Evangelical symbols

Speaking of the winged creatures symbolically associated with the four gospel writers (see yesterday’s post), you don’t often see them used outside of churches specifically dedicated to one or other of them, and frequently not even then.  Venice has made a very visible multi-formed logo for itself out of the winged Lion of St Mark, but the others are less well known.

Matthew’s symbol is a winged man – not an angel – symbolising the human nature of Christ.  Mark, of course, has the winged lion, symbolising Christ as King.  Luke is represented by a winged bull or calf, symbolising the sacrifice of Christ.  And John’s symbol is an eagle, symbolising the omnipotent all-seeing eye of God.

Unusually shown together, here are all four evangelistic symbols as they are represented on oval lozenge panels set up high on the four columns surrounding the altar inside architect Antoni Gaudí’s masterpiece in Barcelona, the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia.

Matthew's symbol is a winged man - the humanity of Christ

Matthew’s symbol is a winged man – the humanity of Christ

Mark's symbol is the winged lion - Christ as King

Mark’s symbol is the winged lion – Christ as King

Luke is represented by a winged calf - the sacrifice of Christ

Luke is represented by a winged calf – the sacrifice of Christ

John's symbol is an eagle - the omnipotent eye of God

John’s symbol is an eagle – the omnipotent eye of God

Advertisements
Next Post
Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. Oops, I was preparing for tomorrow’s post, and accidentally hit Publish. So, tomorrow there won’t be one, you got two today instead.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: