SYMBOLS Stories of cultural life.

IRIS / LILY / FLEUR-DE-LYS

Though the iris and lily are different plants, in funerary arts they may be mistaken for each other.  

As a plant, the iris symbolizes good news and luck, though in funerary arts it is sometimes related to the Virgin and maternity (Motherhood, Our Lady).  

The lily is also a symbol of motherhood. The Roman Catholic Church ascribed the lily as the special emblem of Virgin Mary. It is often used on women’s graves. The use of lilies at funerals symbolizes the restored innocence of the soul at death.  

Due to their three petals, these flowers are also used to represent the Holy Trinity.  

It is also said that its three upright petals symbolize faith, valour and wisdom.  

In fact, as the “Fleur-de-Lys”, during the Middle Ages (12th century) the lily became linked to French Monarchy and then became one of the most recognised symbols in heraldry and History. It was incorporated later on by English Kings on their coats of arms to emphasize their claims to the throne of France. It may also be used as a symbol to represent a noble family.  

The iris got its name from the Greek goddess of the rainbow, Iris. She was the messenger of the gods, and would ride on the rainbow to and from Earth in her beautiful, multicoloured robes. She acted as the link between heaven and earth. It is said that irises were planted at the graves of women. People believed that they would summon the goddess to guide the souls in their journey to heaven.

Keywords:
IRIS
LILY
FLEUR-DE-LYS
FLEUR DE LYS
FLEURDELYS

Linked guides and points map