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Pelican Photos

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In medieval Europe, the pelican was thought to be particularly attentive to her young, to the point of providing her own blood by wounding her own breast when no other food was available. As a result, the pelican became a symbol of the Passion of Jesus and of the Eucharist. A reference to this mythical characteristic is contained for example in the hymn by Saint Thomas Aquinas, "Adoro te devote" or "Humbly We Adore Thee", where in the penultimate verse he describes Christ as the "loving divine pelican". The self-sacrificial aspect of the pelican was re-inforced by the widely-read mediaeval bestiaries. The device of "a pelican in her piety" or "a pelican vulning (from Latin vulno to wound) herself" was used in heraldry. Another version of the myth is that the pelican used to kill its young then resurrect them with its blood, again analogous to the sacrifice of Jesus. The symbol of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) is a pelican, and for most of its existence the headquarters of the service was located at Pelican House in Dublin, Ireland. ~wiki~

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