Pagan Symbols

Why in St. Peter’s square, the symbol of Baal is within the symbol of Ishtar, and at the center is an Egyptian obelisk, all representing pagan sun worship? Why would they move two Egyptian obelisks to St. Peter Basilica and St. John Lateran?

Before I give my proper reply, let me just ask:

  1. What are these symbols of Baal and Ishtar?
  2. Have you ever looked at the top of these obelisks? If so, what can you see?

A four pointed star within a circle which is within a eight pointed star with in a circle. In the pavement, the obelisk is in the center.

There is a cross at the top of the Obelisk.

Maybe the pavers just used that design and had no idea they were similar to pagan symbols.
But the Obelisk is pagan, what was the thought process behind that. Most obelisks built in the United States were built by Freemasons. Pagans and the occult use the obelisk.

Some things I have read said the obelisks were refurbished and raised in Rome as a response to the Protestant Reformation. The timing my be about the time of the Counter-Reformation but it still doesn’t make sense.

The Obelisk was 2000 years old when the Roman Empire stole it from Egypt as part of a conquest. It is where it is because it has been there so long it is part of history and the Cross is on top to show that Christ conquers all … pagan Romans, pagan Egyptians, and our hard hearts.

No, the obelisks were moved. The obelisk in St. Peter’s Square was an archeological fete to move it. The obelisk in St. John Lateran Square was in pieces and was restored.

See that’s the part that doesn’t make sense. If the Romans had put them in there present locations, I could understand that, but that’s not how it happened.

How does restoring an obelisk, put a cross on top of it show Christianity conquers all.Why not leave the obelisk in pieces on the ground and built a cross above that site.

Why not live a life of Christian virtue and praise Jesus Christ as a why of showing Christianity conquers all.

As I understand it from memory the Roman Emperor/s carried loads of stuff back from all over the world as war loot. Some of these Egyptian obelisks are massive and carved from a single block of stone, very valuable, very difficult to transport from Egypt to ancient Rome and so they were a status symbol of the power and wealth and might of pagan Rome and her Emperors. They must have been moved during or after Berninis day, as he designed the circular columned area outside St.Peters. If I remember correctly a Pope ordered the placement of these Tall Monuments outside Significant Catholic Sites to aid unfamilliar pilgrims to Rome find these important religous sites.

You need to remember that the Catholic Church traces its roots back to the Roman empire, and until 19th century, the concept of the Empire had a powerful hold on the imagination of Europe. Therefore, having symbols of the Roman Empire, like obilisk’s stolen from Egypt, but with Christian imagery imposed on them shows the victory of Christ over the Empire.

How does restoring an obelisk, put a cross on top of it show Christianity conquers all.Why not leave the obelisk in pieces on the ground and built a cross above that site.

Because an obelisk is much more impressive it is standing.

Why not live a life of Christian virtue and praise Jesus Christ as a why of showing Christianity conquers all.

Why is it an either/or? Can’t it be both?


Bill

Why are half the churches in Rome built right on top of pagan temples? It’s to show the triumph of Christianity over paganism. The new religion has literally crushed the old one.

Same thing.

Do the Egyptians want it back?:smiley:

Shhhhhhhh!

It seems by your question that you believe Catholics do not live a life of Christian virtue and prais Jesus Christ…Straighten out that misconception and maybe you’ll be able to understand a whole lot more about Catholicism. God bless.

Why do Christians where wedding rings? They’re of pagan origin. Why do Christians follow the days of the week and months of the year? They’re named after pagan gods. Ditto the planets in the solar system. Do you acknowledge those?

“Pagan” doesn’t necessarily translate into “evil and Satanic”. It’s simply part of history. It doesn’t negate our worship of the One True Triune God.

In Christ,

Ellen

And what does that mean? :wink:

Maybe the pavers just used that design and had no idea they were similar to pagan symbols.
But the Obelisk is pagan, what was the thought process behind that. Most obelisks built in the United States were built by Freemasons. Pagans and the occult use the obelisk.

Some things I have read said the obelisks were refurbished and raised in Rome as a response to the Protestant Reformation. The timing my be about the time of the Counter-Reformation but it still doesn’t make sense.

So…? Just because ‘pagans’ use something does not automatically mean that they’re evil.

I’ll just tell you about the obelisk at St. Peter’s. It was originally erected in Heliopolis by an unknown pharaoh of the Fifth dynasty of Egypt. The Emperor Augustus had it moved to the Julian Forum of Alexandria, where it stood until A.D. 37, when Caligula ordered the forum demolished and the obelisk transferred to Rome. He placed it in the center of the Circus, where it would preside over Nero’s countless brutal games and Christian executions. This obelisk is thus one silent witness to all those countless Christian martyrs who shed their blood for the faith within the Circus - which is why it was considered to be rather special.

