The PHOENIX resembles an EAGLE with brilliantly colorful plumage (often scarlet and gold), and is portrayed rising from a raging fire. The story of the phoenix was told, with variations, from Ancient Egypt and Greece through to Asia and China. There was only ever one phoenix at any one time, and it lived for up to a thousand years. When the time came for it to die, it would make itself a nest of spices, and sing a song so beautiful that the sun god would stop to listen. Sparks from the sun would set the nest alight, consuming the old phoenix. A rejuvenated phoenix would then rise up from the flames. The uniqueness and splendor of the phoenix, its dying and rising again, and its symbolism of hope in the face of death, caused it to be adopted as a symbolism of hope in the face of death, caused it the Christian’s triumph over death. It also came to be a symbol of the undying and eternal City of Rome.


Taylor, R. (2007). How to read a church. Singpore: Tien Wah Press.

Photo taken by the blog’s author