Aleteia

Religious symbolism

Family shocked by “moving ornament” in Christmas tree

The discovery of an owl could bode well for the family, given the meaning of religious symbols.

The multiple meanings of owls in Christian art

For some, it’s a kind of trickster. For others, a symbol of meditative solitude.

A short guide on how to recognize famous saints by their attributes

“Wait … is that St. Scholastica or St. Adalsinda?”

The curious meaning of panthers in Christian medieval art

According to mythical tales, panthers were thought to be so gentle only dragons were their enemies.

The apse of the church of Sant Climent of Taüll, a Romanesque masterpiece

A replica of the most famous work by the anonymous “Master of Taüll” is still there in the church, deep in the Pyrenees.

The meaning of whales in Christian art

Spoiler: It’s not all about Jonah.

Is there a difference between an aureole, a halo, and a mandorla?

Often confused with each other, aureoles and “almonds” play a key role in Christian iconography.

The many meanings of bears in Christian art

Bears, depending on context, might imply one thing or its exact opposite in Christian iconography.

There was a time in which square halos were a thing in Christian art

Round, cruciform, and even triangular halos are relatively common in Christian iconography, but square ones?

The many meanings of salt in the Bible

A fundamental necessity of life, salt has been used since ancient times for many different purposes, and is heavily loaded with spiritual meaning.