Catholic Churches in Louisiana are filled with beauty, but have you ever noticed the pelican in your church?

Often when you walk into a church you'll notice an altar that is decorated, stained glass throughout the building, gorgeous paintings, or even statues, but if you look closely you will likely find a mother pelican in the church you're in.

It is no mistake that most Catholic Churches have the symbol of the pelican, with chicks, in it because there is a symbolism between it and Jesus Christ.

You may have been introduced to the symbolism of the pelican while in religious school or perhaps even while in mass. The Catholic Church teaches its followers that Jesus Christ is the church's leader, much like a mother pelican is of its nest.


The symbolism for Catholics continues as a mother pelican will protect her nest and chicks from harm, much as Jesus would of his followers.

But the major connection between the pelican and Jesus comes when a mother pelican wounds itself so that it can bleed, thus allowing its chicks to drink. The blood from the mother bird saves the chicks, just as the blood of Jesus saved his followers during his crucifixion.

So you can see the symbolism between the mother pelican and Jesus Christ, which is why the Pelican is featured in most church's decor.

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If you want to find a depiction of the pelican in church, you will often find it on the Tabernacle doors, where the host is held, by the pulpit where a priest will speak from, on stained glass, at the end of pews, or even on various dishes used during the mass.

So let the search begin the next time you're in church and see if you can locate the depiction of the pelican.

Here's a brief explanation of the importance of the mother pelican in Catholic Churches.

In addition to the pelican being in churches, it is also on the state flag for Louisiana. Yes, it is our state bird, but there is a reason and meaning behind that too, which you can read here.


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