Symbols of Saints
Carrying her breasts in a dish.
A book and crozier.
A lamb at her side.
A palm branch.
A saltire cross.
A book in her hand.
A tau cross, with a bell at the
end, and a pig by his side.
A tooth and palm branch. She is applied to by those who
suffer from toothache.
and Aydan A crozier.
A book and palm branch.
A staff in one hand and an
open book in the other; or
A knife; ora processional cross.
Iron combs, with which his body was torn to pieces.
A crozier and book.
An inverted sword, or large wheel.
Playing on a harp or organ.
A gigantic figure carrying Christ
over a river.
A palm branch.
A papal crown, or an anchor.
He was drowned with an anchor
tied round his neck; also a pot.
Two shoemakers at work.
St. Osbald's head in his hand.
A leek, in commemoration of his victory over the Saxons.
Holding his mitred head in his hand.
Carrying a basket of fruit.
Edward the Confessor
Crowned with a nimbus, and holding a sceptre.
St. John and the lamb at her feet.
Her head in her hand, and a flower sprouting out of her neck.
A seraph inflicting the five wounds of Christ; or a lily on a
Arrayed in a long robe, praying and holding his beads in one hand.
A flower-pot full of lilies between him and the Virgin.
Mounted on horseback, and transflxing a dragon.
A hind, with its head in the saint's lap.
The monogram I.H.S. on the breast or in the sky, circled with a
glory. Fairhold says
the mystery of the Trinity was thus revealed to him.
James the Greater
A pilgrim's staff; or a scallop shell.
James the Less
A fuller's pole. He was killed by
Simon the fuller.
A camel-hair garment, small rude cross,
and a lamb at his feet.
A chalice, out of which a dragon or
serpent is issuing, and an open book; or a young man with an eagle in the background.
(Ezekiel vii. 1-10.)
A blue hat, and studying a large folio volume,
With a club or lance.
Ferrying travellers across a stream.
A book and gridiron.
A king kneeling, with the arms of France
at his feet; a bishop blessing him, and a dove
descending on his head.
A crozier and hammer. He is the patron saint of smiths.
With a short staff in her hand, and the devil behind her; or with
eyes in a dish.
Sitting at a reading-desk, beneath which appears an ox's head; or
upon a Bambino. (Ezekiel vii. 1-10.)
Treading on a dragon, or piercing it with
A man seated writing, with a lion couchant at his feet.
On horseback, dividing his cloak with a beggar behind him on foot.
Mary the Virgin
Carrying the child Jesus and a lily
is somewhere displayed.
A box of ointment.
With a halberd, with which Nadabar
killed him. As an evangelist, he holds a pen, with which he is writing on a scroll. The most
ancient symbol is a man's face. (Ezekiel vii. 1-10.)
In armour, with a cross, or else holding
scales, in which he is weighing souls.
A tub with naked infants in it. He is patron saint
A sword and a book. Dressed as a Roman.
Keys and a triple cross; or a fish; or a cock.
A pastoral staff, surmounted with a cross. He was hung on a tall pillar.
A wallet, and a dog with a loaf in its mouth sitting by. He shows a
boil in his thigh.
Bound to a tree, his arms tied behind
him, and his body transfixed with arrows.
Two archers stand by his side; sometimes presenting
a sheaf of arrows to the Lord.
A saw, because he was sawn asunder.
A book and a stone in his hand.
The devil holding her hand, and tempting her.
Armed with a halberd in his hand, and with a sabre by his side.
With a builder's rule, or a stone in his hand,
or holding the lance with which he was slain at
Thomas of Canterbury
Kneeling, and a man behind him
striking at him with a sword.
A book and arrows. She was shot through with
arrows by the Prince of the Huns.
(See Apostles, Evangelists etc.)
of other sacred characters.
An old man grasping a knife, ready to strike
his son Isaac, who is bound on an altar. An angel
arrests his hand, and a ram is caught in the thicket.
Kneeling, above is an angel with a sword.
Sometimes he is represented playing a harp.
With bow and arrows, going to meet Jacob.
Sitting naked on the ground, with three
friends talking to him.
Conversing with his brothers. Benjamin is
represented as a mere boy.
With a money bag. In the last supper
he has knocked over the salt with his right elbow.
With Holofernes' head in one hand, and a
sabre in the other.
Is represented as looking out of the ark
window at a dove, which is flying to the ark,
olive branch in its beak.
Is represented as arrayed in a rich tunic
and crowned. A harp is placed behind him.
Is represented in royal robes, standing
under an arch.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894