Where is this cross from?

(Puzzle 018)

We now have the answer!

Where is this from?

Mystery cross

Mystery cross

(Click photo to enlarge)

The pendant on the right was found in a thrift store and the finder asked us if we could identify it.

The only suggestion we could make then was that it's a voided cross with four equal-length arms, like the Greek Cross. The inner pattern was less easy to determine, but possibly represented:

  1. The Holy Trinity

  2. A single figure (Christ?) with outstretched arms

  3. Three flames or candles

  4. Three buds

  5. A sheaf of wheat (albeit with only a single grain on each stem)

  6. A trident

  7. ... or just a whimsical doodle with no particular meaning

Then 4½ years later, another person kindly contacted us to solve the mystery.

The symbol is the logo of the Trinity Mother Frances group in Texas, USA.

Mystery cross

(Click photo to enlarge)


We still don't know the intended meaning, and our enquiries to Trinity Mother Frances indicate that they don't know either.

So we are left to decide for ourselves what the symbol means to us, which is the situation for all symbols, of course.

Refering to our initial guess:

  1. That it might represent the Holy Trinity, the matching name of Trinity Mother Frances seems no coincidence. It's rather an odd name, since Mother Frances is clearly not a Trinity!

    The group's website explains that the name was inherited from Bryant Clinic, which later became Trinity Clinic.

  2. If, however, the symbol represents a single figure, then this could be of Mother Frances. She was a Polish nun who founded Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth in 1875.

  3. On reflection we feel it's unlikely that the symbol represents three flames because flames usually point upwards, so we'll stick with the idea of three buds.

  4. The stem supporting the buds may represent the Tree of Life, which has various meanings, depending on whether it's being admired from an artist's perspective, a Darwinian evolutionary symbol of life on Earth. or just one of those easily recognised shapes used to illustrate esoteric beliefs of just about every religion, old and new. Centred on a cross, this particular symbol clearly has Christian associations.

    The Tree of Life is a spiritual concept and described as growing in paradise. yet it is also material in that its fruit bears life-preserving power. The tree of life in the Garden of Eden bore fruit of spiritual death, but Christ is now to us the Tree of Life through which we can live. 

So the mystery is partly resolved. We know where it comes from but we do not know the intended meaning. If you know, and have authority to speak on behalf of thr hospital group, please email us

Puzzling symbols index

A tree-like diagram is the only illustration in 'On the Origin of Species'.

Gen. 2:9; 3:22,24; Prov. 3:18; 11:30; 13:12, 15:4

John 6:48,51; Rev. 2:7; 22:2,14,19


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