St. Anthony's Cross, also known as the Tau Cross. The Tau cross is so named from the Hebrew Alphabet's last letter X, which was pronounced ‘Taw’. This same sound transliterates to the Greek letter 'T'. With its handle, crux ansata, this cross represents a symbol of divinity on Egyptian and Assyro-Babylonian sculptures. It was the emblem of immortality, life in general. This ‘T’ cross shape appears in artworks depicting Moses when God told him to “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” Jesus prophesied his own crucifixion when he said “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of the Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
Much later, the Tau cross was adopted by Fr. Anthony as a sign of devotion to God, when he established the first Christian monastery in the 4th century in the Egyptian desert. Although his lifestyle was simple, like a hermit, he lived to be a very old man and was conferred the status of a saint.