The central figure of Christianity, Jesus Christ, is regarded by Christians as the incarnate Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, and the prophesied Hebrew Messiah (anointed one, Deliverer of Israel). The name, Christ derives from the Greek translation from the Hebrew title, Messiah. Jesus is the Greek form for Joshua, which in Hebrew means "savior." Traditional Christian imagery evolved around the major events of Christ's life including his birth, passion, crucifixion, and resurrection.
The Holy Child of Atocha
Feast day: January 1
Patron saint of those unjustly imprisoned, protector of travelers, and rescuer of people in danger.
In the Spanish city of Atocha, a child, dressed as a pilgrim of the day, brought food and water to Christian prisoners, who were forbidden to receive visitors except those received from children. Attributes include a contemporary pilgrim's robe and cape, brimmed hat with a plume, sandals, a basket of flowers, shackles, and the pilgrim's staff with gourd symbolizing mercy, firmness and the correction of vices. The Niño de Atocha is usually seated in an armed chair flanked by vases of flowers.
The Precious Blood of Christ
Feast day (Corpus Christis): June 6
The lamb of God who sacrificed himself to take the sins of the world. Attributes include blood which spills into a chalice sitting on a book, and a well from which seven white lambs drink, referring to the Seven Sacraments.
The Eucharistic Man of Sorrows (Mystic Vintage)
Attributes include grapes and grape vines, symbolizing the wine, or blood of Christ. The blood, as in La Preciosa Sangre de Cristo, spills into a chalice and from there, into a well to catch the blood, from which seven white lambs drink, referring to the Seven Sacraments, as well as the seven seals from the Book of Revelations.
The Divine Face (Veronica's Veil)
Feast day: February 4
In the Apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus Veronica, touched by Jesus's suffering on His way to Mount Calvary, rushed to wipe His sweating, bleeding face with a veil or napkin. The Holy Face of the Lord wearing the crown of thorns was imprinted in the cloth. This image is believed to be the true likeness of Jesus's image. Attributes include Veronica holding the veil with the image of Christ's face imprinted upon it or the veil alone with the imprinted face of Christ.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus
Feast day: June 11
The cult of Jesus's physical Heart originated in the Middle Ages when a nun received a number of revelations and visions of the Lord telling her to spread the love of Jesus's Heart to human beings and that a liturgical feast should be kept in the honor of his Sacred Heart. One of the instructions refers to penance for the ingratitude of humankind: they should receive the Holy Communion frequently, especially on the first Friday of each month and by vigil, every Thursday night in remembrance of His agony and desertion in the garden of Gethsemane. It became a symbol for love, devotion, sorrow, understanding, humanity and joy. Attributes include the depiction of the half-length image of Jesus pulling his shirt aside and exposing a wounded flaming heart with a cross on the top and encircled by a crown of thorns over his breast. It can also appear over his shirt .
Feast day: May 30
The union of God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost into one indivisible entity. When representing the Oneness or the Unity of God, the three male figures are represented as identical triplets but distinct from each other by gestures, coloration of garment and attributes. Otherwise, the three Persons are depicted differently. God the Father is represented as an older man with white beard; God the Son younger with the cross or nailed to it, and the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit as rays of light or a dove. The representation of God the Father also includes a red sun on His breast and a royal scepter on His right hand. God the Son is more often placed on the left of the father showing the stigmata on his hands and feet and the Eucharistic lamb at the height of his breast. God the Holy Ghost is on right of the Father and universally represented as a dove, which is the symbol of purity and peace.
The Omnipotent Powerful Hand (The Five Persons)
The five members of the Holy family: Jesus, Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, and her parents, St. Anne and St. Joachim. Often confused with the Holy Family, or La Sagrada Familia, because it includes the family, but differs in that God and the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, are present in the clouds above the family.
Feast day: December 26
The nuclear earthly family of Jesus the Child with Virgin Mary and St. Joseph. This earthly representation of the Holy Family is the counterpart of the Holy Trinity, the heavenly family composed of God the father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. Sometimes, the terrestrial and the heavenly family are represented in the same composition.