Kinds of Christian Jewelry
There are many different types of Christian jewelry available to the general public. Silver and gold cross necklaces are quite popular, and can be found through many online retailers with a simple search engine query. Charms and charm bracelets are also favored choices, as are rings forming the letters "WWJD" ("What Would Jesus Do?") in gold relief. Additionally, ichthys jewelry and religious medallions are popular with many believers.
What Is Ichthys Jewelry?
Ichthys, the Greek word for "fish", is the name for the symbol composed of two curved lines which often goes by the name of "Jesus Fish" in popular culture. The most basic reference of the symbol is considered to be Jesus multiplying fish and bread to feed the hungry masses, as recounted in various Gospels. It may also refer to Jesus calling his Disciples "fishers of men".
In the past few decades, this symbol has become a staple of modern Christian jewelry. History suggests that the sign of the fish may have been used as a "secret handshake" in the early days of Christianity. Upon meeting, one Christian would draw one line of the symbol, and the other, if he were a Christian, would complete the second half. Alternately, the first Christian could draw the entire fish, and the second would draw in an eye to confirm his faith. The seven letters in the word are also an acronym for the Greek translation of "Jesus Christ God's Son Is Savior".
With hundreds of saints to choose from, medallions bearing their likenesses are a wonderful and prevalent form of Christian jewelry. Since Catholic saints are the patrons of nearly every imaginable place and cause, the gift of a medallion can be a highly personalized and memorable gift with a bit of research. Below are the stories and patron causes of some of the most popular saint medals.
Saint Christopher is the patron saint of travelers. Christian history holds that he was an extremely large man who dedicated his life to serving the Devil, until he found that the Devil feared Jesus Christ. At that time, he devoted his life to the Christian cause, and became a ferryman of sorts, carrying people across a raging river, which perfectly suited his enormous height.
One day, he carried a small child across, who, it seemed, was the heaviest passenger he had ever transported. When Christopher asked the child why he was so heavy, it was revealed that the child was, in fact, Jesus Christ, and that the reason for his immense weight was his carrying the weight of the world's sin with him. St. Christopher medals are an excellent choice for those who indulge their wanderlust, helping to keep travelers out of harm's way.
St. Francis of Assisi
Saint Francis is the patron saint of animals and the environment. History tells us that he was a pious man who devoted much of his life to poverty and service, after the suggestion of Jesus's sermon in Matthew 10:9. In later years he founded a brotherhood of friars, known as the Order of the Friars Minor (later known as "Franciscans"), which was devoted to this simple, holy lifestyle.
He also strongly believed that all of God's creatures had the ability to praise and worship their creator, going so far as to speak cordially to the birds and beasts, who, it is said, would often hearken to his voice and become docile at his touch. A St. Francis medal is perfect for those who have a strong love for animals or who care deeply about protecting the natural world.
For those who have the habit of losing things, consider a Saint Anthony medallion, as Anthony is the patron of lost articles. History tells that he became a Franciscan friar as a young man, and soon rose to fame as an eloquent and moving preacher, especially in areas where heresy was common. It is said that fishes would jump from their ponds to listen to him talk, and that, when his remains were examined years 30 years after his death, the body had turned to dust, but his tongue was still vibrant and red, as though alive!
No matter what sort of Christian jewelry you choose to purchase, remember that its purpose is to symbolize faith and love for God, Jesus Christ, and our fellow human beings. From crosses to ichthys jewelry and saints medals, there are many beautiful options available to Christians of all kinds and stylistic sensibilities.