Why do Catholics make the sign of the cross?

Steven PutmanQandA

Question: Why do Catholics make the sign of the cross?

Answer: The sign of the cross is a devotional practice that dates back to the first Apostles. When making the sign of the cross, we remember Jesus Christ who died for us and also bear witness to the fact that we belong to him and are called to share the Good News to all the world. At our Baptism, we were signed with a cross and marked for Christ. That mark remains on us throughout the entirety of our lives. We remind ourselves of that mark every time we make the same gesture over our bodies. We also remind ourselves that to be a Christian means we are to “put on Christ” and be Christ for a world that needs to know him. In a way, this devotional gesture covers us with Christ so that others may see him in us.

Catholics are not the only ones who make the sign of the cross. Orthodox, Lutheran, and Anglicans are examples of other Christians who maintain this same ancient tradition.