Click for a printable PDF file of this lesson.

Faith of the Mountain

The Catholic Catechism
for the Maronite Church

Cedars in aShouf Lebanon

God Is Love

The Baptism of Christ from the Rabbula Gospels

The Maronite Patriarchal Cross as the Tree of Life

A Hymn from the Maronite Liturgy

With the Cross we bless ourselves for Christ’s protection,...
for the Holy Cross is mighty and defends us.
On this day we raise it up in exaltation.
Alleluia! The Cross is our light!

(Entrance Hymn for the Season of the Holy Cross, Book of Offering)

What do you think?

Why do you think the Cross is important to Christians?

Where do you see crosses?

What is the Sign of the Cross?

A wood cross in Wadi Qadisha, Lebanon

A simple wood cross above Wadi Qadisha, the Holy Valley of Lebanon.

Jesus' obedience and death give us life!

These words are from the Gospel for the Feast of the Holy Cross.

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
(John 12:24)

But how can death bring life?

A single dried grain of wheat

A dried, dead grain...

Wheat grains being planted by hand

is planted in the earth...

A wheat grain sprouting a new wheat plant

and new, green life grows.

Wheat plants coming up out of the soil

The green grass grows...

Green ears of wheat in a field

and produces many seeds,...

A pile of dried wheat grains

which we dry to make our daily bread.

Jesus, like a seed, died and was buried, but he rose again on the third day to bring new life to all of us. He once said, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.”
(John 14:13-14)

The Crucifixion and the Resurrection from the Rabbula Gospels

The Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the Syriac Maronite Rabbula Gospels.

From the Gospel according to Saint John

Jesus said:
“In this way, God loved the world so that He gave His Only Begotten Son, so that all who believe in Him will not be lost, but will have life forever. God did not send His Son into the world to judge, but so He could give life that never ends through His Son.”
(John 3:16-17)

Belltower of a Maronite Church

The Cross on top of the bell tower of a Maronite Church in Lebanon as the sun rises.

The Sign of the Cross

We bless ourselves and the people we love and the things we think are most precious using the Sign of the Cross and calling on God as we make the Sign of the Cross.

Link to YouTube video on how to make the Sign of the Cross

This button leads to a video about how to make the Sign of the Cross.

In English:

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

In Arabic:

بِٱسْمِ ٱلأَبِ وَٱلِابنِ وَٱلرُّوحِ ٱلْقُدُس، ٱلإِلٰهِ ٱلْوَاحِد. آمِين

In Syriac:

ܒܫܶܡ ܐܰܒܳܐ ܘܰܐܒܪܳܐ ܘܪܽܘܚܳܐ ܩܰܕܺܝܫܳܐ، ܚܰܕ ܐܰܠܳܗܳܐ ܫܰܪܺܝܪܳܐ. ܐܰܡܺܝܢ

A Sign of Love and a Promise

Christians wear crosses to show their love for God, for the Church and for each other. They make the Sign of the Cross as a promise to follow Jesus and to try to love all people as God loves all people.

Over the years many pilgrims have carved crosses in the Chapel of the Holy Cross In the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. The church was built over the place where Jesus died, was buried and rose again. Draw the Sign of the Cross yourself, along with these ancient Christians.

Graffiti crosses carved by pilgrims into the walls of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in 	Jerusalem

Printable Form

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church

The reference below each statement links to the official English translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the Web site of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

  • We bless ourselves and each other with the Sign of the Cross.
    CCC #1667-1679, especially #1668-1669
  • Jesus offered his life for all people, dying on the Cross so that all people could know God’s love for them and live forever with God in love and peace.
    CCC #595-682, especially #619-632, #629-630, #658, and #666-667
  • When we say the Creed, we are making a promise. We are also remembering together the wonderful things God did out of love for us all.
    CCC #185-197, especially #185 and #197

  • © 2020, Saint Maron Publications,
    the publishing house of the Eparchies
    of the Antiochene Syriac Maronite Catholic Church
    in the United States of America.