Weathercock on Wayside Cross

CMC PCD 94-683-015

By Mr. Therrien; Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu, Quebec; sheet copper, iron, wood, paint; 79 x 50 x 14.5 cm. CMC 77-509

Consisting of several copper sheets hammered and soldered together, this rooster, stretching skyward, topped Mr. Therrien's wayside cross in Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu.

The rooster is a universal symbol of the sun, as its crowing announces the approach of a new day. In ancient times, the rooster was revered for its intelligence and courage. The rooster's vigilance and ardour won the admiration of the Greeks and Romans, who adopted it as their patron bird. Its noble bearing has made it a universal symbol of pride. The early Christians made the rooster a symbol of their faith because of its role in Peter's denial of Christ. It came to symbolize vigilance, prayer and, in particular, the Resurrection of Christ and Redemption of all Christians.

The rooster is a national as well as religious symbol. In addition to symbolizing Christian faith, it represents the French nation. The Gallic rooster is, in fact, a common sight in Francophone communities — on church steeples, wayside crosses, barn gables and rooftops of homes.