The Grace and Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you!
St. John Church is staffed by Franciscan Friars (Order of Friars Minor Conventual). The founder of the Friars, St. Francis of Assisi, lived from 1182 to 1226. His era was an exciting time of cultural change. Similar to our times an Ecumenical Council (Lateran IV) had taken place and Francis and his friars sought to bring Christ and his church closer to the lives of the people by implementing the Council decisions. The symbol of the Franciscan Friars is the TAU Symbol.
I’m happy you found our website. Saint John Parish is a Catholic community of over 1400 families, located on Route 372 East in Cromwell, CT. If you are new to Cromwell or are looking for a church in the area, we invite you to come and join us for a weekend liturgy. To register in the parish, please call the parish office (860-635-5590).
If you are already a member of St. John Parishwe thank you. Your sincere commitments, your living faith and your willingness to get involved create our Catholic community in the spirit of the Gospel. We are grateful that you generously share your time, talent and treasure, your love and your prayers. The collective efforts of many make wonderful things happen in our community... all to the glory of God and service of others.
Fr. Mark L. Curesky, OFM Conv.
|An Explanation of the TAU Symbol|
This coat of arms has been the symbol of the Franciscans for many centuries. The image of the two crossed arms, each with a nail wound in the hand, represent both Christ and St. Francis who received the Stigmata (the wounds of Christ) in his body two years before he died.
The cross behind the arms is actually the letter 'T' or 'tau' which is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
Francis was very fond of the passage in the prophet Ezekiel (9:4) which refers to the faithful of God all being signed on the forehead with the letter 'tau'. Francis often signed his letters with this symbol.
Pope Innocent III used this image from the prophet Ezekiel for the theme of the opening homily of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215).
Pope Innocent III opened the Council on November 11, 1215, with these words: "I have desired with great desire to eat this Pasover with you." (Luke 22-15) Innocent announced that for him, for the Church, and for every Catholic at the time, the symbol they were to take as the sign of their Passover was the Tau Cross.
He incorporated into his homily the statement from Ezekiel (9:4) that the elect, the chosen, those who are concerned will be marked with the sign of the Tau. He explained that this Passover is a three-fold Passover.
Every Catholic must be involved in this triple Passover: A Corporal Passover, a Spiritual Passover and an Eternal Passover.
These became some of the most precious themes of Francis preaching. He must have taken them so deeply to heart that when Pope Innocent III ended his homily with "Be champions of the Tau", Francis evidently took that as a personal statement and made the Tau his own symbol: a symbol for his order, his signature, painted it everywhere, and had great devotion to it for the rest of his life.