Each Ursuline religious of the Roman Union received this cross in 1966. It comes from the workshops of St Francis in Paris and was designed by an artist who was an unbeliever but who was seeking God. It was drafted while he was in a concentration camp during the Second World War, and he died shortly thereafter. The General Council, after examining the word of many different artists, chose this cross because of our mission of educating youth, and because of the peace that comes from Christ. Christ hovers over the world and protects it by his sacrifice. Human suffering has been transformed by his death and resurrection. Redemption is affirmed. The cross is a symbol linking the humanity of Christ to his identity as Son of God. The face of Christ on the cross is serene. The death of this peaceful man mysteriously shows his majesty as Eternal High Priest and King forever. The facial expression is deliberately vague, symbolic of the human form that is fading away as it becomes reunited with God.
Mother Felicia Pastoors, Prioress General, April 16, 1966: "...On Holy Thursday we chose the crucifix that we will now wear; it was especially made for us and in this image, we see Christ glorified with an attitude of profound peace that expresses the joy of having done the will of the Father. Communities that wish may hold a simple ceremony during which the crucifix will be blessed and distributed."
Although the religious dress is worn by Ursulines in many countries some provinces have chosen in the present day to wear secular dress, feeling that this makes them more accessible to people who have little or no religious background.
All the sisters however wear the distinctive Ursuline crucifix chosen in 1966 as a symbol of faith and consecration. The attitude of Christ is full of serenity. He has conquered sin and death and with outstretched arms seeks to welcome and protect all people, offering them forgiveness, reassurance and hope in the unconditional love of God.