symbloism of the skull
#1
What is the symbolism of the skull is old catholic paintings? I googled this can could not find much information.
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#2
The skull at the foot of the cross in Crucifixion paintings represents Adam.

That's all I've got.  :tiphat:
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#3
It has traditionally been believed that the Crucifixion occurred over the spot where Adam's bones lay. I'm going to guess that the skull is used to represent Adam's bones. Also Golgotha means "Place of the Skull."
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#4
It reminds us of our mortality.

[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTbGErLY3eKv1c-w2UQ_8J...lsCtNg-jWk]
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#5
From Wikipedia: Church of the Holy Sepulchre -- Calvary (Golgotha)

"Beneath the Calvary and the two chapels there, on the main floor, there is The Chapel of Adam. According to tradition, Jesus was crucified over the place where Adam's skull was buried. The Rock of Calvary is seen cracked through a window on the altar wall, the crack traditionally being said to be caused by the earthquake that occurred when Jesus died on the cross, and being said by more critical scholars to be the result of quarrying against a natural flaw in the rock."


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_t..._Sepulchre
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#6
Every good Catholic home should have skulls!  Mine has several!!  I even pray and meditate over them on occasion.

The Skull represents Tempus Fugit Memento Mori which means Time Flies Remember Death.  It reminds us of our mortality and that we should always be ready for death and judgment.  We should always be in a state of grace and always ready for death.  We will all die and we don’t know when.  You could die tonight in your sleep!  Are you in a state of Grace?

Always ready:

First Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Thessalonians Chapter 5 Wrote:[1] But of the times and moments, brethren, you need not, that we should write to you; [2] For yourselves know perfectly, that the day of the Lord shall so come, as a thief in the night. [3] For when they shall say, peace and security; then shall sudden destruction come upon them, as the pains upon her that is with child, and they shall not escape. [4] But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. [5] For all you are the children of light, and children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

[6] Therefore, let us not sleep, as others do; but let us watch, and be sober. [7] For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that are drunk, are drunk in the night. [8] But let us, who are of the day, be sober, having on the breastplate of faith and charity, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. [9] For God hath not appointed us unto wrath, but unto the purchasing of salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, [10] Who died for us; that, whether we watch or sleep, we may live together with him.

Also, legend has it that Adam was buried on the same spot on Calvary (also known as Golgotha which means “Place of the Skull”) that Christ was crucified.  Here is an actual real pic of Calvary:

[Image: golgotha.jpg]

What does the pic look like?  A skull!

Christ is the new Adam so it is highly symbolic that one dies where the other is buried. 

New Adam:

First Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Corinthians 15:45 Wrote:The first man Adam was made into a living soul; the last Adam into a quickening spirit.

Christ being crucified on top of Adam’s burial site is also the reason why the Corpse on a Traditional Crucifix always sits upon a skull.  Christ being over or on top of the skull also has the additional symbolism of Christ’s literal victory over death.  Christ and Mary will undo what Adam and Eve did.  Christ’s death (sacrifice) is over and above Adam’s death (sin).

Victory over Sin & Death:

First Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Corinthians 15 Wrote:[56] Now the sting of death is sin: and the power of sin is the law. [57] But thanks be to God, who hath given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. [58] Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast and unmoveable; always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

So, in brief, the skull in Catholicism represents the follow:
1. Our Mortality
2. Christ being the new Adam
3. Christ’s victory over death


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