The pelican is associated with Lent as a symbol of Jesus' giving of his life for the world's redemption.
Legend says that when food cannot be found for her young, a mother pelican will pierce her own chest to provide nourishing blood to feed them.
The pelican is also a symbol for charity. For example, in the Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey, the pelican is featured on its Caritas Award given annually "in recognition of outstanding service and love for humility."
Caritas International is a Catholic organization which helps the poor around the world. Founded in Germany in 1897, Caritas has been called the Church's official voice when it comes to its teachings in the area of charitable work.
- Little Black Book, Diocese of Saginaw