Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Phoenix, an Emblem of our Resurrection

Many cults and religions have used the phoenix as a symbol. Who ever watched the London Olympic Games, would have seen it during the Closing Ceremony. However, St. Clement of Rome uses this symbolism to explain our future resurrection, in his First Epistle to the Corinthians (Chapter XXV), by repeating a fable used by the Father of History, Herodotus, Pliny, Tertullian and many Church Fathers:

“Let us consider that wonderful sign (of the resurrection) which takes place in Eastern lands, that is, in Arabia and the countries round about. These is a certain bird which is called a phoenix. This is the only one of its kind, and lives five hundred years. And when the time of its dissolution draws near that it must die, it builds itself a nest of frankincense, and myrrh, and other spices, into which, when the time is fulfilled, it enters and dies. But as the flesh decays a certain kind of worm is produced, which, being nourished by the juices of the dead bird, brings forth feathers. Then, when it has acquired strength, it takes up that nest in which are the bones of its parents, and bearing these it passes from the land of Arabia into Egypt, to the city called Heliopolis. And, in open day, flying in the sight of all men, it places them on the altar of the sun, and having done this, hastens back to its former adobe. The priests then inspect the registers of the dates, and find that it has returned exactly as the five hundredth year was completed”. 

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