Thursday, September 06, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday: The Crucifix

My father Maurice was the owner of a large crucifix that he had since he was about 11 years old. (A crucifix is a cross with a representation of Jesus' body hanging from it.) In May 1939, he made his “profession de foi” (profession of faith) at Ste-Agnes R.C. church in Fauquier, Ontario. He and his fellow students each received a “Certificat d’instruction religieuse” to commemorate the event. Dad once told me that he received the crucifix because he did well at his Catechism lessons. I wonder if it was on this occasion that he got his crucifix?

Dad’s crucifix measures 51 cm long by 25 cm wide (20” x 10”). The corpus of Jesus is 25 cm long by 19 cm wide (10” x 7½”). The cross portion is of solid wood, bevelled and varnished. There is a small brass hanger plate on the back. The cross is of simple Latin form. (The Latin form, unlike other forms such as Celtic, Coptic, and Greek, is a cross with a longer descending arm, which represents the cross of Jesus' crucifixion.) I don’t know what type of material the molded corpus is made of. Other than a small dent in Jesus’ left knee, the crucifix is in good shape for its age, about 73 years old. There are no identifying marks as to the manufacturer or retailer.

Maurice Belair’s crucifix, 2009.

When I lived at home, the crucifix used to hang in Mom and Dad’s bedroom over Dad’s dresser. After Dad passed away, Mom gave the crucifix to my brother Raymond. He keeps it on the wall over his dresser in his bedroom at his home. As far as I know, the only time the crucifix was on public display was at Dad’s memorial service at Our Lady of Good Hope church in May 1996.

Copyright © 2012, Yvonne Demoskoff


  1. Bonjour, Yvonne! I found this post and your blog via GeneaBloggers. I also have a crucifix that has a lot of sentimental value for me. It belonged to my grandmother, who did not grow up Catholic but converted as an adult. As a matter of fact, she was not able to attend Mass due to chronic illness, but this crucifix hung over her bed. It now hangs over my bed.

    If you're so inclined, please visit my blog, "From Aberdeen to Alabama" at and leave a comment.

    BTW, I also enjoy bluegrass music :)

    A bientot!

  2. Bonjour, Niall! Thanks for reading my post. I'm new at genealogy blogging (two weeks tomorrow), so getting feedback like this is great!

  3. Yvonne I've only been doing research and blogging about it. since May, so I still consider myself a newbie at this also. From what I can see you're doing great. Keep going!

  4. Hello Yvonne -

    You've gotten off to a great start with your genealogy blog! I enjoyed reading your description of and seeing the photograph of your Dad's crucifix - a true family treasure.

    Since you have Catholic roots, you might be interested in making a visit over to The Catholic Gene, a blog focusing on Catholic family history written by myself and several other contributing authors.

    I look forward to reading more here on your blog.

  5. Thank you for your kind words, Lisa; they are much appreciated. I've taken your advice and visited The Catholic Gene, and plan on visiting it again in the days to come.