RARE 17-18th CENT. RUSSIAN NORTH ORTHODOX "OLD BELIEVERS" CROSS "JESUS PRAYER"

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Seller: Top-Rated Seller godblessyou21 (883) 100%, Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Ships to: US & many other countries, Item: 202437639596 Rare, beautifully preserved, authentic antique Russian Orthodox "Old Believers" Cross pendant with abbreviated text of one of the most famous prayers in Orthodox Christianity known as the "Jesus Prayer", or the "Unceasing Prayer". The inscription of the Prayer is exceptionally well preserved. Handmade, bears visible marks of hand grinding tools, such as files. Cast from bronze or similar copper alloy. Origin likely c. 17th-18th century Imperial Russian North (judged by the image of the Cross on the obverse and based on similar findings described in available catalogs). Lightly bent and worn out, likely due to devotional wearing as a pectoral, "body" cross. Covered with the original, beautiful dark green patina from the past centuries. The size of the pendant is shown on the photographs for this listing. Authentic ancient symbol of Orthodox Christian faith. The obverse of the cross pendant bears a traditional image of a Byzantine-like Suppedaneum cross, and inscriptions in Church Slavonic. The Byzantine three-bar cross is used in the Eastern Orthodox and some Eastern Catholic churches. Such a cross has three horizontal crossbeams: the top one represents the "INRI" nameplate, and the bottom one, a footrest. The footrest crossbeam is depicted pointing up, toward Heaven, on Christ's right hand side where the Penitent thief, St. Dismas was crucified. The unique features of this pendant's design include the Suppedaneum cross having its top crossbeam attached on the top of the cross, according to the ancient tradition of the Russian North. The four crossbar ends bear diamond-shaped, rhomboid ornaments surrounded by four dots each. The ornaments might have symbolic meaning of Four Nails used for the crucifixion of Jesus, with each such a "nail" surrounded by Four Wounds of Christ inflicted by the nails. The "diamond" or "lozenge" motif dates as far back as the Neolithic and Paleolithic period in Eastern Europe, and represented a sown field and female fertility. The ancient lozenge pattern often shows up in Diamond vault architecture, in traditional dress patterns of Slavic peoples, and in traditional Ukrainian embroidery. The lozenge pattern also appears extensively in Celtic art. Each diamond-shaped ornament incorporates symbolic abbreviations in Cyrillic letters that are oversimplified and barely identifiable either by design, or because of the aging/wearing off. It appears that the top end of the vertical crossbar of the pendant has the "KING" symbol used in the Eastern Orthodox "body" crosses as a nameplate in their top part. The left and right side ends of the central horizontal crossbar of the pendant appear to have the Sacred Name of Jesus Christ inscribed as the Greek Christogram, the "IC" on the left, and the "XC" on the right. Parallel to the vertical crossbar, there are images of the two Instruments of the Passion (Arms of Christ, Arma Christi), the Holy Lance (spear) of a Roman soldier and the Holy Sponge attached to the end of a cane (stick). They are subjects to adoration along with the Cross, and are often depicted on the Byzantine-style "Golgotha" crosses worn as Baptism, body crosses for the entire life of a faithful Christian. Just below the image of the Suppedaneum cross, there is the "NI" abbreviation incorporated in the diamond shape, likely meaning "NIKA" ("VICTORY"), a powerful symbol of the ultimate victory of Christ over sin and death. The reverse bears an abbreviated Church Slavonic text of one of the most famous and widely used Orthodox Prayer, the "Jesus Prayer", meaning "LORD JESUS CHRIST, SON OF GOD, HAVE MERCY ON ME, A SINNER". Theologically, the Jesus Prayer is considered to be the response of the Church Tradition to the preaching of Jesus through the parable of the Publican (Tax Collector) and the Pharisee, in which the Pharisee shows an improper way to pray by saying: "Thank you Lord that I am not like the Publican", whereas the Publican prays in humility saying "Lord have mercy on me, a sinner" (Luke 18:10-14).The prayer has been widely promoted and discussed throughout the history of the Orthodox Church. It is often repeated continually as a part of personal ascetic practice, its use being an integral part of the Orthodox prayer tradition known as Hesychasm (Ancient Greek: "to keep stillness"). The prayer is particularly esteemed by the Orthodox spiritual Fathers as a method of opening up the heart and bringing about the “Prayer of the Heart”. The Prayer of The Heart is considered to be the “Unceasing Prayer” that the apostle Paul advocates in the New Testament. One of the Fathers, St. Theophan the Recluse regarded the Jesus Prayer stronger than all other prayers by virtue of the power of the Holy Name of Jesus. Though the Jesus Prayer has been practiced through the centuries as part of the Eastern tradition, in the 20th century, it also began to be used in some Western churches, including some Roman Catholic and Anglican churches. Please examine all photographs carefully and do your own research if necessary. Please note that photographs are an important part of the item's description. The U.S. quarter coin, decorative stone and measuring meter are not for sale, and are photographed with the item in order to provide a size reference. Please ask all questions before making a purchase. There are no guarantees with the listing because most items are original vintage or antique objects that are quite old. All items are sold "as is" with no returns because of a change of mind offered. Shipping and handling is free for the continental US. International buyers, please ask me for a shipping quote prior to buying. Please note that customs regulations differ from country to country, and it is a buyer's responsibility to ensure that any customs fees or other duties collected by the buyer's country are paid and satisfied in full. Condition: Used, Condition: Rare, beautifully preserved, authentic antique Russian Orthodox "Old Believers" Cross pendant with abbreviated text of one of the most famous prayers in Orthodox Christianity known as the "Jesus Prayer", or the "Unceasing Prayer". The inscription of the Prayer is exceptionally well preserved. Handmade, bears visible marks of hand grinding tools, such as files. Cast from bronze or similar copper alloy. Origin likely c. 17th-18th century Imperial Russian North (judged by the image of the Cross on the obverse and based on similar findings described in available catalogs). Lightly bent and worn out, likely due to devotional wearing as a pectoral, "body" cross. Covered with the original, beautiful dark green patina from the past centuries. The size of the pendant is shown on the photographs for this listing. Authentic ancient symbol of Orthodox Christian faith., Country/Region of Manufacture: Unknown, Material: Bronze or similar copper alloy, Featured Refinements: Orthodox Cross

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