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Ed.) Catholic commentators have traditionally associated the seal on the foreheads of the servants of God with the Sign of the Cross.(For example, see the Haydock Bible Commentary here and Scott Hahn’s book Signs of Life: 40 Catholic Customs and Their Biblical Roots.) The book makes two more references to a “sign” on the forehead.Over the centuries, this interpretation of Ezekiel 9:4 has been taken seriously by saints and scholars alike.
Likewise, our word for the letter B is bee, which happens to also be the name for a certain type of insect. The word for its last letter is tav which is also the word for mark.) Now, what was so exciting for St.
the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the abominations practiced within it.” A number of commentators, most notably St.
Jerome, have concluded that the mark was cross-shaped. Jerome says the mark was shaped like the last letter in the Hebrew alphabet, which, in its earliest forms had a cross-like shape. The sources that were readily available, like the Haydock Bible Commentary and others, don’t elaborate, but it’s clear where he got the idea by taking a look at the Hebrew text for Ezekiel 9:4.
The sacramental imagery is unmistakable: it is through baptism that our membership in the Church is “sealed.” And it is in baptism that we receive the “first installment,” if you will, of graces to come through life in the Church—particularly through frequent prayer and reception of the other sacraments.
Such baptismal language strengthens the connection with the Sign of the Cross, which is accompanied by the words, “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”—the same words with which we are baptized.