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The practice of representing things by means of symbols or of attributing symbolic meanings or significance to objects, events, or relationships.

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Was it possible for Catholics to express their faith openly in England during the time of persecution?

Was it possible for Catholics to express their faith openly (if at all) in Britain during the time of the of English persecutions (April 29, 1559)-(April 13, 1829)? On 29 April 1559, the English ...
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1answer
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Besides St. Casimir, are any other saints portrayed with three hands in iconography?

Other than the icon of St. Casimir in Vilnius (below), are there other examples of saints with three hands? Does a third hand make up part of the iconography of St. John the Evangelist? Image by ...
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322 views

Why are a Catholic bishop's Coat of Arms green and not purple?

Why are a Catholic bishop's Coat of Arms green and not purple? The Canadian Conference of Bishops tell us that the galero and tassels on the Coat of Arms for a bishop are green. Cardinals' galero and ...
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0answers
62 views

Which denominations regulate how a cross is worn on the body? [closed]

In public and private, people wear many different crosses in many manners. Which denominations hold any principles, explicit or implicit, that govern the display of crosses on the body? Speculating, ...
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91 views

The rules on how and when people can wear a cross [closed]

Which principles govern the wearing of crosses? Do some denominations require that it touch the skin, or that it never be removed? Will a cross hung on the neck and one on an ear have different ...
3
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1answer
87 views

Was it common in Biblical and Early Church times to use sports for illustrating sermons and lessons (as Pope Francis and Paul did)?

The Ancient Olympic Games were a very famous event in ancient times. Taking advantage of their popularity, Paul used them (specifically, the Stadion/200 metres and boxing games) in 1 Corinthians 9:24-...
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What was the difference between Berengar's view of the Eucharist and that of Zwingli?

Berengar of Tours played a major role in the Second Eucharistic Controversy, which took place in the 11th century. He opposed the increasing acceptance of proto-transubstantiation doctrines, arguing ...
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Why did Magdalena use her hair to dry Jesus' feet?

I don't really understand this part of the story in Luke 7:38. Why would Mary Magdalena use her hair to dry Jesus' feet? I have some clues, but I don't want to guide the replies. I'd like to know ...
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What does the letters 'JHS' mean?

Can you tell me what the letters JHS mean? You can see them on the picture below. I am from Slovakia (East Europe) and we speak Slovak and these letters are from Catholic church. I saw these letters ...
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2answers
283 views

Prior to 1900 were there any depictions of Satan in Christian art as a woman/female?

Are there any Christian symbolic depictions Satan in art as a woman? In Christian art, Satan has often been depicted as a man (male) or some evil looking monster out of man's imagination of what the ...
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1answer
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Why is the interlocking-squares (gammadia) a symbol of the Melchizedek Priesthood?

I was reading about the relatively new discovery of the Apostle Phillip's gravesite in Turkey, and it briefly mentioned that the square was represented in his grave and it was significant because the ...
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What is the origin and meaning of this symbol?

The symbol in the attached photo is on the side of a 1940s motorcycle purchased from a police vehicle auction. The symbol in question is mounted on the frame near the rear axle. Can anyone shed light ...
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2answers
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What is the biblical basis of the “goats are evil” trope?

Having spent some time cuddling and playing with goats, which are delightful creatures, I have to ask: What is the biblical basis of the association, common even among Christians, of goats with Satan ...
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1answer
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Lutherans: Shells, baptism, why?

Since I am almost certain someone will come in and think the title of this question needs editing, I'm going to request that you leave it as it stands. The full/expanded question: I have seen shells ...
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2answers
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Why is beating one's breast used to show sadness and guilt? [closed]

According to the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus definition: Beat your breast/chestTo show how sad or guilty you feel in an obvious or public way I understand what is meant ...
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3answers
375 views

Is there a historical reason why the liturgical colour purple eventually replaced black to symbolise penance?

Is there a historical reason why the liturgical colour purple eventually replaced black to symbolise penance? This question does not have its' answer in the difference between the two forms of the ...
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2answers
473 views

Why do Popes have seven candlesticks on the altar at Mass?

Why is it that Popes have seven candlesticks on the altar when they pontificate a Solemn Mass? This is something that I have noticed at several Papal Masses. Sometimes the candlestick is set next to ...
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1answer
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How did the four living creatures become associated with the Gospel writers?

The visions of Ezekiel recorded in Ezekiel 1 and that of John in Revelation 4:7 include four living creatures (ζῷα) that stand in the presence of the throne of God. In both visions these heavenly ...
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0answers
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Christian Flag symbol [duplicate]

I have seen a symbol on my way to work and am wondering what it means. It is a flag with a Red Cross on a black background and there is a red upside down triangle in the upper right corner that ...
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3answers
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What is the significance of the donkey Jesus rode on Palm Sunday?

I'm working on different symbols of Palm Sunday. Has anyone done work on the significance of the donkey Jesus rode on?
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1answer
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What does the abbreviation “RNIO” mean in a painting of the Virgin and Child?

In the Crivelli painting "The Virgin and Child with Infants Bearing Symbols of the Passion" there is (at the right, under a bare tree) an injured (?) knight with a red shield inscribed with the ...
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2answers
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When was the number of the beast, 666, first identified as referring to Emperor Nero?

The belief that the number of the beast in Revelation, 666, refers to Nero is a common theory now. When was this identification first suggested?
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What is the Christian symbol of the unicorn, and what does it suggest? [duplicate]

What is the Christian symbol of the unicorn, and what does it suggest? I have seen it in the seals of certain churches.
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2answers
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Is the Holy Spirit the 'Seven Spirits' in Revelation 1:4? [duplicate]

4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ ...
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2answers
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Why did this Early Version of the Watchtower Magazine include Crosses, and what do these other Symbols on the Magazine Represent?

