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Catholic Dictionary


BREAD (symbolic)


Represents the Eucharistic, especially the broken loaf reminiscent of the Disciples at Emmaus, who on Easter Sunday recognized Christ in the "the breaking of the bread" (Luke 24:30). Often referred to as the staff of life, bread is the emblem of several saints noted for their feeding of the poor, e.g., St. Roch (1295-1378), the mendicant friar, and St. Geneviève (422-500), patroness of Paris, St. Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231), whose hidden loaves were changed into roses when her benevolence needed secrecy. St. Anthony of Padua's (1195-1231) gifts were universally referred to as "St. Anthony's Bread," soon transferred into food for the hungry.