Of interesting things outside

Belvidere Holy Trinity Anglican Church

The beautiful little Anglican church in Belvidere, Holy Trinity, is surrounded by tranquil gardens and a wrap around grave yard. Click image to enlarge.

Belvidere is beautiful. If you’re ever in the Knysna area you’ve got to stop over. I’d have liked to have spent more time checking out the other touristy activities in the area but as it were we needed to get back to PE and we wanted to go the the Heads as well.

Holy Trinity, the small Anglican church built in Norman style, is situated in Old Belvidere. It was built by Thomas Henry Duthie and as you walk around the property you’ll notice that a large number of Duthies have been buried on the grounds over the years.

I always photograph grave sites and am very interested in the emblems used on head stones. I thought maybe to post a few of the stones and relate them to the article I wrote last week on crosses. I do this mainly for my own benefit as the investigation into the decals and symbols is fascinating.

St John's cross. Belvidere Holy Trinity Anglican Church

This is St John’s cross. Saint John of Jerusalem was an order setup to care for the frail and sick. The emblem is used by organizations such as St John Ambulance and the Venerable Order of Saint John. It’s a Pattee cross. Click image to enlarge.

IHS, Christogram, Belvidere Holy Trinity Anglican Church

IHS is a common Christogram or monogram that forms an abbreviation for the name of Jesus Christ. “IHS” is derived from the first three letters of the Greek name of Jesus (Ἰησοῦς), iota-eta-sigma. It’s often associated with Catholic influence. I’d be interested to know what the four leafed emblem surrounding the Christogram represent. I automatically thought of the clover but that’s not quite a rounded edge. Any ideas? Click image to enlarge.

Christogram. Belvidere Holy Trinity Anglican Church

Another Christogram. This time inside a circle set in a Latin cross. Click image to enlarge.

Presbyterian cross, Belvidere Holy Trinity Anglican Church

I’m assuming that this is probably a Presbyterian cross rather than a Celtic cross. Presbyterianism developed in Scotland and the <a href="http://www.belvidere.co.za/history/index.html&quot; target="_new"Duthie family hailed from there. My dad has a love for Celtic Christianity which certainly influenced Scottish religion and I’ve observed that the Celtic crosses also superimpose a Latin cross over a circle. Wiki sites the circle as having no inherent meaning but rather being an engineering device to ensure that the arms of the heavy stone cross do not collapse. Having listened to much Celtic tradition involving circles I think that’s highly unlikely. Click image to enlarge.

Dollar sign. Belvidere Holy Trinity Anglican Church

These “almost” dollar signs were everywhere. They’re actually just the IHS Christogram superimposed over itself. Click image to enlarge.

All this got me thinking why none of the graves had the letters R.I.P. emblazoned on them. More on that in a future post? All this gloomy talk. Let’s end in victory! 1 Corinthians 15:55 – 57:

55 “O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Wanna check out the church:

Been to any must see churches in your area? I’m wanting to go through to Parys soon, anything there I should check out?


3 thoughts on “Of interesting things outside

  1. Maybe what I should have said about IHS and didn’t is that it’s not an h. It’s the Greek character η which sounds like the English letter e. The Greek word for Jesus (Ἰησοῦς) would phonetically sound a bit more like Iesous.

    Mike had a few other things to say about the St John’s cross which he’ll post when he has some time.

  2. As you say, Mark, that first picture shows a cross paty (also written as patté or pattee).
    But St John’s cross is quite different, although it is often confused with it.
    The legs of the cross paty are flat-ended – it is as if you have taken a square piece of wood and carved out four bows, one at each corner.
    The cross of St John has eight points. Each of its four legs is shaped like an arrowhead pointed to the centre.
    This cross was originally associated with Amalfi, and it appears that knights from that city-state first used the cross in white (or silver) on black as the emblem of the Knights Hospitaller of St John of Jerusalem.
    (Even the saint for whom the order is named has changed: originally it was an obscure John who had lived in Jerusalem. Later John the Baptist became the patron saint.)
    When the order became powerful, the colour of its official coat of arms was changed by papal order from a silver (white) cross on black to a silver (white) cross on red.
    But the brothers continued to wear the cross in white on black.
    When the Crusaders were expelled from the Holy Land, the order was initially based in Cyprus, which had a Crusader king. But to avoid political complications they were granted the island of Rhodes instead.
    When they had to give Rhodes up to the Turks following a siege, they were granted the island of Malta.
    The eight-pointed cross became particularly strongly associated with Malta during the order’s rule, and it is still today known as a Maltese cross.
    The French under Napoleon (headed for Egypt) seized Malta, after which the British took over.
    The order was twice disbanded by papal order once it had no territory, but has been in continuous existence since the mid-19th century. Its headquarters are outside Rome, but it has hospitals and associated services in many countries, including a hospital in Mpumalanga.
    The Roman Catholic order has its own postal service, and issues stamps inscribed Sovrane Militare Ordine di Malta.
    Its full title is Sovrano Militare Ordine Ospedaliero di San Giovanni di Gerusalemme di Rodi e di Malta, or in English Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes, and of Malta.
    Protestant sovereigns revived the order in their countries during the late 19th century.
    In Britain it is known as the Order of St John. This Protestant order founded the St John Ambulance Brigade.
    Its badge is the eight-pointed cross in white (silver) on black, with a lion between the arms at upper left (which in heraldic terminology is called upper dexter [the right-hand side as seen from behind] and lower sinister, and a unicorn at upper sinister and lower dexter.
    Similar orders are also to be found in the Netherlands and Germany. The German Protestant organisation is called the Johanniterorde.

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