Very unique Petrus cross, two-faced design and wood look, 42 x 78 mm, Antique brass plated
The Cross of St. Peter or Petrine Cross is an inverted Latin cross traditionally used as a Christian symbol, but in recent times also used widely as an anti-Christian symbol (a meaning which is not valid with respect to traditional conventions of Christian symbolism). The origin of this symbol comes from the Catholic tradition that Simon Peter was crucified upside down, as told by Origen of Alexandria. The tradition first appears in the "Martyrdom of Peter", a fragmented text found in, but likely predating, the apocryphal Acts of Peter, which was written no later than 200 A.D. It is believed that Peter requested this form of crucifixion as he felt he was unworthy to be crucified in the same manner that Jesus died. As such, some Catholics use this cross as a symbol of humility and unworthiness in comparison to Jesus. According to Roman Catholicism, the Pope is Peter's successor as Bishop of Rome. Therefore the Papacy is often represented by symbols that are also used to represent Peter — one example being the Keys of Heaven, another the Petrine Cross. During Pope John Paul II's visit to Israel, he sat on a chair with the Cross of Peter cut into the back. The inverted cross is also one of the traditional symbols used by Petrine Orthodox Sebomenoi. It has also often become associated with Satanic and anti-religious attitudes, as it is used to represent the opposite of Christianity by inverting its primary symbol, the Latin Cross. As a result, this symbol has become very popular within anti-religion groups and among some extreme metal musicians, notably black metal groups. In popular culture, including films such as Rosemary's Baby, Exorcist: The Beginning, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Ghost, The Devil Inside and The Omen, inverted crosses are often displayed to represent Satan. In Catholicism the Petrine Cross is not seen as Satanic in any way. The distinction between a Cross of Peter and upturned Crucifix is sometimes obscured, leading to confusion about the acceptability of each symbol. This was seen when controversy arose over the aforementioned Papal visit to Israel; pictures of Pope John Paul II sitting before a Petrine Cross were widely circulated on the Internet in an attempt to prove that the Catholic Church is associated with Satanism and the Antichrist.