DOVE, the English appellation of the genus Columbus, or Columba. Thus the stock-dove is Columbus or Columba terms, the ring-dove C. palumbus, the rock-dove C. livia, and the turtle-dove C. turtur. No very clear distinction is drawn be tween the words dove and pigeon, thus C. livia is often called the rock-pigeon instead of the rock-dove; vet Eetopistes migratorlus is never called the tory dove, but only the migratory pigeon.
Pl.: The order Columbe. Sometimes it Is made a sub-order of Rasores, in which case it is called Columbaeei or Gemitores.
The dove in Christian art is the sym bol of the Holy Ghost (Matt. iii : 16) ; as such, it is represented in its natural form, the body of a snowy whiteness, the beak and claws red, which is the color natural to those parts in white doves. The nimbus which always surrounds its head should be of a gold color, and di vided by a cross, which is either red or black. A radiance of light invests and
proceeds from the person of the dove, and is emblematical of the Divinity. It is also sometimes represented, in stained glass, with seven rays, termi nating in stars, significant of the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost. The dove is the emblem of love, simplicity, innocence, purity, mildness, compunction; holding an olive-branch, it is an emblem of peace. Doves were used in churches to serve three purposes: (1) Suspended over altars to serve as a pyx. (2) As a type or figure of the Holy Spirit over altars, baptisteries, and fonts. (3) As sym bolical ornaments. The dove is also an emblem of the human soul, and as such is seen issuing from the lips of dying martyrs and devout persons.