Está en la página 1de 1



Member: St. Louise de Marillac Educational System of the Daughters of the Charity
Miagao, Iloilo
Christian symbolism
Early Christianity
Early Christianity covers the period from its origins until the First Council of -is the use of symbols, including archetypes, acts, artwork or events,
Nicaea. This period is typically divided into the Apostolic Age and the Ante-Nicene by Christianity. It invests objects or actions with an inner meaning expressing
Period. After the death of John the Apostle, early Christianity was guided by the Christian ideas.
Apostolic Fathers until the Council of Nicaea. The symbolism of the early Church was characterized by being understood by
The earliest followers of Jesus comprised an apocalyptic, Second Temple initiates only, while after the legalization of Christianity in the Roman Empire during
Jewish sect, which historians refer to as Jewish Christianity. Early the 4th-century more recognizable symbols entered in use. Christianity has borrowed
Christianity gradually grew apart from Judaism during the first two centuries of from the common stock of significant symbols known to most periods and to all
theChristian Era; it established itself as a predominantly gentile religion in the Roman regions of the world.
Early Christianity is also known as the Early Church by the proponents Christianity has not generally practiced Aniconism, or the avoidance or
of apostolic succession, notably the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox prohibition of types of images, even if the early Jewish Christians sects, as well as
Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, Assyrian Church of the East, and Ancient Church of the some modern denominations, preferred to some extent not to use figures in their
East, in addition to some Protestant denominations. symbols, by invoking the Decalogue's prohibition of idolatry.
The first Christians, as described in the first chapters of the Acts of the
Apostles in the Bible, were all Jews either by birth or conversion("proselytes" in CROSS AND CRUCIFIX
Biblical terminology), and historians refer to them as Jewish Christians. The shape of the cross, as represented by the letter T, came to be used as
Why are martyrs important to the Catholic Church? a "seal" or symbol of Early Christianity by the 2nd century. At the end of the 2nd
Jesus can be considered the first "martyr" of century, it is mentioned in the Octavius of Minucius Felix, rejecting the claim by
the Church because in Christian tradition he came to Earth and died to detractors that Christians worship the cross. The cross (crucifix, Greek stauros) in
this period was represented by the letter T.
forgive the sins of others. Martyrdom as a concept in early Christianity is
interesting because it explains the ways that early Christians thought about Clement of Alexandria in the early 3rd century calls it τὸ κυριακὸν
sacrifice and redemption. σημεῖον ("the Lord's sign") he repeats the idea, current as early as the Epistle of
Are all Catholic martyr Saints? Barnabas, that the number 318 (in Greek numerals, ΤΙΗ) in Genesis 14:14 was a
While the title “saint” is used for all those who are canonized, foreshadowing (a "type") of the cross (T, an upright with crossbar, standing for 300)
there are different categories of saints, such as “martyr” and “confessor.” and of Jesus (ΙΗ, the first two letters of his name ΙΗΣΟΥΣ, standing for 18).
A “martyr” has been killed for his or her Christian beliefs; a “confessor”
has been tortured or persecuted for his or her faith, but not killed. ICHTHSYS
What is a Catholic Martyr? Among the symbols employed by the early Christians, that of the fish
This category is for individuals and groups of martyrs who died seems to have ranked first in importance. Its popularity among Christians was due
for their RomanCatholic faith. Earlier martyrs are categorised as principally to the famous acrostic consisting of the initial letters of five Greek words
Category:Ante-Nicene Christianmartyrs (1st to 4th century) or forming the word for fish (Ichthus), which words briefly but clearly described the
Category:Christian martyrs of the Middle Ages (5th to 15th centuries). character of Christ and the claim to worship of believers:

What is a Martyr’s death? "Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς Θεοῦ Υἱὸς Σωτήρ", (Iēsous Christos Theou Huios
A martyr (Greek: μάρτυς, mártys, "witness"; stem μάρτυρ-, mártyr- Sōtēr), meaning, Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour. This explanation is given among
others by Augustine in his Civitate Dei, where he also notes that the generating
) is someone who suffers persecution and death for advocating,
sentence "Ίησοῦς Χρειστὸς , Θεοῦ Υἱὸς Σωτήρ" has 27 letters, i.e. 3 x 3 x 3, which
renouncing, refusing to renounce, or refusing to advocate a belief or cause in that age indicated power.
as demanded by an external party.
