I came across a photograph of Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the US, wearing a chasuble which features the voided cross in its design — a form of the cross I have been drawn to for a long time. Indeed, this was the form of the cross that was granted to me by the Canadian Crown as a charge on my heraldic achievement (Coat of Arms).
Although one might ignorantly and superficially associate the voided cross with the black and white stylised iron cross used by the German military today, in WWI and during WWII, it is clear the symbols are from different families and are not the same thing at all.
The iron cross is a black cross with equal arms, with a white outline (stylised to various degrees) whereas the voided cross is composed of four arms with a negative space in-between. The iron cross, first used in Prussia in 1813, continues to be used by the German army on military vehicles and aircraft.
As just said, the voided cross is of a different construction: coloured arms with a void in the midst. This space is significant in that it can represent the resurrection — such a significant event for all humanity. I also like that the four arms of equal length represent balance, a Benedictine value that was important to me (and still is).
The voided cross continues to be used in heraldry in Canada, Britain and beyond. It is also used in some places as the symbol of a Life Guard, as well as by pharmacies in Europe and so I like the protective and medical associations of the symbol as well.
The use of the voided cross on the Archbishop’s chasuble is nice to see and I enjoy seeing the particular cross on other ecclesiastical garments as well.
The cross, in its many and varied forms, remind us of Christ and His Sacrifice for us. All your sins, and mine too, were nailed to the cross along with our Saviour Jesus Christ. We access that boundless of grace through the Holy Sacraments and by continually reforming our lives by avoiding sin, repenting of it when it comes our way, and by firmly resolving to amend our lives and sin no more.
Jesus came to save sinners. Receive that salvation that has been given you by Jesus on the Cross. And if I might be so bold: wear a cross, display it as a reminder of just how important you are to God the Holy Trinity.