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

SHELL

An emblem of baptism since the twelfth century. Once pouring water was the accepted mode for baptizing, the shell became a handy accesory. Also a symbol for the pilgrim, explaining probably why the shell is an emblem of St. James the Apostle, whose shrine is a famed place of pilgrimage. It is also the emblem for St. Augustine, who had a vision of a child (believed to be Christ) who told him that he could sooner empty the ocean with a shell than understand the Trinity. The shell is likewise one of the numerous symbols of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Church Fathers: Introduction to the Greek Apologists 19 hours ago
Ad Imaginem Dei: a gem of a blog on Christian art February 28
The Complexities of Persecution February 27
Ukraine: A great lesson in thinking like a Catholic. February 27
Notre Dame has lost two contrasting giants February 27

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis to address Congress in joint session in September CWN - February 5