The Pope hit out at the ‘abuse’ of the crucifix by people who wear them as fashion accessories.
In a speech at St Peter’s Square in the Vatican, Pope Francis said that the crucifix is a religious sign to be ‘contemplated and understood’, rather than merchandised.
He said that the crucifix is a sacred sign not to be “abused” by being treated as an ornament or clothing accessory.
Pope Francis said: “The crucifix is not an ornamental object or a clothing accessory which is sometimes abused, but a religious sign to be contemplated and understood.
“The image of Jesus crucified reveals the mystery of the death of the Son as the supreme act of love, the source of life and salvation for humanity of all times.”
Delivering his speech after a Sunday Angelus service, the Pope stressed the meaning religious meaning of the cross.
He said: “How do I look at the crucifix?
“Like a work of art, to see if it’s beautiful or not beautiful?
“Or do I look inside, within the wounds of Jesus up to his heart?
“I look at the mystery of God annihilated to death, like a slave, like a criminal.
“Jesus wants to make it clear that his extreme affair – that is, the cross, death and resurrection – is an act of fruitfulness.
“His wounds have healed us – a fruitfulness that will bear fruit for many.”