Ship at Sunset
Symbolism 0

The Barque of Peter

Christian art is full of symbols and deeper meaning. But, it helps to know what to look for and how to interpret it. From time to time, I’ll feature a different symbol on Sacred Art Scene. Today, we’ll discuss an article on Aleteia by Philip Kosloski on the meaning of ships in Christian art. The first sentence of the article drew me in with a quote from my patron Saint: Thérèse of Lisieux. In fact I have a different quote of hers printed on a journal and framed on my living room wall:

“The world’s thy ship and not thy home.” 

The idea is that our earthly world is not where we belong. Rather, it serves as a vehicle in our journey toward heaven. As Kosloski writes,

“[T]he Church is often called the “barque of Peter,” with the pope at the helm of the ship, leading it towards the eternal shores of Heaven.” 

Will you look at artwork with ships in the same way again?

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