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Catholic (and some Christian) Symbols [Ecumenical] ^ | not given | MM Del Rosario

Posted on 02/26/2011 9:42:30 AM PST by Salvation

Catholic Symbols

By MM Del Rosario

Since the earliest times, the concept of symbolism has appeared in every human culture, social structure and religious system. Signs and symbols play a vital role in all of the world's religions as object on which thoughts and prayers can be focused.

Symbols point a way through the spiritual world, they act as badges of faith, teaching tools and aids on the journey towards an understanding of complex philosophies.


The crucifix is a Cross with the figure of the body of Jesus Christ attached to it. This is a very common Catholic symbol. it is placed on or above the altar where the Eucharist is celebrated.

A crucifix often has the letters INRI written across the top.

These letters are short for a Latin phrase which translates as "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews."

These are the words in which Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea ordered to be written over the cross in which Jesus Christ was crucified.

A crucifix is a symbol of sacrifice.


These are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.

In the book of revelation 22:13, Christ refers himself as the Alpha and the Omega, that is the first and the last.

Christ is the beginning and the end of all creation. The Alpha and Omega symbols are used at various times in the Church liturgical year.


The most famous and widespread Christian symbol is the Cross. It is found wherever there is a Christian presence.

In Roman times, the Cross was seen as an instrument of torture and public humilation. Criminals were put to death on cross.

For Christians however, the Cross became a symbol not only of Jesus' death but also of his Resurrection.


The Sacred Heart is a symbol of the love of Jesus for all of humanity. The heart is a symbol of love. When depicted as the Sacred Heart it is shown as pierced with a cross and thorns twisted around it.

This shows the depth of Jesus love. He was prepared to suffer and die for all people. His love is eternal.


The letters IHS often appear on liturgical items, building plaques and gravestones and sacred vessels. IHS is a shortened form of the Greek word for Jesus.

The letters X and P are often used as another symbol for "Christ". The first two letters of Christ's name in Greek are X and P. In the Greek alphabet X equals CH and P equals R.

Also known as the CHi-RHO cross, the letters are usually inscribed one over the other sometimes enclosed within a circle becoming both a cosmic and a solar symbol.


One of the oldest Christian symbols was the fish. It was used by Christians to identify themselves, often in times of persecution. It is often found in the Roman catacombs, secret meeting place when the Christians were persecuted by the Romans for their faith.

It is based on the acrostic, of the initial letters of the Greek words for Jesus Christ. To understand this symbol you need to know what is the meaning of the acronym.

The Greek word for fish is ICHTHUS. This is an acronym for Jesus. Iesous CHristos THeou Uios Soter - this translates as "Jesus Christ, Son of God , Saviour."

Christ also referred to his apostles as "Fishers of Men" while the early Christian fathers called the faithful pisculi (fish).


The dove is the symbol of the Holy Spirit. When Christ was baptised by John the Baptist, a dove descended on him (Matthew 3:16 and Mark 1:10).

The dove is sometimes depicted with an olive branch in its mouth, as a symbol of peace. It also symbolises God's grace.

Do you remember Noah's story, God had sent a great flood and after the rain stopped, Noah sent out a dove to search for dry land, it returned carrying an olive brach from the Mount of Olives, a symbol of God's forgiveness.


One of the most important symbols of Christ is the Lamb. Christ as the Lamb of God is mentioned in John 1:35-36 and revelation 5:6-14 and in the words of the Mass.

The whiteness of the Lamb symbolises innocence and purity. Lambs are often associated with scrifice in the Old Testament. Christ, the sacrificial lamb, died for the sins of humanity.

The lamb is sometimes portrayed with a flag, symbolic of Christ's victory over death in his Resurrection.

Fleur De Lis Dangle Charm Bead Fits Pandora Bracelet  
Sterling Silver Celtic Design Fleur-de-lis Dangle Earrings  


This is one example of a symbol of Mary. The whiteness anbd beauty of the lily is a symbolic of the purity of Mary Immaculate.

The lily is often used to decorate shrines,chapels or grottos dedicated to Mary.

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; sacredthings
I thought you might like to view these symbols as we move into Lent.
1 posted on 02/26/2011 9:42:39 AM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Catholic Ping!

2 posted on 02/26/2011 9:49:40 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic (and some Christian) Symbols [Ecumenical]
Holy Water Miracle [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

Symbols in Christian Art and Architecture (Variations of Crosses)
Lessons In Iconography : The Chi Rho - Christ
The Holy Cross
Pope Benedict explains veneration of images before heading to Holy Land (CATHOLIC/ORTHODOX CAUCUS)
Liturgical Vestments (and prayers the priest says while vesting for Mass)
Jubilee Medal of St. Benedict [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus}
Being Catholic: Sacred Things, Scapulars [Ecumenical]
Being Catholic: Sacred Things, The Miraculous Medal [Ecumenical]
'Holy Things To The Holy': Sacred Things, Places, and Times [Ecumenical]
Purification of Sacred Vessels in U.S. (and more on the Purification of our Lord)

Being Catholic: Sacred Things, Relics and the Incorruptibles
Being Catholic: Sacred Things, Ashes
Being Catholic: Sacred Things, Palm Branches
Being Catholic: Sacred Things, Incense
Why We Need Sacred Art
Being Catholic: Sacred Things, Sacred Images: Statues and Other Icons
Being Catholic: Sacred Things, Crucifixes and Crosses
Being Catholic: Sacred Things, [New] Fire, Paschal Candle
Being Catholic: Sacred Things, Holy Oils
Being Catholic: Sacred Things, [Holy] Water

3 posted on 02/26/2011 9:57:16 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Thanks for this! Very informative

4 posted on 02/26/2011 11:17:53 AM PST by surroundedbyblue
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To: Salvation

Thank, Salvation. I am preparing for Lent, and praying for a good one.

5 posted on 02/26/2011 11:19:58 AM PST by Judith Anne (Holy Mary, Mother of God, please pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death.)
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To: Salvation

The three-petaled Fleur de Lis can also be considered a symbol of the Most Holy Trinity.

6 posted on 02/26/2011 2:03:14 PM PST by lightman (Adjutorium nostrum (+) in nomine Domini)
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