The Four Evangelists

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The Catholic Calvary Cemetery in Erie, Pennsylvania, has many tombs, gravestones, and markers imbued with Christian symbolism. One of the monuments in that cemetery has a display of all four of the Evangelists—St. Mark, St. John, St. Matthew, and St. Luke. The monument has four sides and in each alcove stands one of the Apostles. Under each statue of an Apostle is the symbol associated with Him.

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St. Mark is depicted as a winged lion. The emblem refers to Christ’s power and regal dignity.

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St. John is represented as an eagle because of his soaring writing in the Gospel that bears His name. Lecterns are often carved into an eagle in His honor.

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St. Matthew’s emblem depicts the Evangelist as a winged man to represent the divine inspiration that is possible for all of mankind. In statuary St. Matthew is often shown with a quill.

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St. Luke’s emblem is a winged ox. The Gospel written by St. Luke emphasized the sacrifice of Christ—the ox was an animal of sacrifice and associated with Luke because of his writings. The wings symbolize that Christ’s message is to travel throughout the globe. St. Luke is the patron saint of butchers.

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