This is a four-pointed cross pendant. The vertical bar widens at the top and bottom, simulating an eight-pointed cross. The upper end of the bar forms a square, while the lower one tapers to a point, which signifies that the cross is a spiritual sword. Crosses in this shape appeared in Russia in the 14-th century and gained particular popularity in the 16th century and later.
The iconography of the cross is related to the spiritual exploits of St. Seraphim of Sarov, whose centenary was celebrated on 1 August 2003.
The front of the cross shows the Crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ against the background of the Jerusalem wall. The square stamp above the Crucifix contains the Image of the Savior not made by man’s hands. Apart from conveying the meaning traditional for a cross pendant, which is to designate Christ as Head of the Heavenly Church and to signify His victory over hell and death, the image of the Holy Face establishes a connection with St. Seraphim of Sarov, as it was one of the icons to which he used to pray.
The other icon of the saint, the Theotokos Eleusa, is found in the top square on the back of the cross. Under the icon of the Theotokos, St. Seraphim is depicted in prayer on a rock; this image corresponds to the Crucified Christ on the other side of the cross. At the bottom, in the pointed part of the cross, there is the publican’s prayer, which was used by the saint: Бж7е млcтивъ бу1и мнё грэшному (“Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner”). Thus, the spiritual feat accomplished by St. Seraphim of Sarov is linked to the Savior’s crucifixion, according to the words of the Apostle and the holy elder himself: “We shall be glorified with Him inasmuch as we suffer with Him.”
The entire composition of the cross is crowned by the image of a six-winged seraphim, which symbolizes the flame of Divine Love and selfless service to the Lord, and unites the themes on the front and back. On our sinful earth St. Seraphim of Sarov was, in all respects, like the angel he had been named after, and since his death, he continues his ministry together with the heavenly seraphim before the throne of the Almighty as a patron and intercessor for the human race, who constantly prays for us to the Lord.
The memory of St. Seraphim of Sarov is celebrated on 2 (15) January on the day of his repose (1833) and the second discovery of his relics (1991), and on 19 July (1 August) on the day of the acquisition and glorification of the relic (1903).