The first Christian martyr Saint Stephen, painting by Giacomo ALPHA AND OMEGA
Cavedone The use since the earliest Christianity of the first and the last letters of
A Christian martyr is a person who is killed because of their testimony of the Greek alphabet, alpha (α or Α) and omega (ω or Ω), derives from the statement
Jesus.[1] In years of the early church, this often occurred through stoning, said by Jesus (or God) himself "I am Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the
crucifixion, burning at the stake or other forms of torture and capital Beginning and the End" (Revelation 22:13, also 1:8 and 21:6).
punishment. The word "martyr" comes from the Koine word μάρτυς, mártys,
which means "witness" or "testimony." St. Stephen, Stoned to Death STAUROGRAM
The Staurogram (from the Greek σταυρός, i.e. cross),
also Monogrammatic Cross or Tau-Rhosymbol, is composed by a tau (Τ)
St. Stephen (Saint Stephen) first Christian martyr found guilty
superimposed on a rho (Ρ). The Staurogram was first used to abbreviate the Greek
of blasphemy by the Sanhedrin supreme council of the Jews and stoned word for cross in very early New Testament manuscripts such as P66, P45 and P75,
to death. From Bible (Acts 7:57). Art: Liber chronicarum mundi almost like a nomen sacrum, and may visually have represented Jesus on the cross.
(Nuremberg Chronicle) by Hartmann Schedel, Nuremberg, 1493
Stoning is a traditional punishment, but among Christian CHI RHO
martyrs, St. Stephen, who died in 36 AD in Jerusalem, was the first to The Chi Rho is formed by superimposing the first two (capital)
suffer that fate. He was one of the first seven deacons chosen by the letters chi and rho (ΧΡ) of the Greek word "ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ" =Christ in such a way to produc
early Christian community and became an evangelist. His success in the monogram. Widespread in ancient Christianity, it was the symbol used by the Roma
converting Jews drew the ire of the Sanhedrin (the supreme rabbinic emperor Constantine I as vexillum (named Labarum).
court). His punishment for speaking against “this holy place and the law”
was to be stoned to death. As is common to many icons of Catholic What was the first Christian Faith?
martyrdom, St. Stephen is often St.depicted
Sebastian, Surprisingly
in paintings Not by
as holding Arrows
the The early Christians in the 1st century AD believed
A Praetorian Guard under
method of his death: a basket of stones.Diocletian (a committed persecutor Yahweh to be the only true God, the god of Israel, and considered
of Christians), Sebastian was sentenced to death after it was found out Jesus to be the messiah (Christ) prophesied in the Jewish
that he was a Christian who had been converting his fellow soldiers. He scriptures. The first Christians were essentially all ethnically Jewish
was tied to a tree, his sentence of being killed with arrows was carried out, or Jewish proselytes.
and he was left for dead. He wasn’t, however, and was found by a woman What’s the difference between a Catholic and a Christian?
(later St. Irene) who nursed him back to health. Catholicism is the largest denomination of Christianity. All
Catholics are Christians, but not all Christians are Catholics. A
Sebastian subsequently took the chance of appearing before Christian refers to a follower of Jesus Christ who may be a
Diocletian again; the emperor then had him clubbed to death, a Catholic, Protestant, Gnostic, Mormon, Evangelical, Anglican or
punishment that did, in fact, work, and his body was St. Lawrence,
dumped Grilled
into a Roman Orthodox, or follower of another branch of the religion.
sewer. Saint Lawrence, statue in the church at Lampaul-Guimiliau, France. St. Cassian, Hacked to Death by Children
Saint Cassian of Imola and his martyrdom.
Saint Lawrence was a victim of persecution by the Roman emperor
Valerian in 258. A deacon under Pope (later St.) Sixtus II, he was Cassian was a teacher in Imola, Italy, in 363. Formerly the
disheartened when his patron was led off for his own execution; Sixtus bishop of Brescia, he became a schoolmaster after his banishment
“comforted” Lawrence by telling him that the same fate would befall him in
St. Margaret Clitherow, Pressed to Death from that place. As a Christian teacher of pagan pupils during a
three days. And he was right.
Saint Margaret Clitherow, 16th-century woodcut. period of Christian persecution in the Roman Empire, Cassian was
in a dangerous position. By refusing to make sacrifice to the pagan
During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, a devoted Protestant and gods, he angered the local officials, who sentenced him to Beheaded
St. Dymphna, death and
Defender of the Faith in a military as well as a spiritual sense, Roman turned him over to his students as his executioners.
Catholics were forced to go underground. Margaret Clitherow, the Catholic- It is not so much the manner of St. Dymphna’s death---
convert wife of a Protestant butcher in York, did allSt.
she could to protect
Bartholomew, her beheading---but the reason for it and the person behind it that is
coreligionists. especially awful. Born in Ireland to a pagan king sometime before the
middle of the 13th century (when her veneration was first recorded),
Bartholomew (probably Nathanael bar Tolmai) is usually identified
as one of the Twelve Apostles chosen by Jesus Christ. Little is known of him
historically, and his death date is not known, but it is traditionally said that he
died in Albanopolis, Armenia.