BTW, the obelisk now has these inscriptions. Here are three out of four:

Christus Vincit,
Christus Regnat,
Christus Imperat.
Christus ab omni malo
Plebem suam
Defendat.

Ecce Crux Domini,
Fugite
Partes adversae.
Vicit Leo de Tribu Juda.

Sixtus V Pont[ifex] Max[imus]
Obeliscum Vaticanum
Di*s gentium
Impio cultu dicatum
Ad Apostolorum limina
Operoso labore transtulit
Anno M.D.LXXXVI. Pont II.

Christ conquers, Christ reigns, Christ commands. Christ defends His people from all evil.” “Behold the Cross of the Lord; flee you adversaries. The Lion of Judah has conquered.” Can’t get more Christian than that. :wink:

Sixtus V, Supreme Pontiff, with great effort moved the Vatican obelisk, once dedicated to the impious cult of the people of Dis (another name for the Roman god Pluto, later also applied to Satan; i.e. pagan gods), to the threshold of the Apostles in the second year of his pontificate, year 1586.”*

Case in point. In Exodus, God commands Moses to construct altars for the Tabernacle: the golden altar of incense and the brazen altar of sacrifice. Curiously, these altars have horns in them. Guess what? Horned altars are not unique to the Israelites. In many archeological digs in the Holy Land, a number horned altars have been found, many of them unrelated to Israel. For example:

http://img503.imageshack.us/img503/1504/ekronironiihornedaltars.jpg
Horned altars from Iron Age-II (10th-6th centuries BC) Ekron, modern-day Tel Miqne.


An altar at Beersheba, probably connected to a temple or cult center in the city. When Tel Be’er-Sheva was first excavated, archeologists discovered sandstone blocks in the walls of storehouses - most of the blocks used in the ancient city was made of limestone. They eventually took these blocks and reconstructed the altar, as shown here. It is thought that the altar was dismantled during the reforms of King Hezekiah in circa 8th century BC.

ADMIN: IMAGE REMOVED
An altar from Megiddo, dating 1000-900 BC and discovered in 1926 near a four-chambered gate and a casemate wall dated to the 10th century BC. This altar is too small for animal sacrifices and must have been used for sacrifices of wine, incense, or grain mixed with oil.

Now, just because the ‘pagan’ neighbors of Israel used horned altars does not make it automatically evil. After all, God Himself is the one who ordered their construction. :slight_smile:

Plus, sacrifice of animals and incense ain’t really a unique custom to the sons of Israel. Also, we have the Ark of the Covenant, functioning both as the receptacle of the Law and God’s portable throne-chair: well, we do have gods and Pharaohs in Ancient Egypt who are carried around in box-like litters or shrines too. Some find a parallel between the cherubim on the kapporet - loosely paraphrased as ‘mercy-seat’ - and the winged humans/human-animal hybrids/animals usually seen flanking or overshadowing the thrones of kings and gods in the Ancient Near East and Ancient Egypt as well (sometimes they are seen riding on them as well).

The Temple of Solomon sports many features which are also present in other Ancient Near Eastern temples, in part due to the Tyrian workers and craftsmen who helped built it: say, that ‘cherubim-palm tree-flower’ motif that decorated the interior walls, or the idea of having two big pillars in front of the entrance themselves. In layout, appearance and iconography, it would not have looked that much different from any other temple you can see in other areas. The Temple has for example the private, innermost sanctuary usually dubbed in scholarly parlance the adyton (Hebrew: debir) usually containing the cult image of the deity being worshipped inside the edifice (in the case of the Israelites, the one contained inside the the ‘Holy of Holies’ is the box which also served as the throne of their unseen God), a rectangular room called the cella (Hebrew: heikal), and a pronaos (aka ulam) or an outer hallway. A courtyard surrounding the god’s house, marked with stones, is also one common feature. Solomon’s Temple only differs in that the True God was worshipped in it!

All of the elements I have mentioned also exist among other, ‘pagan’ ANE cultures, but they are not in itself ‘evil’ or ‘satanic’ just because they were used by these peoples. Once again: ‘pagan’ usually does not automatically equal ‘evil’.

I’ve heard many fanciful theories about the matter, most of them imply that this “proves” the pagan roots of the Church. But the St. Peter’s website tells the story from the Catholic point of view: The obelisk was a “silent witness to the martyrdom of St. Peter and many other Christians.” This is likely the reason why it was moved to St. Peters. But this symbol of paganism now serves as a witness to the power of Christ. On the top of it, is not just a cross, but a piece of the True Cross.

