Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

ANCHOR

An ancient symbol of the church signifying hope and security. It was found among the catacomb inscriptions of the first century. Before the fourth century the anchor was often represented with a dolphin or two fishes suspended from the crossbar, as a symbol of Christ. The anchor early signified the cross to be known to the Christians but to be kept in secret from the unbelievers. St. Paul (Hebrews 6:18-19) writes "hold fast the hope set before us which we have as anchor for the soul." In religious art this emblem indicated courage, safety, and confidence and appeared in conjunction with certain saints, notably St. Clement whose martyrdom was by drowning weighed down by an anchor. It is a symbolic prayer for aid to mariners in danger of shipwreck.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Straws in the Wind 21 hours ago
Hans Urs von Balthasar on Renewal that Matters 23 hours ago
Wrongheaded diocesan legal defenses in abuse cases July 24
New HHS Mandate must truly eliminate complicity July 23
Self-Esteem: Beyond Pop Psychology July 23

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
New management, new changes coming for reformed Vatican bank CWN - July 8
Sweeping reforms to Vatican's media, financial operations CWN - July 9
‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21