Hello. This may sound very trivial, but I’m wondering whether or not there is some sort of “rule” on illustrating our Lord crucified–particularly, how are the feet positioned? Right over left? Left over right?
On one very sad and solemn occasion, my grand-aunt (grandmother’s sister) was on her hospital bed and was being given her Sacrament of Final Anointing. A mass was held, during which everyone was very sad and some were already crying as it was evident her health was quickly deteriorating right in front of our eyes. I saw with my own eyes how her strength was going out of her.
At one point in the mass, the priest asked that a Crucifix be held for her to kiss. But at the moment the family showed the crucifix, the priest’s composure suddenly changed. I couldn’t understand then what happened but in strong words, he demanded that the crucifix be taken away and destroyed (later, he just asked to set it aside as he wanted to destroy it himself). Another crucifix (probably one of our family members carried it in her purse) was given for her to kiss. Still later, I asked the priest about this, and he explained that on the crucifix the feet were nailed left foot-over-right–which he equated to satanism (who “twist” the Cross/Crucifix in different ways). That it should be the right foot that is in front.
What added to my amazement was that during the Viaticum when the priest administered the Host and Wine–the faulted cross now hidden from view–my grand-aunt woke up and from that moment until the end she became quite animated and during the final song was clapping with our singing. She lived for another week before finally passing on to the Lord. I think this can only be the Lord’s work–she was a very good woman and was an unmarried Third Order Carmelite who had supported quite a number of priests as seminarians.
I did some research and couldn’t find any article on this topic of the Christ’s feet on the cross. I noticed however in pictures, that generally it was right-over-left as the priest said. Further, even other images of Christ (not crucified), the Blessed Mother and the saints usually had the right foot (or knee) ahead of the left. Is there a meaning to this or is it just an artistic convention? If it were true, could it have anything to do with the repentant thief on Christ’s right–perhaps a symbolism?