Christian Symbolism of the Lion in a Medieval Bestiary
A Bestiary was a medieval book with allegorical descriptions of animals, such as the lion, which were often full of symbolism and reflected the belief that the world itself was the Word of God, and that every living creature had its own special meaning. The lion was connected to God in that as a lion sleeps with its eyes open as does God who never sleeps as He watches over his children.
The Lion of St. Mark
The lion is symbolic of Saint Mark. The Lion of St. Mark is a winged lion, the emblem of the evangelist Mark, especially that of bronze surmounting a granite column in the Piazzetta at Venice, and holding in its fore paws an open book representing St. Mark's Gospel.
Reference to the Lion in the Bible
The following reference to the Lion is in the Bible:
Revelation 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
Rev. 5:4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals."
1Pet. 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
The definition and the meaning of
Symbols or Icon in early religious
art forms. A Catholic sign or icon,
such as the Lion Christian Symbol,
is an object, character, figure, or
color used to represent abstract
ideas or concepts - a picture that
represents an idea. A religious
icon, such as the Lion Christian
Symbol, is an image or symbolic
representation with sacred
significance. 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