The following is "Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence, October 1, 1907." I was under the impression that symbols (especially crosses) were not allowed in the church. "Jehovah's ...
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1answer
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How did the Roman Punishment “cross” became a holy symbol to Christians? [duplicate]

The Romans used the cross as punishment to those who didn't follow Roman laws & principles. How then did the Roman punishment "cross" became a holy symbol to Christians?
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5answers
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What is the significance of what Jesus ate after his resurrection?

Is anyone aware of any special symbolic significance of Jesus eating specifically fish and honeycomb while showing his disciples he was not "a spirit" when he appeared to them (and somewhat scared ...
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4answers
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What is the significance of colour purple in the robe that Jesus was made to wear?

Was there any significance to the colour purple, as described by the evangelists while mentioning the robe that Jesus was made to put on before His crucifixion? Both John 19:2 and Mark 15:7 mentioning ...
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1answer
43k views

Hearing Bell sounds - What does the Bible say about bells? [closed]

Recently I have heard many bell sounds during times of heavy spiritual warfare & physical troubles. I know i'm not crazy because I've had relatives and friends hear them as-well. They come from ...
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1answer
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What is the meaning of the large statue of a pine cone in Vatican City?

What is the meaning of this statue in Vatican City?
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2answers
1k views

Blessings of objects by the Priest

Is there an official list of objects that must be blessed by a priest for a variety of purposes? General Example: religious coins, saint necklaces, anniversary gifts given to or from someone etc. ...
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2answers
24k views

When did the “upside down cross” become a symbol of anti-Christianity?

When did the "upside down cross" become a symbol of anti-Christianity? I can find no mention of it in the Bible. However there is, in Christian history, the story of Peter's execution – which really ...
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Is it known when and why Christians began to sign themselves and impart blessings with the Cross?

Among the Christians who make the sign of the cross [cf. this @fredsbend's answer], is it known when and why Christians began to sign themselves with the Cross? The best answer will also include when ...
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4answers
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What is the meaning of 'the Sun and the Moon' in Joseph's dream?

And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it to his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed yet a dream: and, behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars made obeisance to me. And he told it ...
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5answers
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What is the significance of Jesus' spitting on the ground in the book of John?

Why does Jesus spit on the ground and make clay to anoint the blind man's eyes? What does this represent? Is the need to wash the anointing off significant? John 9:6-7 NIV After saying this, he ...
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1answer
198 views

Do the angels in Ezekiel 1:10 represent the 4 aspects of creation according to evangelicals?

Ezekiel 1:10 tells of the heavenly creatures with the faces of humans, eagles, lions, and oxen: As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the ...
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Is this a christian symbol?

Can someone tell me which sect this comes from, if any? It's from the back of a book or folder used by an Officiant in a wedding video. Thanks!!
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1answer
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Why are babies dressed in white during a Roman Catholic christening?

Why are babies dressed in white during a Roman Catholic christening (aka baptism)? Is the color symbolic or anything? Can any other color be worn? Similarly, are there some sort of color restrictions ...
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What does this Catholic symbol mean?

I have this symbol over the entrance of my apartment. I have been told it is a Catholic symbol, and the owner of the flat is probably Catholic since it is the dominant faith here. Searching on Google ...
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2answers
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What is the reason and meaning of the symbols on the garments worn by Temple-worthy LDS members?

I understand that the sacred garments worn by temple-worthy LDS members include symbols of 1) the square, 2) the compass, and 3) the navel mark, and 4) the knee mark. I know that some of the symbols ...
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1answer
600 views

Why do Carmelite nuns change headwear?

In this movie regarding the life of St. Therese of Lisieux, the girl who wants to become a saint, there is a scene wherein she changes the color of her clothing and headdress after participating some ...
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What is the significance of a double cross?

What is the significance of a cross with two cross-bars to Christians? Does it carry different symbolism than a normal cross?
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3answers
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What does “therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” mean?

In Matthew 10:16 we read: I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. (NIV) What does "be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves"...
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What is so special about a fig tree. Is it the tree of life? [closed]

The fig tree is used many times in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Why? What is so special about them that the Bible is not or is telling me? Is there any other kind of tree that is more used? ...
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3answers
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According to the LDS church, why was Jesus Christ born when he was born?

Why was Christ born when he was born? Why not earlier? Why not later? Does the time period of his life have a symbolic or practical importance? I am not aware of any reason why Christ needed to live ...
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4answers
2k views

Is the beast of Revelation 13 the same as the beast of Daniel 7?

There are several similarities between the Beast described in Revelation chapter 13 and the one described in Daniel chapter 7. Rev 13:1 and 2 KJV And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw ...
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What is the symbolism of the Peacock?

In some churches I have seen, the peacock is used in furniture or other similar items: It can also be seen in some Iconography and decoration: I was just wondering what the symbolism of the Peacock ...
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4answers
7k views

What is the “veil” that covers the heart when the Old Testament is read? [closed]

2 Corinthians 3:13-18 (NIV) We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. But their minds were made dull, ...
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4answers
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Who symbolizes Christ in J. R. R. Tolkien's “The Lord of the Rings”?

I have long been a fan of J. R. R. Tolkien, and have enjoyed his works from an early age. I am aware that he was raised by a Roman Catholic priest, and remained a deeply religious man his whole life. ...
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Nuns wearing wedding bands?

On a recent trip a nice nun took a picture of my family. I noticed that the nun was wearing a wedding band on her left hand. I have a vague recollection of reading somewhere that nuns are considered ...