The structure of St. Anastasia is not its only point of excellence. This church also contains many fine works of art. The distinctive crucifix which hangs in the archway above St. Anastasia's altar has an interesting history.
The Body of Christ was designed by Italian artist Cavalier Enriko Moroder Doss. He adapted his work from an 18 inch artifact which has been in the Cathedral in Toledo, Spain, since the 12th Century, and possibly even as early as the 9th Century.
Doss, from Ortisei, Vel Gardena, in Northern Italy, cast the body in bronze, using the Lost Wax Method. The artist sculpted his vision inwax, and then covered the sculpture in rubber to create a mold. This combination was packed in foundry sand and covered in bricks to create a rough oven. with heat applied to the bricks, the wax melted away, leaving a negative of the artwork (hence the "lost wax"). Into this mold, molten bronze was poured and allowed to cool.
The artist took the rough sculpture and finished it by hand, making an "eternal art form" noted for its durability and beauty.
Doss chose to change the Crown of Thorns normally depicted on a crucified Christ to a regal crown to suggest that, through the sacrificial death. Jesus became the King of Kings.
The cross on which Doss' lovely sculpture is mounted is an original design crafted in the studios of Potente Inc., of Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The hammered-copper cross contains several fluorite crystals. These naturally occurring eight-sided minerals were found in a coal mine in southern Illinois. It is especially fitting that these non-precious stones are the official State stone of Illinois.
The filigree design of the cross makes it appear as though the figure of Christ is floating within the cross, rather that attached. The natural color of the fluorite stones blends into the color of the hammered-copper and bronze.
The crucifix weighs 250 pounds as is supported by spiked iron chains (also designed and made by Potente, Inc.), which weigh 100 pounds each. The crossbeams inside the arched vault which hold this sculpture are made of several wooden beams that weigh more than 300 pounds each.
It is a testimony to the strength of the design of the church that such a weight has been carried for so long.