CCD News: The Legend of the Sand Dollar

It is difficult to find a shell so rich in symbolism as the sand dollar. The sand dollar is a flat-looking burrowing sea urchin. After the urchin is washed up on the beach and bleached by the sun, it looks like a large silver coin. A legend rich in Catholic symbolism developed about the sand dollar many years ago because of its distinct markings and etchings. The following poem, author unknown, was read to the class of Mary Flynn’s 3rd grade and MaryAnn Blumhagen’s 4th and 6th grades to describe what is found on the front and back of the Sand Dollar and then demonstrated how the details on the Sand Dollar corresponds to Jesus’ story: I love you.

The Legend of the Sand Dollar
That I would like to tell
Of the birth and death of Jesus Christ
Found in this lowly shell.

If you will examine closely,
You’ll see that you find here
Four nail holes and a fifth one
Made by a Roman’s spear.

On one side the Easter Lily,
Its center is the star
That appeared unto the shepherds
And led them from afar.

The Christmas Poinsettia
Etched on the other side
Reminds us of His birthday,
Our joyous Christmas tide.

Now break the center open
And here you will release
The five white doves awaiting
To spread good will and peace.

This simple little symbol,
Christ left for you and me.
To help to spread His Message
Through all eternity.

Happy Easter!

Mrs. Carol Mulkeen
Director of Religious Education