Altar of Souls

altar of souls

The custom of burying relics of saints under an altar began with a misunderstanding of scripture: “I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God.” (Revelation 6:9)  This was loosely based on a pagan teaching, that the souls of those who are enlightened will become stars in heaven. The most recently deceased stand on the border of the sky, under the constellation of the Altar, which lies close to the horizon as seen from Mediterranean latitudes.

 

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