The purple background and the palms indicate royalty and triumph. Cosmas and Damian at Rome gives a good idea of the manner in which this subject was represented.
Upon the rock he stands Who is the Rock of the Church, from which flow the four murmuring springs, the Evangelists, living rivers of Christ" (St. According to the "Liber Pontificalis" , Constantine the Great presented to the Lateran baptistery, which he founded, a golden statue of a lamb pouring water which was placed between two silver statues of Christ and St.
Hence he regards the frescoes of the milk-pail class as symbolic of the joys which the soul of the deceased possess in paradise.
The lamb, or sheep, symbol, then, of the first class described, has, in all catacomb paintings and on sarcophagi of the fourth century, always a meaning associated with the condition of the deceased after death.
The Divine unity of the Trinity is summarized in Christ. The lower zone, no longer in existence, of the famous fourth-century mosaic in the church of St.
The Trinity has at the same time Its own emblems; God is represented by the paternal voice, and by the Spirit; the Cross and the Lamb denote the Holy Victim. Pudenziana, Rome, originally represented the lamb on the mountain and probably also the twelve sheep; the existing sixth-century apse mosaic of Sts.
This interpretation is in harmony with an ancient liturgical prayer for the dead of the following tenor: "We pray God. May He be to him the Good Shepherd and carry him on His shoulders [to the fold] May He receive him in the following of the King, and grant him to participate in eternal joy in the Society of the saints " (Muratori, "Lit. Another cycle of catacomb paintings (not numerous) represents a lamb, or a sheep, with a milk-pail either on its back or suspended from a pastoral staff.
A unique fresco of this order shows a shepherd milking a sheep, while still another shows milk-pail on an altar between two sheep.
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Finally, another sixth-century monument, now forming part of the ciborium of St.
Mark's, Venice, presents a crucifixion scene with the two thieves nailed to the cross, while Christ is represented as a lamb, standing erect at the junction of the crossbeams.
The fresco the cemetery of Praetextatus, showing Susanna as a lamb between two wolves (the elders), is another example of the lamb as symbol of one of the ordinary faithful. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online.
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The signification which may be attached to this symbol, according to Wilpert's interpretation, is as follows.