Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Monday 26 September |
Saint of the Day: Sts Cosmas and Damian
Aleteia logo
Spirituality
separateurCreated with Sketch.

The spiritual meaning behind creepy crawlies

MADONNA AND CHILD,FLY

Carlo Crivelli | PD

Philip Kosloski - published on 10/23/17

Christian artists over the centuries have frequently used insects in their paintings. Here's why.

The spiritual symbolism of nature, while most often expressed in popular animals such as the lamb, lion, and d0ve, can also be found in the little creatures that sometimes irritate us.

Christian artists over the centuries frequently used the following insects in their religious paintings to highlight various spiritual truths.

Fly

Not surprisingly, a fly is a symbol of evil, sin, and death. It was seen as a bearer of disease, bringing decay into the body and soul.

Wasp

Another symbol of evil, the wasp’s reputation for stinging people made it a perfect representation of Satan and his many minions that sting a person’s soul.

Ladybug

A beautiful insect that many enjoy looking upon, the ladybug was a positive symbol that originally bore the name of “Our Lady’s Bug.” It represented restoration and healing.




Read more:
5 Commonplace sights to remind you of Our Lady

Butterfly

The most widely used insect in Christian art, the butterfly’s miraculous transformation from a caterpillar to a butterfly has repeatedly been used as a symbol of the resurrection. It is also seen as a symbol of hope, beauty, and new life.

Maggot

The maggot was used in art to represent corruption of the soul, mortality and evil. Its grotesque appearance and feasting on dead corpses made it a perfect symbol of spiritual decay.


DANTE,PURGATORIO

Read more:
Do spiders deserve their reputation as sinister creatures?

Tags:
Art
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

jour1_V2.gif
Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries


Top 10
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.