An angel with an anchor is one of the oldest existing Christian symbols. Used primarily until the year 400 A.D., the image is taken directly from the Book of Hebrews 6:19-20… hope is “an anchor of the soul, sure & firm.” Just as an anchor maintains a ship steady, so does the Christian faith & early Christian cemeteries often used the symbol on tombs.
No one knows exactly why the anchor was replaced by other symbols in later years, but a revival began in the 1600s especially in cemeteries. Although not abundant in Recoleta Cemetery, a few angels with anchors can be found on the tops of domes or by vault entrances:
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