St Peters Cross: What’s the Significance?

st peters cross
The cross of St Peter is an inverted cross. It's an upside-down cross, opposite to what Christians use. It's a traditional Christian symbol associated with the death of St Peter. Its most common use currently is as an anti-Christian or Satanic symbol.

History of the Upside-Down Cross

There is an extensive history of the Cross of St. Peter or the inverted Latin cross. The origin of the upside-down cross, or the St. Peter cross, goes back to the history of the Martyrdom of Peter, a fragmented text possibly written around 200 AD.

Origen also told the story of the upside-down cross of Alexandria, which became the symbol of St. Peter’s humility. This symbol is also known as the Petrine cross, as it’s associated with Peter.

According to Origen, Saint Peter was crucified upside-down on his request because he didn’t consider himself worthy of being crucified like Jesus Christ was.

Saint Peter, or Simon, was one of the 12 apostles and the Christian Church’s leader.

The upside-down cross is also associated with the Papacy. This is because, based on the beliefs of Roman Catholicism, Bishops are the Apostles’ successors.

The Bishop of Rome was the successor of Peter and was regarded as the first Catholic pope. This is why there is a strong connection between the inverted cross, the Papacy or the Office of the Pope.

st peters cross
This is a basic depiction of St Peters Cross.

St Peters Cross Symbolism in Christianity

The Cross of S. Peter is associated with the Apostle Peter, who served as the bishop of the Christian Church in Rome and was crucified upside down. As Roman Catholics consider the office of the Pope is considered to be the successor to Peter as the bishop of Rome and the head of the Church, this symbol was long as associated with the papacy.

However, papal regalia does not feature the cross of St. Peter. Instead, it features the papal insignia, which is two keys crossed and bound together with a red chord, associated with Jesus giving Peter the “keys of the kingdom” in Matthew 16:19.

Other Symbols in Christianity

Christianity uses numerous symbols, and each has a special meaning. The following are some of the crucial Christian symbols that are prevalent in their religious beliefs.

Latin Cross

Without a doubt, the Latin cross is the most important Christian symbol. This lowercase T-shaped cross is associated with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. This was the symbolic representation of the cross on which Jesus was crucified.

The Latin cross represents Jesus Christ’s victory over sin. Roman Catholics still depict the cross with Jesus’s body on it. It’s a reminder of His sacrifice for the human race.

The Protestants, however, typically portray an empty cross. The significance of the empty cross is the resurrection of Christ.

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Christian Dove

The Christian Dove is another important symbol representing the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit. The Holy Ghost descended in its bodily form like a dove when Jesus was baptized in the Jordan river.

Also, in Genesis 8, the Dove returned to Noah with an Olive branch after the flood. It was the sign of the end of God’s judgment and the beginning of a new era.

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Ichthys Or The Christian Fish

Ichthys, or the Christian fish, also known as the Jesus Fish, was an early secret Christian symbol. Christians used the symbol to show themselves as followers of Christ and Christianity.

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Crown Of Thrones

Jesus wore the crown of thrones just before he was crucified. Thrones represent sins in the Bible. The throne crown symbolically represents Jesus bearing the sins of the world.

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Trinity Or Triquetra

The Trinity is an ancient pagan symbol. It represents the three-part interlocking fish, also the symbol of the Christian Trinity.


Lamb Of God

The Lamb Of God also represents Jesus Christ. He was sinless, yet he sacrificed for the sins of men. Even though he had to suffer a lot, he did not open his mouth to utter a word, just like the lamb letting itself get slaughtered.

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So many other Christian symbols depict different things about the religion. Mentioned above are some important signs that speak of crucial things about religion.

St. Peters Cross Symbolism In Satanism

Ironically, the cross of St Peter is also used as a Satanic cross or as an anti-Christian sign. It could be because Satan’s followers hated anything relating to the holy cross and anything associated with Jesus Christ. This is why they use the inverted cross to reflect Satanic powers and indicate their rejection of Jesus Christ.

Other Symbols in Satanism

Satanism also uses a number of other symbols, each of which carries its own significant meaning. The following are some common Satanic symbols used by anti-Christians.


The Pentagram or the Pentacle is a popular Satanic symbol used by Wiccans. The Pentagram is the main Wicca symbol. Wicca is a modern Pagan or neo-Pagan religion.

The Pentagram is a five-pointed star and is believed to have magical powers. The five points or corners of the Pentagram represent five elements- air, water, fire, earth, and spirit.

Even though the Pentagram is seen as the main symbol of the Wicca religion, it’s also associated with different meanings. And more precisely, the inverted Pentagram is believed to reflect satanic powers.

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Baphomet Symbol

It’s another Satanic symbol and is a variation of the Pentagram. The Baphomet sign has a goat’s head inside the inverted Pentagram. The Baphomet was a pagan deity, and people believed he protected the pilgrims during the Second Crusade.

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Cross of Saint Peter In Popular Culture

The inverted cross, or the cross of Saint Peter, is also used popularly in popular culture. It’s a common sign in pop music, mainly to show antichrist or anti-Christian motifs.

The sign is used in Black Metal music, by rock bands, etc., to show their rebellious attitude towards religion.

Moreover, the inverted cross is also used in many horror movies, especially for marketing purposes and to present themes.


Vanessa's liberal arts background has prepared her well for Symbol Scholar. A self-proclaimed theology nerd, Vanessa has interests in world religions, Reformation theology, history, and more. When she's not working, Vanessa enjoys spending time with her family, reading, exercising, and watching professional basketball.

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