Why a Pelican?

The CenterForLit logo features a pelican on the nest, feeding her chicks and shielding them with her outstretched wings.

In the Middle Ages, the pelican was thought to nourish her young in times of famine by plucking the feathers from her breast and feeding her starving chicks with her own heart's blood. The pelican thus became a popular symbol to medieval Christians of the grace of God in Christ, whose sacrifice provides nourishment and protection for His people.

We also think it's a pretty good symbol of the sacrifice, love and nourishment that homeschool parents provide their children on a daily basis. Though the image can be seen on stained glass windows and coats of arms throughout Christian Europe, we find a literary occurrence in Dante's Divine Comedy, where the poet speaks of Jesus as "our Pelican." (Paradiso, Canto XXV.113)

The image of the Dante’s pelican beautifully combines three ideas which lay at the heart of CenterForLit's identity: Our love for all things literary, our commitment to the work of homeschool parents, and our utter dependence on the free grace of God.

If this image resonates in your mind and heart, you might be a Pelican, too! Join our family of lit lovers and find encouragement in your noble work.