Halos are orbs, denoting light, holiness, and majesty, that encircle the head of a known holy person, Blessed, a Saint in Heaven, Angels, and the Blessed Trinity in art. In the beginning of the Church, holy persons and God were not pictured with halos because the halo was of pagan derivation. But in the third century pagan art stopped using the halo and it was adopted and refined by the Church at that time, and now it is associated only with the Communion of Saints and the Divine Majesty.

There are various shapes of halos, each with its own significance, particularly as to degree of perfection in the Divine order, although most artists do not adhere strictly to this. This is acceptable as long as a form of halo that can only be associated with a particular person [Person] is not used for another. For example, God the Father does not have to have a Triangle Halo, but if the artist so chooses to use this form he cannot use it for anyone other than the First Person of the Blessed Trinity.

We will mention the last form [6] first: the Square Halo, which is used only in connection with a known holy person still living on earth. It is seldom used, but it would be as the simple halo, form 1 below, except for its four equal sides, rather than circular. The four sides represent the earth.

Another name for halo is nimbus.


Halo Form 1: Simple Orb

Denotes a Blessed or Saint; if the former, the orb is less defined and more irregular, called a radiating halo:

Please note that since this page was last updated, Bl. Eugene is now St. Eugene.
More recent images ought to depict him with a more pronounced halo.

Forward for Halo Forms 2 and 3, Click the Fern Frond to the Right.