A symbol is a visible sign of something else, whether a person, a thing, an idea, or of a mystical experience. The use of symbols in the Church is a very ancient practice, dating back to its very beginnings. On a very deep level, the Seven Sacraments have physical symbols to represent the reality of great mysteries that can not be seen. For example, baptism uses water and oils to physically show us the action of the Holy Spirit bringing us into God’s family.
On a different level, symbols have been used to tell us the stories of the saints throughout the history of the Church. Since we have not met them and do not know what many of the saints looked like, we use symbols to tell us about them. Whenever we see a statue or icon of a saint, their symbol is almost always shown with them to help people know who is being shown and to remind them of their story.
As Catholics, we believe in the Communion of Saints. That means that we believe all the holy people who have gone before us are in heaven with God and praying for the rest of us to be able to join them someday. How can we do that? By living our lives as they did. We look to the saints as examples of how to behave, how to be holy, how to stay strong in our faith in Jesus Christ and Our Heavenly Father.
Below is a list of the saints and symbols that we have included in our Saint Search and Litany games. For further information on this topic please see our resource list at the bottom of this page. Note: Please do NOT use the information found on this page as a basis for any research assignment you have been given! All the information on this page can be found (and properly documented) via our resource list.
century B.C. – prophet
St. George d. circa 303 – martyr
Martin of Tours d. 400 – bishop, confessor
Saint Philomena the Wonder Worker by Fr. Paul O’Sullivan, O.P., Tan Books and
Publishers, Inc., Rockford, Illinois, 1993
The Printery House, Conception Abbey