The Mission Cross

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.
Cross Passion of Christ 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.

An exceptional illustration of the Passion of Christ

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. Square of the Cross 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.

  • Left branch : torch and lantern of the guards who came to seek Jesus in the Garden of Olives under the leadership of Judah. Whip of the flagellation of Jesus. Palms waved by the crowd to welcome him to Jerusalem. The three nails of his crucifixion.
  • Right branch : sword with which Peter cuts off the right ear of the high priest's servant. Reed given as a scepter to Jesus, King of the Jews, to mock him.
  • Lower branch : sponge soaked in vinegar presented to Jesus just before his death, at the end of a branch of hyssop. Spear of the soldier having pierced his side. Veil used by Véronique to wipe her face. Hand of the guard who slaps him. Ewer that Pontius Pilate uses to wash his hands and release himself from any responsibility in the condemnation. Column of the Temple of Jerusalem to which Jesus is tied and scourged by the soldiers. Ladder used to lower his body from the Cross. Hammer used to drive the nails and pliers used to remove them. Purse of 30 denarii given to Judas for his betrayal.

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 "-

find out more about Campagnac and its region:
Campagnac Town Hall
Tourist Office of the Causses in Aubrac
Community of Communes of the Causses in Aubrac

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