The dove is a symbol of purity and peace. In the Old Testament story of the Flood, a dove returns to Noah's ark with an olive branch to show that the waters were going down and that God had made peace with the world.
When shown with a halo, a dove is also a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
This reliquary was made to hold the remains of St Scholastica. At the moment of her death, her twin brother St Benedict saw her soul rising to heaven in the form of a dove. Here the dove is poised gently on her fingertips.
- Reliquary of St Scholastica with a hand holding a dove
- Spain, about 1624
- Museum no. 332-1880