The Sign of the Cross
Publisher: Sophia Institute Press
Publication Date: 2013-08-01
From the young St. Francis de Sales's heroic efforts to bring Calvinists back to the Faith comes this succinct, eloquent defense of the age-old Catholic practice of making the Sign of the Cross, which sixteenth-century Calvinists denounced as a Popish invention and many Protestants scorn even today.
Embodying the zeal of youth and the wisdom of age, this gentle jewel of Catholic apologetics traces the origins of the Sign of the Cross back to the Fathers of the Church, to the Apostles before them, and finally to our Lord Himself.
Along with St. Francis's other lucid explanations of our Catholic Faith and his undaunted love even for those who hated him, this modest book helped restore to their native Catholic faith tens of thousands of heretics who not long before were intent on killing him.
As they did for the Calvinists in St. Francis's day, so in our day these pages will bring you a better understanding and a renewed love the Sign of the Cross, that brief and lively exterior prayer by which, from time immemorial, God has been invoked by serious Christians before all of their endeavors.
Among the other things you'll learn here:
Outside the Creed itself, there are few topics to which the Fathers testify as universally and unanimously as the pious practice of making, frequently and well, the Sign of the Cross. With the help of these holy pages, the saints love for it will enkindle yours. Soon you ll be saying with St. Jerome, "With every work, with all of my comings and goings, may my hand make the Sign of the Cross!"
St. Francis de Sales is a doctor of the Roman Catholic Church, who was active in the struggle against Calvinism and co-founded the order of Visitation Nuns. He is known also for his writings on the topic of spiritual direction and spiritual formation, particularly the Introduction to the Devout Life and the Treatise on the Love of God. In addition to his spiritual works, his writings include controversies against Calvinists, letters, sermons, and documents on diocesan administration.
It's great to have St. Francis de Sales' defense and exposition on what is perhaps the most common Catholic practice.
If you feel like your prayer and liturgical life needs a boost, this may be one to consider. The Sign of the Cross is such an important prayer and we often pass it over. So much rich stuff here. Might want to read it in chunks here and there.