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The cross and the fish: Two profound symbols of Christianity
All religions have certain visual symbols, a kind of artistic representation of an outward expression in the form of objects or colours that often have hidden meanings. Christianity, too, has a set of visual religious symbols. The most commonly used Christian symbol is probably that of the cross but there are other 16 common other symbols related to Christianity.

MOST RELIGIONS believe that symbols help in the spiritual journey of the faithful; they can be points of focus that lead the followers into deeper existential focus, messages and meaning. The Christian symbolism consists of the following visuals: Anchor and the Cross; Ship; Fish; Pelican; Chi Ro; IC XC NIKA; IHS; Cross; Lamp; Crown of Laurels; Lion; Stag or Deer; Keys of the Kingdom; Peacock; Eagle; and Lily.

Many Christians believe that by reflecting and meditating upon each individual symbol we can have communion of past and present saints. Each symbol has a profound meaning and a treasury of thought locked into it.

The Cross is the most widely recognized symbols in the world because of worldwide spread of Christianity. But, among the symbols employed by the early Christians, the symbol of 'fish' seems to have been ranked first in importance. Its popularity among Christians was due principally to the famous acrostic consisting of the initial letters of five Greek words forming the word for fish (Ichthys). The acrostic of 'ICHTHYS' has the words that clearly described the character of Christ and the claim to worship of believers. Moreover, because of the miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes, it is also associated with the Holy Eucharist.

As is cited in the Boston Catholic Journal, "A simple cross is a sign of salvation and hope, a reminder of the jewel of our Christian faith, we are also comforted in our belief in its power to defend us from evil...All this can be seen as a prefiguring, a preparation of humanity for the greatest Cross and self giving in love that the world would ever know, Calvary."

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