San Damiano Cross

The San Damiano Cross is an original Syrian icon. During his travels at the beginning of the 13th century, a young man called Francis Bernardone arrived at the doors of a small ramshackle chapel of San Damiano just outside of Assisi. Here, he knelt in front of the cross icon hanging above the altar, and prayed. He had a mystical vision of Jesus Christ talking to him through the icon and asking him to repair the House of God. And so Francis started restoring the chapel as well as transforming the entire Church. Today, this young man is known as St. Francis of Assisi. The San Damiano Cross stood at the beginning of Francis' conversion and became a symbol of all his followers.

When recreating the San Damiano Cross, I used 24 karat gold leaves.

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When creating Christian icons, the iconographer is making his way towards light by applying dark colors first, and then overlaying them with lighter colors. By recreating the San Damiano Cross I fulfilled one of my creative dreams.

The Christian icon of San Damiano Cross represents the revelation of the Holy Trinity. The upper part of the cross shows a hand of God the Father. The central figure of crucified Christ has a dove-like wrinkle on his forehead - a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

Sanctification of the cross

Mary and John are placed side by side below the cross.
On the other side stand Mary Magdalene, Mary Clopas and the Centurion of Capernaum, who, after Christ died, called him a truly righteous man.

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The Christian icon of San Damiano Cross represents the revelation of the Holy Trinity. The upper part of the cross shows a hand of God the Father. The central figure of crucified Christ has a dove-like wrinkle on his forehead - a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

The figure of crucified Christ looks relaxed, with his eyes open, as if not suffering. This is a depiction of Christ's resurrection. His pain is represented by wounds in his hands, feet and side.


A small figure in the right corner below the cross is representing Jews who participated in the crucifixion of Christ. In the left corner is a Roman soldier, pointing his spear to the piercing wound in Christ's side.

Martin Damian recreating the San Damiano Cross.

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In mid 2011, the cross was sanctified by Mons. Dominik Duka during a mass in the chapel of Theological Seminary in Olomouc.

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