Irish Catholic Symbols

Interested in Irish catholic symbols? Want to know the meaning behind the most popular Catholic symbols? Find out about the origins and variety of these Irish religious symbols in our information guide…

The Celts have a long and rich heritage of symbolism. Over the years many of these symbols have been forgotten but some amongst them have been retained such as the Irish catholic symbols.

There are hoards of symbols that fall under the Irish Catholic umbrella. The crucifix and its many manifestations are perhaps the most widely known Irish catholic symbols. Other prominent catholic symbols are those of the sacrifice beads and monstrance. But such symbols are only known to those familiar with the church.

The nature of Irish catholic symbols

Early generations of the Christian faith were not shy of making use of pictures, images and statues. In later times to come the use of such graphical imagery was believed to be a form of idolatry. Hence their use was replaced by simple elements from nature. This created a culture where simple designs void of any imagery were being used as symbolic representations of various concepts and emotions. This is why we find the collection of Irish catholic symbols to be different from other known catholic symbols of the world.

Irish catholic symbols carry a divine meaning. They have a material form yet they are believed to carry a spiritual quality. The Irish symbols as they came to be known had been developed a long time ago in different cultures where the gospel of Jesus was being spread. The egg, representing rebirth is one of the classic examples of these age old traditions.

The Claddagh

When it comes to Irish catholic symbols the Claddagh is perhaps the most popular of symbols around. The symbol features a cross with a ring in the center. The Celtic symbol is a bit different from the Irish one as it features two hands around a heart. This Irish Catholic symbol represents friendship, love and loyalty.

There are a number of stories circulating around the origins of the Claddagh. The oldest of the legends date back to the 16th century associated with Richard Joyce who was a native of Galway. Richard Joyce was making his way towards the West Indies and was abducted by pirates on the way. He worked as a slave for the pirates melting gold looted by the pirates. Eventually he learnt the art of melting gold to make medallions and other precious artifacts.

Richard Joyce was eventually released by the pirates and returned to his home country where he got married. He set up a jewelry business with his wife which became highly successful. The love heart was one of the most popular pieces by the company.

The goldsmith’s home town, Galway was a small fishing village known as Claddagh. According to the legend this Irish symbol became popular when the Queen of England visited Ireland and was presented the Claddagh symbol ring as a present. Irrespective of the actual origins this Irish Catholic symbol is considered to be a very beautiful design with innate spiritual meanings.

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