SPIRITUAL AND SYMBOLIC MEANING OF THE PELICAN
The Pelican was a symbol of piety for the Christian Church in the middle ages: It was believed that it pierced its own flesh and fed its young with its blood. Other legends say that the pelican kills its young, then seized with remorse, it cuts its chest with its beak. Its blood, pouring on the chicks, brings them back to life. These errors are probably coming from superficial observations. In iconography and Western Christian symbolism, the pelican symbolizes the sacrifice of Christ, who also shed his blood for others.
In medieval heraldry, the pelican is depicted as a bird with the beak of an eagle perched on its nest, piercing its chest. If it is above its fledglings, it is described as "a pelican of piety."
In Hebrew, the word pelican comes from the breakdown of the name Abraham (Ab = father and Rarham = pelican). Hence the Hebrew symbolism, Abraham: Father Pelican or the merciful Father.
The pelican perched on a nest-shaped crown of thorns; the side opens to feed its chicks, flesh of its flesh: it is the emblem of the sacrificed Christ. Thus, it is no longer a legend or error, but a symbolism attached to a linguistic construction for the Christian church.
The Pelican is the symbol of the Apostolic Ministry.