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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Pelican

The Pelican - Metaphor of Christ
In Christian history, the mother pelican was thought to pierce her breast until she bled in order to feed her young with her blood. Thus, the pelican came to depict Christ our Savior, who feeds us with his blood in order to give us eternal life. In this image, the pelican is a metaphor for Christ in the Eucharist.

The above was quoted from the St. Mary's of Delaware churches web site. They have a wonderful website that has a lot of information and pictures of the churches history.

This picture was taken at the St. John Church in Fryburg Ohio. It was the first time I had seen this symbol in a church. The image was also duplicated on one of the side walls. The painted images shows the nest being made out of thorns.

So much thought and meaning stares down at us in church, I have to wonder how much of it gets lost. I would have never known this had I not looked it up. So often I think we just take things for granted. I can't think of how many times Iv'e seen IHS in stain glass and other media and not realy know the meaning.

The following explaination comes from the Jesus Walk web page:

The IHS monogram is an abbreviation or shortening of Jesus' name in Greek to the first three letters. Thus ΙΗΣΟΥΣ, ιησυς (iēsus, "Jesus"), is shortened to ΙΗΣ (iota-eta-sigma), sometimes transliterated into Latin or English characters as IHS or ΙΗC.

Related Links:
Jesus Walk Bible Study
St. Mary Delaware Catholic Church

Pictures of stained glass windows taken at St. John Church in Fryburg Ohio.


Kurt H said...

The pelican image in a church setting always brings to my mind the Adoro te Devote prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas:

Bring the tender tale true
_ of the Pelican;
Bathe me, Jesu Lord, in
_ what Thy bosom ran,
Blood that but one drop of
_ has the world to win,
All the world forgiveness
_ of its world of sin.

Russ Martin (AKA "Steeple Chaser") said...

Thanks for prayer Kurt. Very Cool