AN AUTHENTIC OLIVE WOOD KEYRING WITH A TAO/TAU ST. FRANCIS CROSS DESIGN –This is top quality Class A - olive wood Tao cross shaped keyring, made by H.J.W the world leading manufacturer for olive wood articles, for export, using traditional techniques.
It comes with a Certificate of Origin certifying that this sacred object is made of olivewood grown in Bethlehem. It has been carved by craftsmen in Bethlehem from a single piece of wood pruned from the very olive wood trees that have scattered the landscape around Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, since biblical times.
The cross is attached to the keyring with a D-ring. In time this olive wood key ring will develop its own patina from frequent handling. No two keyrings will ever look the same due to the variations in the grain of the wood. This is a beautiful meaningful keepsake either to keep for yourself or to give as a gift to someone you care about.
Dimensions : 2.5 x 2.5 cm / 1" x 1" approximately
ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY - These hearts are made only from the trimmings of ancient olive trees growing in the Bethlehem region, the site of the nativity of Jesus (Matt 2, Luke 2)
What is a Tau (Tao) Cross?
The Tau /Tao cross is named after the Greek letter "tao", or the English letter "T" that it resembles. The symbol has been attributed to many pre-Christian cultures including the ancient Romans and Greeks, and is one of the most established of ancient symbols. The Tao has also been connected to the Pagan Druids, who fashioned crosses in this shape from oak trees to represent the god Thau.
Nowadays it is associated with St. Francis of Assisi, who explained to his fellow friars that their monastic habit symbolized the Tau Cross. When the arms of the one wearing the habit are outstretched to the sides, it roughly creates an image of the Tau Cross. If one then includes the body of the one wearing it in the imagery, the wearer becomes a living, walking crucifix. According to St. Francis this imagery is to remind them of their lifelong devotion to God and their pledge to serve both God and man.
St. Francis of Assisi had a colourful life. The son of a wealthy merchant, he spent his youth drinking and partying and all that that entails. However, after a serious illness he renounced sin, and began to live in abject poverty, and was no longer interested in material things. He founded the order of the Dominican Friars, and the symbol he adopted for them was the Tau Cross.
Due to his work of administering the gospel to the lepers, the Tau Cross became known for its protection against the plague and other diseases. Saint Francis died aged 44 years old, after being almost blind and very ill for the last years of his life. Two years before his death, he is said to have received the stigmata, the real and painful wounds of Christ in his hands, feet and side.