Tag Archives: fleur de lys


Flowers are one of the most commonly used symbols in cemeteries, and during the 17th century it was so popular that almost every flower had a symbolic meaning. One of the most popular cemetery flowers is the Lily. It symbolizes immortality, the restoration of innocence and purity after death.


Life is like a blooming flower, never meant to be permanent.

The first Lily appeared when Eve shed a tear after being banished from the Garden of Eden. As a Christian symbol it is also associated with the Virgin Mary and often found on the graves of women.


The opening blossom lovely was to view
And to his parents promised comfort true
Submissively their loss they do deplore
And humbly bow unto Almighty power.

There are many variations of the plant genus Lily. The flower known as the Easter Lily has become symbolic of Christ’s resurrection although there is no historical connection. It is also known as the Madonna Lily representing the Annunciation.

The rare symbol of a Lily with a sword represents guilt and innocence. Christ, as the judge of the world, appeared with a sword and a Lily in his mouth.

A Calla Lily symbolizes marriage

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The Lily Of The Valley was used to honor Christ and symbolize that He is “the Rose of Sharon, and the Lily of the Valleys.” (Song of Solomon 2:1). It symbolizes Humility; innocence; Purity; Rebirth; and the Return of happiness.

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In France the Fleur De Lys, considered a stylized Lily, was a royal emblem. The three lobes represent the trinity and perfection.

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The Patonce Crosses

The Patonce cross refers to any cross which has expanded ends and as such includes the Patee cross, the Fleury or Gothic cross, and the Botonee cross.


The Botonee cross has at each end a trefoil (three rounded lobes) which represent faith, wisdom and charity. In Christianity the three petals represent the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit with a total of 12 petals symbolizing the 12 apostles.

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Sweet spirit dear a sad farewell
For we shall meet again
The place where happy souls do dwell
Is free from toil and pain. – 1832

This cross is decorated with Christ on the cross, six pointed stars at each end and on the base, a crescent moon.



Botonee poppy

A poppy grows at the base of the above image representing Eternal sleep, Peace and Rest.

And he asked who gathered this flower
And the gardener answered the Master
And his fellow servant held his peace.

The ends of a Gothic cross, also known as a Fleury cross, are more open and flare out. It represents the adult Christian and is occasionally found with flowers at the end e.g. Fleur de Lys.

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Unto Thy faithful, O Lord
Life is changed not taken away
They die in Jesus and are blest
How kind their slumbers are
From sufferings and from sins released
And freed from every snare. – 1801

The Patee cross is not indented to form lobes but is incorporated into the Patonce family because its arms narrow towards the center. This cross is often embroidered on altar and pulpit hangings.

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Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord
But again I hope to meet him
When the day of life is fled
And in Heaven with joy to greet him
Where no farewell tears are shed

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