This uniquely Irish crucifix is a response to the penal laws enacted by British Anglican rule from 1693 to 1829 that prohibited Catholics from worshipping. This included possession of a crucifix. To its people the image of the fallen Christ represented on the Penal Cross was a powerful symbol of triumph in the face of great adversity. The arms of the crucifix are short so it could easily be hidden up the sleeve. The cock and pot are symbols of the resurrection. The slashes along the side symbolize a ladder. The cross being the ladder by which we reach heaven.
The rosary was also prayed during this time of persecution using this cross with ten beads on the string and a ring that was passed from finger to finger as each decade was finished.
"The inner life of another that is known to God alone becomes to a much less degree open to us through friendship. It partially fills the desire of our incomplete, lonely hearts for completeness in another. Friendship brings out the best in a person through forgetfulness of self." - St. Thomas Aquinas