Faith/Spirituality Forum: Symbols around the cross
Symbols around the cross QUESTION from Adrian Buie, Jr. on April 7, 2002 On the lectern in our church there is a cross on the front with four symbols, one each in the quadrants outlined by the cross. In the upper left is Jesus, lower left a lion, lower right a cow and upper right, I think, is a bird; each of these appears to be holding the bible. What is the significance of each of these symbols?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on May 18, 2002 Dear Adrian:
I do not really know for sure what the symbols mean. You might ask your pastor, perhaps he might know for sure.
If I had to guess, I would say that the Lion may stand for the Lion of Judah from whence the family line of Jesus derives. Or it could indicate that all the kings of the earth are subject to God.
The cow could indicate fertility and that human sexuality and human endeavors are subject to God. Or since the cow was a also a symbol in paganism, it could mean that all of the peoples of the earth regardless of religion are still subject to the one true God.
The bird is usually a sign for the Holy Spirit.
Many symbols used like this are in reference to bring under subjection the things of this earth. Thus, I favor the interpretation that the Lion refers to all kings under subject of God; and the cow as all pagans under subjection of the one true God.
But, I really do not know.
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