The meanings, origins and ancient traditions surrounding Christian symbols date back to early times when the majority of ordinary people were not able to read or write and printing was unknown. Many were 'borrowed' or drawn from early pre-Christian traditions. The Ancient Egyptians saw a similarity between the cloth wrappings of their mummies and the chrysalis of a butterfly. Both the Egyptians and the Greeks, who placed golden butterflies in their tombs, associated the butterfly as a symbol of resurrection, new life, and immortality.
The Definition and Meaning of the Butterfly as a Catholic Christian Symbol
Catholic Christian symbolism in art provides a clear graphic illustration which represents people or items of religious significance. What is the definition and the meaning of the Butterfly? The Butterfly Christian Symbol represents and symbolizes the Resurrection. The butterfly has three phases during its life:
The caterpillar - The caterpillar which just eats symbolises normal earthly life where people are preoccupied with taking care of their physical needs.
The chrysalis or cocoon - The chrysalis or cocoon resembles the tomb.
The butterfly - The butterfly represents the resurrection into a glorious new life free of material restrictions.
Reference to Related Bible Verses
The Butterfly symbolizing the Resurrection:
So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. (1 Corinthians 15:42-44)
For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:52b)