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Hello!

I was somewhat recently given my Grandmother's rosary - and didn't notice until this evening that Christ's head is leaning towards the left instead of towards the right. Is there a traditional way for representing Christ with his head in one direction vs. another?


This probably won't be helpful, but at least you know we're reading your post. Smile

I haven't heard of a traditional direction, personally.

I agree with the observation that most of the time I've seen Him leaning towards the right.  I don't know if this has any significance.

Hopefully, someone more knowledgeable will come along.
Thanks, Quis! It wasn't anything I took too much notice of before this, but after I saw it, I went around my home to compare. All the other crucifixes have Christ leaning towards the right. Hmm. My mother gave it to me after my Grandmother passed away, and she's pretty certain my Grandmother had it blessed. Still, my curiosity's piqued!

Yes, hopefully someone in-the-know will have some insight! Confusedmile:


I went through all the crucifices within three feet (I'm relatively surrounded in them) and found all but one had Him facing right. 
I doubt it has any meaning.
Thanks for checking, ONeill! Confusedmile:
I've heard that Christ's Face is traditionally turned to the right because He spoke to the Good Thief, who was on His right side. But He spoke to Our Lady and St. John too so I'm not sure how that's factored in.
I just looked at six crucifixes.  Four had the head of Jesus turned to His right, two had Him facing forward with His head bowed.   If you're not sure the rosary has been blessed, you could get it blessed and ask the priest about the position of the head.   My guess is that it doesn't matter as long as I.N.R.I. is above His head.   But tell us what the priest says.
streams Wrote:This is probably very far-fetched, but I will mention it just in case. Is your grandmother by any chance from Cuba or the Caribbean? Or did the rosary originate from there? I know that Santeria uses Catholic sacramentals and saints as a cover for their own deities, dating back to the colonial era when African slaves were brought over and they sought to hide their pagan beliefs from their Catholic owners by disguising them under Catholic symbols.  Anyway, my brother told me that whereas a Catholic saint statue traditionally had its eyes looking upward, a santeria statue would have its eyes looking straight ahead.  It occurs to me that your crucifix may have Christ looking to the left for the same reason.  I googled crucifix images and found that most of them lean to the right, some look straight ahead, occassionally one looks up.

Cubans use the rosaries that they've always used.........the ones from Spain. They're more likely to lean towards Opus Dei than Santa Barbara.

Santeria statues don't have any set method to their madness...as a matter of fact, usually proper Catholic statues are used......inappropriately.

Every culture has a couple of loose screws running around.

Look at Quis' avatar - Dali painted that particular Crucifixion with the Head bowed ...just bowed.

I have painted/sculpted images of Christ in a variety of ways... I believe that the artist should know what exactly he is trying to convey.

I have seen His face looking up, down, and to both sides...... Risen Christs ( which I don't care too much for) are portrayed looking straight ahead.

Done with respect, without insolence.......I don't think it matters.


Quote:Originally Posted by streams
This is probably very far-fetched, but I will mention it just in case. Is your grandmother by any chance from Cuba or the Caribbean? Or did the rosary originate from there?

Thanks, streams - but no my grandmother was an American. My mother is quite positive she bought it when she went on a trip with her church in the 1980s to the Holy Land and Rome. On the back, in fact, it says "Italy." The INRI is above His head, and it goes in a vertical direction as opposed to horizontal.


Quote:Originally Posted by libby
Look at Quis' avatar - Dali painted that particular Crucifixion with the Head bowed ...just bowed.

I have painted/sculpted images of Christ in a variety of ways... I believe that the artist should know what exactly he is trying to convey.

I have seen His face looking up, down, and to both sides...... Risen Christs ( which I don't care too much for) are portrayed looking straight ahead.

Done with respect, without insolence.......I don't think it matters.

From what I have looked into since noticing this - I, too, have started to see many ways Christ's head positioned. Some His eyes are opened, some His head is bowed, some His eyes closed. I looked at my wedding photos, and the church I was married in has a giant crucifix with Christ's head leaning towards the left. I also found another crucifix in my house with His head facing left - and according to memory, the shop owner I purchased it from specialized in collecting Catholic art from Germany - where this particular crucifix originated. In fact, just yesterday I noticed one of my favorite drawings by Michelangelo with Christ's head looking up and to the left.

[Image: ps225623_l.jpg]

Here is another depiction from inside Church of St-Vincent in Baux-en-Provence

After thinking about this so much the past few days, naturally, all this wondering has made for interesting conversation as well as dreams. Last night I ended up dreaming that an angel was consoling me about all of this! It was quite a vivid dream and I woke up blissfully.

My guess would be that the with the Rosary being from the modern era, it has something to do with a lessening of the basic left is sinister Latin convention practiced by the Church for generations....

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