The Marian Cross is an informal name applied to a Roman Catholic cross design. It consists of a traditional Latin cross with the crossbar extended on the right, and a letter "M" (for the Virgin Mary) in the lower right quadrant.
A recently publicized use of the Marian Cross was on the personal coat of arms of Pope John Paul II, displayed prominently on his casket at his funeral, although it may have been in use before this. A similar design had appeared over a century earlier on the Miraculous Medal due to a Marian apparition to Saint Catherine Labouré in 1830, where the M represents the Virgin Mary standing at the foot of the cross during the Crucifixion of Jesus.
|“||The coat of arms for Pope John Paul II is intended to be a homage to the central mystery of Christianity, that of Redemption. It mainly represents a cross, whose form however does not correspond to any of the usual heraldry models. The reason for the unusual shift of the vertical part of the cross is striking, if one considers the second object included in the Coat of Arms: the large and majestic capital M, which recalls the presence of the Madonna under the Cross and Her exceptional participation in Redemption. The Pontiff’s intense devotion to the Holy Virgin is manifested in this manner.||”|
Pope John Paul II's coat of arms was thus based on his strong Marian devotion and attachment to the Rosary.  In an address to the Montfortian Fathers, he attributed this partly to reading one of Saint Louis de Montfort's books, True Devotion to Mary as a "decisive turning point" in his life. He also singled out de Montfort's work in his encyclical entitled Redemptoris Mater as a key example of Marian devotion. And in his Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae Pope John Paul II discussed the inspiration of the rosary and how his motto Totus Tuus was inspired by the Mariology in the writings of Saint Louis de Montfort.
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|Expressions of devotion|
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- Association of the Miraculous Medal 
- Catholic encyclopedia 
- L’Osservatore Romano, 09.11.1978
- Holy See Press Office Coat of Arms of His Holiness John Paul II, Updated: 03-15-2006
- Catholic Treasury, True Devotion to Mary
- Carine Lee, "Embracing Mary’s maternal tenderness", Catholic Register, 21 December 2007, reporting on Pope John Paul II's statements regarding Saint Louis de Montfort
- Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater (English)
- Pope John Paul II, Rosarium Virginis Mariae (English)