Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

Catholic Dictionary

Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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Symbol of the Trinity, early used in various forms: a triangle with equal sides; three foils; three figures; the Father represented at the apex, the Son and Spirit at the bottom corners; the Hand representing the Father, the Cross the Son, the Dove the Holy Spirit, all in a triangular form. Such symbols appeared in Roman churches as late as the thirteenth century when Pope Urban VIII forbade anthropomorphic figures even as symbols of the Trinity. During the Middle Ages the triangle appeared alone with the words Unitas, Trinitas, Pater, Filius, Spiritus with the addition of "Deus Est" in the center representing the Godhead. The Catholic Church has honored the Trinity by a special feast since 1334.

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