Fisen, Bartholomew

Fisen, Bartholomew a Jesuit, was born at Liege inl 1591, and died at Lisle, June 26, 1649. He is the author of, Origo Prima Festi Conpor is Christi (Liege, 1628): — Historia Ecclesiae Leodiensis (ibid. 1642, 1696, 2 volumes, fol.). See Winer, Handbuch der theol. Lit. 1:619, 825; Jichler, Allgemeines

The fish is a symbol of almost universal occurrence in the painting and sculpture of the primitive Church. Like the dove or the lamb, it is used in more than one sense; but its nonscriptural or anagrammatic meaning was perhaps the most popular. SEE ICHTHYS. At so early a period as the middle of the 2d century, and under the continual dangers of persecution, the use of such a symbol for the person of the Lord was perfectly natural, as it would attract no notice from the outer world; and in the same manner, with even more obvious reasons, the form of the cross was frequently disguised up to the time of Constantine. But the mystic senses assigned to the emblem by various fathers often seem to the modern mind somewhat gratuitous and ill-founded. SEE FISHERMAN.

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