There is a certain power that Catholic and Christian iconography possesses. Not only is the imagery filled with centuries of devotion, but the historical references within tattooing are fundamental to contemporary tattooing. This collection of religious tattoos focuses primarily on Catholic and Christian imagery: things like sacred hearts, clappers, Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ portraits. These design motifs have been used in religious tattoos almost since the beginning of modern tattooing, the techniques and traditional designs that we know today. If you flip through a Sailor Jerry book you'll no doubt see religious tattoos such as the Rock of Ages, clappers, which are hands in prayer, and much more.
Perhaps the reason that religious tattoos are so popular is that Western tattooing is, of course, based on Western ideals...this includes Christianity. When a sailor set out to sea, he would often adorn his body with imagery that he felt devoted to, or protected by...and what better image to get than your savior, Jesus Christ? Now, many tattooers today would agree that they aren't really affiliated with any particular religious fervor, but that doesn't mean they can't tattoo the hell out of religious tattoos. The history is there, the undeniable power of the iconography is also there.
It's true...many religious tattoos are some of the most powerful out there. Many artists will say that they feel extremely inspired when they look at religious art, things like Renaissance paintings, Bernini sculptures, imagery depicting magical experiences like stigmata or awakening from the dead. If the imagery doesn't get you, then the legends behind it certainly will. We hope these religious tattoos will inspire you no matter your background, however. The devotion, love and even just the imagery alone are enough to stir the coldest of hearts with the fire of a thousand souls.