Colombe de la Paix

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Saturday 27th September 2008

It seemed as if the whole world was conspiring against me to get my tattoo. Like God set up hindrances to show me that He did not want me to get this. So naturally, I went in search for signs- permission if you will. I came across a passage from the Old Testament:

26 ‘You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying.27 You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard. 28 ‘You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD. 29 ‘Do not profane your daughter by making her a harlot, so that the land will not fall to harlotry and the land become full of lewdness. 30 ‘You shall keep My sabbaths and revere My sanctuary; I am the LORD. 31 ‘Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 19:26–31 — New American Standard

At first glance, it appears as though God prohibits the modification of the human body. However, closer inspection of the text, particularly putting this passage in the BC context, we see that this is set in a time of rampant paganism and idolatry. God reiterates his covenant with his chosen people and reminds them to stay steadfast in His love. The practices he speaks about such as divination, selling your daughter’s body and making markings on the body were practices in religious groups that surrounded Israel. The tattoo markings that are referred to in this passage is not the modern interpretation of “the use of the human body as a canvas”, but of cuttings in the flesh to mourn the death of a relative. The word tattoo used in the Bible translated into Hebrew is qa aqa, which literally means “to cut”.

Furthermore, as a Christian, I do believe in the Old Testament and its teachings. However, as a Catholic, I believe that the Christ Jesus’ coming revolutionized the faith. I still believe strongly in teachings such as the 10 Commandments, yet am not bound to restrictions placed by the Old Testament such as eating pork, the preparation of food and eating cheese!


You may think that I am just trying to justify myself, but I truly believe that God has given me His blessing and that I am merely exercising the God-given right to choose. I also believe that I got this tattoo not as a tribute to non-Christianity, but to make a tangible sign of my faith through my choice of tattoo and location.

So without further ado, I got myself a dove on my just above my heel/ ankle. I chose this because a dove has so many beautiful meanings for me. First and foremost, the dove is symbolic of the Holy Spirit and a reminder of its omnipresence. Very fitting after World Youth Day.

“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses to the ends of the earth

Acts 1:8

The dove is also a Christian symbol of peace and freedom- stemming from the story of Noah’s ark. And of God’s covenant with his chosen people. The image of the dove in flight is symbolizes that it is continuously striving towards and constantly looking towards a more hopeful and peaceful future. Artists often use the dove as a symbol of peace like Picasso’s “Child with Dove” and “The Old and New Year”. My interpretation of the latter is that Picasso used the doves to symbolize beginning, individual growth and reform. In a sense, change of ways. This has led me to believe that the dove is also symbolic of purity.

It is also a symbol of love, particularly true love. The mythological Greek Goddess of love, Aphrodite, kept a dove as a pet. In addition, biologically, the dove “mates for life”. Soul mates! Western culture especially sees “turtledoves” as a symbol for love, evident in their use in wedding ceremonies.

The placement of my tattoo on (not quite) my ankle/ heel is symbolic of my own weakness. Achilles heel. The acknowledgment that yes, I have fallen, am falling and will fall. It is a reminder to continue striving for purity and peace. It is a reminder of God’s love and His gift of freedom. And despite my shortcomings,

God will love me regardless

He will overcome any weakness

He will provide.


Written by Candice

September 28, 2008 at 12:16 am

Posted in Think.

2 Responses

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    September 30, 2008 at 12:02 am

  2. yoo saw your tat at church and i assumed u had it for along time .. apparently not so. lol your blogs = study break for tonight..


    October 7, 2008 at 8:28 pm

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