The sign of the cross
In the beginning it was just a sing for Christians to recognize each other in the streets, but after it became a gesture of prayer.
We have no concience of the power of this sign.
This is a small story I’ve heard when I was a Kid. It helped me to figure out the importance of making it not only to start prayers but in every moment I feel that I need.
Once upon a time (I couldn’t help to start this way!) there was a man called Cyprian and a girl called Justina.
Cyprian was a pagan magician of Antioch who had dealing with demons. By their aid he sought to bring St. Justina, a Christian virgin, to fall in love to some man who payed him for this task; but every time the devils tried to approach her she made the sign of the cross chasing the demons away.
Brought to despair, Cyprian asked them why they weren’t able to conquer her heart to the man. They told him: “We can’t tell you”. “why?” asked Cyprian, “Because if you know you won’t ask our help anymore.” Cyprian replied: “If you tell me I’ll bow before you and adore you right here right now!” With this promise of worship the demons couldn’t resit their own vanity and told him: “Because of the sign of the cross”, “What?” the poor Cyprian was in awe. “Just a small gesture have a greater power than everything you have shown me all this years?” He made the sign of the cross himself and in this way was freed from the toils of Satan. He wanted to serve a greater Lord.
He was received into the Catholic Church, and became in succession deacon, priest, and finally bishop, while Justina became the head of a convent.
You can read more at the Catholic Encyclopedia .
For those who don’t know how to make it here you see two French kids doing it (in French of course).
Say (touching with your right hand): In the name of the Father (forehead) and of the Son (chest) and of the Holy (left shoulder) Spirit (right shoulder). Amen.
Peace be with you!