Parables and Images Try to Explain the Trinity

 1. The most traditional and popular explanation of the Trinity is St. Patrick’s description

The Trinity is like the cloverleaf with three separate sections yet part of the same leaf.



I arise today

Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation

St. Patrick (ca. 377)

Christian Orthodox handpainted icons made by artist/iconographer..Tamara Rigishvili

2. I like this modern analogy, which I read about decades ago and never forgot

The Father is the light  bulb on the ceiling; the source of all light

the Holy Spirit is the wiring which connects the Almighty with us on earth and

Jesus is the light switch; the way we activate our connection to God.


images (14)images (15)

3. Someone left a comment on my blog three years ago and this is my favorite analogy of the Trinity.


Picture a glass table with a three-legged stool sitting on top.

Taking in the scene we can see the entire stool and understand that it is one piece of furniture with three legs.

However what if a young child was blindfolded and then guided to sit under the table. This child has never seen a stool.

When asked what he can see when the blindfold is removed and without moving his head or his eyes, he would describe three flat, separate circles.

Now try explaining to him that a three-dimensional object rested on his ceiling.

We are that toddler who cannot grasp what we cannot see with our naked eyes.


St. Ignatius interior – Holy Trinity Window close-up by John.Workman,
Stained glass window showing the Holy Trinity crafted for a private residence in Houston, Texas
Natalya Rusetska -New Testament Trinity
Masaccio, 1425
Masaccio, 1425











The Trinity  by Fr. John Giuliani

2 thoughts on “Parables and Images Try to Explain the Trinity

  1. Have you read the great new Catholic book Nicholas Gilroy Our Lady and the Guardian? Fantastic new Catholic book that celebrates our faith with joy! Great for kids and Moms! God Bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

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