“Receive the food, sweet as honey, of the Savior of the Saints, eat to satiety … you hold the Ichthys (Fish) in the palms of your hands. Please, give the fish, Lord and Savior as food.” — Autun Inscription

There’s an ancient Christian custom which represents Christ as a fish. And there’s a very rich reason for this symbolism, and it’s not simply because some disciples were fishermen! In Greek, the first letters of the words of the phrase “Jesus, Christ, Son of God, Savior” spell out “fish”: ichthys. Seeing a different symbolism in the fish, the medieval mystic Catherine of Siena reported a vision connecting fish and the Eucharist. Jesus says to Catherine in her Dialogue: “See, dearest daughter, in what an excellent state is the soul who receives, as she should, this Bread of Life, this Food of the Angels. By receiving this Sacrament she dwells in me and I in her, as the fish in the sea, and the sea in the fish — thus do I dwell in the soul, and the soul in me — the Sea Pacific.”


Give us, heavenly Father, the fish to eat. We know you would not give your sons and daughters snakes when they ask for fish. May we be so united to him that we swim far and wide in his love, as effortlessly as fish swim in the sea. Amen.


O God, who in this wonderful Sacrament have left us a memorial of your Passion, grant us, we pray, so to revere the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood that we may always experience in ourselves the fruits of your redemption. Who live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

-Collect for the Feast of Corpus Christi, composed by St. Thomas Aquinas