Pope Francis in a sun trance
Solar deities and sun worship can be found throughout most of recorded history in various forms.
Salvador Dalí - Christ of st. John of the Cross
And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
And calling near the crowd with His taught ones, He said to them, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his stake, and follow Me.
Then Yeshua called the crowd and his talmidim to him and told them, "If anyone wants to come after me, let him say 'No' to himself, take up his execution-stake, and keep following me.
Stauros is the Greek word, usually translated cross, that in the New Testament names the device on which Jesus was executed. In the Homeric and classical periods, it denoted an upright pale, pole, or stake, but by the time that Christianity appeared, it came to include a crossbeam.
Pagan Assyrian king Shamshi-Adad V with a sun cross around neck
Cross forms were used as symbols, religious or otherwise, long before the Christian Era...
It has often been claimed that Patrick combined the symbol of Christianity with the sun cross, to give pagan followers an idea of the importance of the cross by linking it with the idea of the life-giving properties of the sun.
Constantine and Helen
The book Dual Heritage-The Bible and the British Museum states: "It may come as a shock to know that there is no word such as 'cross' in the Greek of the New Testament. The word translated 'cross' is always the Greek word [stauros] meaning a 'stake' or 'upright pale.' The cross was not originally a Christian symbol; it is derived from Egypt and Constantine."
Arch of Constantine with pagan Greek sun god Helios
In Roman culture, Sunday was the day of the Sun god.
Sunday was another work day in the Roman Empire. On March 7, 321, however, Roman Emperor Constantine I issued a civil decree making Sunday a day of rest from labor.
All judges and city people and the craftsmen shall rest upon the venerable day of the sun.
Pagan Egyptian obelisk from Heliopolis on St. Peter's Square
At the center of the ovato tondo stands an Egyptian obelisk... The obelisk was originally erected at Heliopolis...
During the later periods of Roman history, sun worship gained in importance and ultimately led to what has been called a "solar monotheism." Nearly all the gods of the period were possessed of solar qualities, and both Christ and Mithra acquired the traits of solar deities. The feast of Sol Invictus (Unconquered Sun) on December 25 was celebrated with great joy, and eventually this date was taken over by the Christians as Christmas, the birthday of Christ.