The word “PAX” in Latin translates as “Peace”. Peace describes a society or a relationship operating harmoniously, without violent conflict. Peace is commonly thought of as the absence of hostility, or the existence of healthy or newly healed relationships, safety in matters of social or economic welfare, the acknowledgment of equality and fairness. As with many other religions, the concept of peace is accentuated in Christian Theology as an important state of being: the result of Christ’s presence. Christianity focuses on being “Christ-Like” who was the bringer of Peace. “Peace” itself does not refer to “all things immobile” rather it is a state of Blessing and Clarity that begins with the individual and emanates outward to all things; thus being “Christ-like”.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
As Christianity has been shaped and molded by cultural influences (as with all religions older than the founder) the message of Peace has become lost and other agendas emerge that counter the core idea. Many times religions face problems of being burdened by these agendas and a resurgence of “getting back to basics” arises – often with ill effects: Peace is compromised with new exceptions and excuses as to why it is secondary; yet the core belief of these virtues become evident as cultural measures against it’s own doctrine prove inadequate.
Through out the Christian Churches of the world, the image of “PAX” arise again and again on alter cloths, statues, stained glass and more as the artisans of the religion try to remind the practitioners again and again the message of Peace. My Father (a minister) felt the image of PAX was a better alternative to the cross because it pointed directly to the value of the religion he practiced. Some years ago I created the PAX Amulet for him, an amulet he cherished for the rest of his life.
The PAX Amulet is formed by the capital letter “P” with the smaller case “x” mounted on the main trunk, much like a tree with new branches and roots, giving a sense of stability and new growth. I have added the bail behind the top portion of the “P” so it may be hung by a chain or cord.
After my Father’s passing I decided to add it to my line of jewelry, both to honor him and to help remind others of the message of Peace.
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Mary Kay Lundmark comments from Facebook:
“That symbol is actually called a Chi-Ro — after the 2 Greek letters that comprise it. They are the first 2 letters in the word Christo, or Christ, and this symbol has been used by Christians since the 4th century, when the Emperor Constantine reportedly had a vision of it that led him to convert to Christianity.”
Thank you Mary Kay, it is good to see a number of interpretations for this symbol. I found another comment from Facebook which lends an interesting take.
From Leila MoonDancer: “Its also a bindrune. the “P” is wunjo, for joy, and the “x” is gifu, for gift/exchange.”
I feel satisfied after finding this one.