St. Peter’s is part of the visible Church and uses visible means to speak to the people. But don’t kid yourself, millions of Catholics are living virtuous lives dedicated to Christ. Though tainted by recent scandals of a slight minority, the vast majority of the clergy lay down their lives for the people of Christ.

This measures up to my research, I keep a file on the obelisk just for this occaision!

The obelisks of Rome are a favorite among the more vicious anti-Catholic hate sites. They even use bible verses where God commands that they all be knocked down, and since there is one in the Vatican, it must prove that the Catholic Church is pagan. There is also an Egyptian obelisks in many cities in the world, including Washington D.C.
The following is from a book written by a non-Catholic Egyptologist. Notice there is no explanation as to why this particular obelisk is the only one in the world that has no (previous) inscriptions on it, and has never been broken.

The Obelisk in the Piazza di San Pietro

The obelisks of the Piazza San Pietro, Piazza dell’ Esuilino, and the Piazza del Quirinale are all uninscribed. Their dates, provenances, and the reasons they were left uninscribed are not known…Neither Flinders Petrie, nor any other excavator working in the ruins of Heliopolis, has ever found an obelisk, or even a small fragment of an obelisk, that was uninscribed. The sovereigns of ancient Egypt were ever eager to decorate monuments with their own names and with phrases proclaiming their own glory, no matter what the size of the monument. The only undecorated obelisks in Egypt were unfinished ones abandoned in their quarries, and in fact one of these decoration was already in progress. More probably, the uninscribed obelisks were quarried in Egypt by the Roman emperors expressly to be taken to Rome, although it is possible that they were left incomplete because of the untimely death of the pharaoh.

The Obelisk in the Piazza di San Pietro is important chiefly by its surroundings… It is made of red granite and stands 25.37 meters high. It was erected in the Julian Forum in Alexandria by order of Augustus and remained their until 37 A.D. when the Emperor Caligula ordered the forum demolished and the obelisk transferred to Rome. It was then erected in the Vatican Circus, and there it remained until its removal to the square before the Basilica of St. Peter (1586). Legend has it that in the Vatican Circus innumerable Christians, including St. Peter and that the reason this obelisk was not later overturned as were all the others in Rome was that was looked upon as the witness to the martyrdom of St. Peter.

Pope Sixtus V appointed engineer Domenico Fontana to move the obelisk from the Vatican Circus

April 28, 1586, Fontana and his men attended Mass at 2:AM, and later offered public prayers for the success of this feat.

Dedication ceremonies, Mass, and a procession with the entire papal court went to the obelisk. More prayers were offered and the obelisk was purified, and surmounted with a cross.
Obelisks of the World, by Labib Habachi, Scribner’s Sons, 1974, page 74-75

(Former Chief Inspector of Antiquities Labib Habachi is an Egyptian archeologist who has published several books on Egyptology, as well as articles in many journals.)

I would like to add here, that on the top of this Christianized pagan symbol, is a cross. Inside this cross, is a relic of the true cross. Here we have a stone monument that stood in the presence of hundreds of the earliest Christian martyrs containing a relic of the true cross. To accuse us of paganism is an insult to the deaths of the martyrs who refused to pay homage to Roman gods.

Of course, from a mundane sense, you had to remember that during the Renaissance, many people were fascinated by obelisks for artistic, architectural and historical reasons: especially since there was this craze for all things Egyptian since the late 15th-early 16th centuries in Italy. The wonders and wisdom of Egypt was the dream of many a man in the period; the relics of this great culture preserved in Europe, as well as descriptions by ancient authors, left these guys oohing and aahing in wonder.

Pope Sixtus V decided to move any obelisk that can be found in Rome, rebuild them if they are broken, and use them as focal points for some of the new streets he opened as part of his plan of urban development. Now what is interesting is, he all put a cross on top of them and even had them exorcised (this was in fact the case with the St. Peter’s Square obelisk)! Some reclamation project, huh? :smiley:

Currently, there are eight ancient Egyptian, five ancient Roman, (until 2005) one Axumite, and several modern-day obelisks (five of them are well-known) within the city of Rome, the obelisk capital of the world. And

A tribute to martyrs makes sense.

I could not figure out how a Church that has stood firm in morality in this modern secular-pagan world could worship with pagan symbols.

You do understand that St Peter’s Square is outside the Basilica, don’t you? And that, being outside the Basilica, the Square is not in fact a place of worship, but is a public square just like the Piazza Navona or any other public square in Rome?

Or did you imagine that there is a church in the world big enough to fit an Egyptian obelisk INSIDE it? :eek: :shrug:

And what if it WERE inside the Church? I’ve seen numerous churches, Catholic and non, that have their country’s flag inside. Does that mean those flags are used in worship, or else are themselves the object of idolatry (since one isn’t supposed to worship either a piece of cloth or the country it represents)? Of course not.

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