The Cross was erected in 1826 , following a mission. It replaces an oratory already existing in 1747 and converted into a corn hall in 1802.
In the 19th century, France experienced an era of spiritual renewal, marked by the revival of sacred art and the development of parish missions . These, led by "missionary" priests, last several weeks, consist of religious instructions, sermons, lectures, confessions and processions, and often end with the erection of a cross . The number of mission crosses and commemorative plaques erected until the 1950s illustrates the importance of this type of pastoral action.
The Campagnac Mission Cross was made by a foundry workshop established in Lyon , near the cathedral. About thirty crosses from this workshop have been identified in the south-east of France, in particular in Aveyron (Saintt Laurent d'Olt, Lassouts, Montrozier, etc...). That of Campagnac is the oldest. It is a monumental cross 5.35 meters high and 2.30 m wide . The structure is in wrought iron and the decorative elements, screwed or bolted, in cast iron.
Putting into images The Passion of Christ from symbols taken from the Bible, the cross is exceptional for the richness of its decoration . A very close cross erected in 1862 in Essertines-Hautes, near Montbrison in the Loire. The branches are terminated by finials representing the figure of the Virgin Mary (" AM ", Ave Maria ). The barrel has ears of wheat and bunches of grapes, the origin of bread and wine, symbol of the body and blood of Christ. At the base of the Cross, the pelican evokes the sacrifice of Jesus (he gave his life to save men from original sin) and his resurrection. According to legend, the pelican nourishes its young by giving them its own flesh and resuscitates them by pouring its blood over them. At the top of the cross, the inscription JNRJ is an acronym for the phrase Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews , the reason for the condemnation of Jesus, executed as a political criminal. The chalice and the host evoke the Eucharist, the sharing of bread and wine during the Last Supper , Jesus' last meal with the apostles. On the front face of the cross, the Sacred Heart is represented in the form of an inflamed heart (burning with the infinite love of Jesus for men) and bleeding (pierced on the cross by the lance of the soldier Longinus). It is at the center of the crown of thorns, made by the executioners and placed derisively on the head of Jesus. On the back side of the cross , the lamb is lying on the book with the seven seals. This theme is taken from the Book of Revelation of St. John . The Lamb (the Christ) successively opens 7 seals which each reveal a vision announcing the end of time and the revelation of the Kingdom of God. The branches of the cross present the instruments or objects of the Passion of Christ.
The restoration of the Cross, carried out in 2015 by the association " Vivre à Campagnac et dans ses Hameaux ", made it possible to restore the original colors and golden parts. Financed by a subscription, it received the 3rd Departmental Heritage Prize.
-Texts of the Association " Living in Campagnac and its Hamlets "-
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