to the priests. He casts the money down and leaves them. The text continues: "And departing to his house to make a halter of a rope to hang himself, he found his wife sitting and roasting a cock on a fire of coals or in a pan before eating it: and saith to her: Rise up, wife. and provide me a rope, for I would hang myself as I deserve. But his wife said to him: Why sayest the such things? And Judas said to her:Know of a truth I have wickedly betrayed my master Jesus to the evil-doers for Pilate to put him to death: but he will rise again on the third day, and woe unto us! And his wife said to him: Say not nor think not so: for as well as this cock that is roasting an the fire can crow, just so well shall Jesus rise again, as thou sayest. An immediately at her word the cock spread his wings and crowed thrice. Then was Judas more convinced and straightaway made the halter of rope and hanged himself" (The apocryphal New Testament. Oxford 1924 p.116).
SKU: KB 015