Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Thursday 13 May |
Saint of the Day: The Blessed Virgin Mary ~ Our Lady of Fatima
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Lighthouses, an ancient symbol of Christianity

PHAROS ALEXANDRIA EGYPT

Johann Bornhard Fischer vo Erlach | Public Domain

Philip Kosloski - published on 06/30/17

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid."

Solitary towers at the edge of a harbor are not a recent invention. The Egyptians were known for the Pharos of Alexandria, one of the tallest structures in the ancient world. On the top of the tower was a bonfire that helped ships navigate the port at Alexandria. It is believed that this lighthouse became the prototype for all other lighthouses after it.

It should not be surprising that this became a symbol of Jesus, Christianity and the Church. Jesus said in the Gospel of John, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

This passage can then be connected to the traditional image of the Church as a ship, making Jesus the light on the lighthouse, guiding the Church (and the pilgrim soul) to the Eternal Shores of Heaven.


SHIPS IN THE OCEAN

Read more:
Ships in art: Symbols of the Church and our pilgrimage to heaven

At the same time, while it is true that Jesus is the “light of the world,” Jesus also referred to his disciples using that same term.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. (Matthew 5:14).

This particular passage reflects a similar concept to a lighthouse and explains how Christians (and the Church) are meant to be a light for all to see. As Christians we are filled with the light of Christ at baptism and are sent forth with the task of bringing that light into the world, helping other souls reach the destination for which we are all created.

The lighthouse is a beautiful image, one that has always given comfort to the Christian soul trying to navigate the sea of life in order to reach the Eternal Harbor.

Tags:
ArtSpiritual Life
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
2
SAINTS
Meg Hunter-Kilmer
Saints to help if Mother’s Day is hard
3
MOTHER SHORT FILM
Zoe Romanowsky
Moving 1-minute film about motherhood will touch your heart
4
I.Media for Aleteia
These 30 shrines will lead the Rosary Relay for end of the pandem...
5
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
3 Signs of a spiritual attack on your soul
6
MOTHER OF ASIA - TOWER OF PEACE
J-P Mauro
Philippines finishes construction of largest Marian statue in the...
7
HOUSE OF SAINT CATHERINE OF SIENA
Bret Thoman, OFS
A pilgrimage in the footsteps of St. Catherine of Siena
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.