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Since the earliest times, the concept of symbolism has been prevalent in every human culture, social structure, and religious system. Signs and symbols play a vital role as objects upon which thoughts and prayers can be focused. They point a way through the spiritual world, act as badges of faith, teaching tools, and aids on the journey towards understanding complex philosophies.
Below is a list of 10 Catholic symbols, along with descriptions and meanings of each as compiled by owlcation.com
10 Catholic Symbols and Their Meanings
Alpha and Omega
The Sacred Heart
IHS and Chi-Rho
Fleur de Lis
The crucifix is a cross with the figure of the body of Jesus Christ attached to it. This is a very common Catholic symbol that is often placed on or above the altar where the Eucharist is celebrated.
What Is the Meaning of the Crucifix?
The crucifix is a symbol of sacrifice and atonement, since, according to the Bible, Jesus died for the sins of the world. His crucifixion and his death soaked up systematic injustice, personal evil, violence and other wrongs, and continue to do so for Catholics everywhere.
Unlike other Christian denominations, which use only the cross, the crucifix is a powerful symbol of Catholicism, representing the focal point of the Catholic belief: that Jesus died on the cross to redeem humanity.
What Do the Letters “INRI” Stand for on the Cross?
A crucifix often has the letters “INRI” carved into the wood of the cross. These letters are short for the Latin phrase, “Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum,” which translates to “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.”
These are the words which Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea who sentenced Jesus to death, ordered to be written on the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified.