The Red Cardinal Symbolism: Biblical And Spiritual Meaning

The red cardinal is a favorite bird for many people. Its bright red feathers are attractive and its song is cheerful, but do you know what the red cardinal really means? The Bible is filled with rich symbolism helping to better describe spiritual truth by comparing it to familiar earthly settings.

Birds have long been portrayed as having spiritual significance. Does the red cardinal carry biblical meaning and significance? This article will help you understand the traditions and spiritual interpretations concerning the presence of cardinals.

2 cardinals

There are several thousands of common beliefs when it comes to birds, and the most common among them is the red cardinal. Red cardinals are generally believed to be spiritual messengers connecting earth and heaven.

People always saw cardinals as a beautiful symbol of hope in the darkness. Another popular belief is that people who have died come back to life as cardinals. This bird has been around for a long time. Different cultures had different interpretations of why they are here, but they are all beautiful to look at.

red cardinal bible

What’s Being Said About the Cardinal in the Bible

It may not surprise you to learn that birds have long been portrayed as having spiritual significance in scripture. In fact, there are over 150 references in the Bible of various types of birds mentioned by name or type (Psalms 84:11). Birds signify life-giving rain from heaven, joyous singing at Jesus’ resurrection, and they even carried word back to King David about his son’s death (II Samuel 12:15-18).

Some examples are:

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  • Matthew 10:16 “Be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”
  • Luke 12:24 “Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap.”
  • Matthew 23:37 “I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks.”
  • Genesis 8:11 “And the dove came back to Noah in the evening.”
  • Psalm 50:11 “I know every bird in the mountains.”
  • Isaiah 40:31 “They who wait for the Lord … shall mount up with wings like eagles.”

Entryway between Earth and Spirit

The word cardinal is derived from the Latin word “cardo”, which means hinge. Much like a door hinge, the cardinal is represented as an entryway between earth and spirit. They carry the message to and fro.

The Holy Spirit is described as a red cardinal as He renders two elements, white light, and red flames. White light depicts the purity and peace in the light of the spirit, and red flames represent fire elements.

The Blood of Christ


“By His blood, we are freed from sin to serve the living God, to glorify Him, and to enjoy Him forever.”

– 2 Corinthians 5:17

Also, red cardinals are symbolized the living blood of Jesus Christ. In the Christian context, both the Blood of Jesus and Cardinals are used as symbols of vitality, and that vitality is everlasting. Scripture clearly says:

The red cardinal represents life, hope, life, and restoration. 

Are Cardinals representing God?

The common belief which has been traded from generation to generation is that the “Red cardinal represents God”. However, when doing the reality check with the Bible there is no direct reference to it.

cardinals representing god

Meanwhile, there are several instances throughout Scripture that mentions things being red like the blood of Jesus Christ and the scarlet cord which the Rahab dangled from her window to safeguard Joshua and his team in Jericho. However, these scripture references highlight the red color; there isn’t anything that alludes straightforwardly to the red cardinal bird. 

By the way, we also wrote about the dead cardinal meaning, in case you’re interested.

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What Does it Mean When God Sends Cardinals – is a Cardinal a sign from God?

There is an old tradition quoting, “When a red cardinal visits your yard, it’s a visitor from heaven”. People usually ponder, does the cardinal is a sign from God, and what is the red cardinal biblical meaning. What does it mean when God sends a red cardinal to your house?


The red cardinal bird symbolizes the phases of restoring when going through great difficulties with greater hope in God. The red cardinal birds are viewed as the symbols of keeping faith irrespective of the tough times, which comes in our life. They remind us to glue with the Lord even in times of despair.

It is said that one can notice the cardinal spiritual symbolism comes at times of great pressure and distress. Their arrival signifies that our life would be restored and will be filled with colors and vitality. They tend to extend their support for your state of mind to realize your role as a person in society.

is a cardinal a sign from God?

The bright red color emphasizes the vicious cycle of human life, and irrespective of your current stage, you will surely get a chance to restore, revitalize and continue with the journey of life with renewed levels of energy.

The red cardinals would cheer you and would instill hope – they call you to deviate from your routine, ordinary life of sorrow and would lift your soul.

The Bible is the source for Christians to believe anything or to follow because the Scriptures are God-breathed. Bible never said any signs of cardinal and looking for signs of cardinal wouldn’t please God. 

Does God Send Birds as Signs?

Does God send birds as signs

It is undeniable that God has used birds and animals throughout the scripture as a sign to intimate or teach humans about his will. Even Jesus, when He stood up from the rivers of Jordan after baptizing Holy Spirit in the form of a dove sat on Him.

God used a rooster to let know peter about his denial of Christ and we can say several instances. A dove was used by Noah to check whether the flood water has drained.

God has used eagles, doves, sparrows, ravens, and many other kinds of birds to demonstrate his love, care, and restoration for his nation Israel. It has been found that there are around 300 verses in the Bible that say about birds.

god-like cardinal

Out of these more than a hundred saying uses the word “fowl” or “bird” leaving the readers to guess about what the spices could be.

Lord has used birds fittingly to teach us spiritual lessons throughout the Scripture. These are a couple of verses in the Bible that directly denote birds. In the Lord put I my trust: how to say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?” (Ps. 11: 1).

Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight” (Prov. 26:2) The birds of the air have nests; … but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matt. 8:20)

cardinal green background

There are many occurrences in the scripture where birds are specifically talked about. Jesus Christ used birds in many of his parables but there are no instances of the Holy Bible using red cardinal birds in any form. 

If you are personally reminded of what Jesus has done for you by a red cardinal, I believe that he would be honored if you thought of him and thanked him at that moment (I would think that is the real red cardinal biblical meaning).

When it comes to a deeper study of God, sending us reminders from loved ones in heaven, that is for another time.

Read here also about the biblical meaning of seeing a blue jay and we also compared the cardinal vs blue jay.

[Video] Prophetic Meaning of Red Cardinals

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Richard Alois
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8 thoughts on “The Red Cardinal Symbolism: Biblical And Spiritual Meaning”

  1. My son just got a tattoo of a red cardinal in memory of his best friend who passed away very young. I looked up Red Cardinal and came across this lovely article. Paul was a true Christian and now I know why Kevin got this tattoo.

    How can I share this lovely article to my FB page?

  2. That was beautiful. I recently lost my husband of 23 years, we were best friends for 30 years so we felt we were soul mates.
    I got into a depression and I am trying to find my way out. His daughter in law, bless her heart, sent me a birthday gift and it was, “are you ready?” A beautiful stained glass photo of a cardinal.
    When I opened it, I felt breathless. I knew there was a meaning behind he cardinal but had to look it up and that is when I found you.
    Thank you so very much

  3. I had just finished praying for a family member and walked to my back door screen taking in all of God’s creation and crying over the fact that He saved me, when suddenly a Red Cardinal landed on my clothesline just a few feet away! Immediately I ran to look this up and found this article, Holy Spirit of Jesus thank you so much for everything that You do for us each and everyday in sickness and in health. Hallelujah in Christ

  4. I was just thinking about finding the right direction for a great job. My thoughts were God has always provided for me, and it will be at the right time, and place. I opened my curtains and saw this red cardinal looking directly at me and then he flew closer to the window at me. After reading the meaning, I was praising God and felt a relief of gratification. I’m looking forward to a brighter future, everything is going to be alright. Thank you Lord…Amen

  5. tomorrow wll be 22 years snce my wonderful husband passed was sttng n my screen almost n tears and all of a sudden a red cardnal perched on the tree next to my screen room and for the longest tme just seemed to stare at me

  6. The Lord has always spoken to me in nature. I absolutely love birds and purchased 2 bird feeders and hung them out my balcony window. You cannot rush God’s creation, and finally on Palm Sunday that’s when the beautiful and majestic Red Cardinal paid me a visit! He landed on the perch and was just so regal!

    I kept saying Praise The Lord! Then it snowed on April 1st and the Red Cardinal visited again and the backdrop of the white snow with his intense red was breathtaking. Thank You Lord Jesus for always speaking to me and showing your love towards me. You know what makes me smile Lord Jesus! I praise Your Holy Name Forever & Ever! I love You Lord Jesus! Amen & Amen!

  7. I was extremely relieved to come across your article. It becomes difficult to find information in a time where people look to unhealthy avenues to decipher.
    I had prayed not 10 hours before and asked God for a sign that my dad was (in some capacity) around me. The following morning a cardinal came all the way under our patio, to the back windows and hovered a bit; he left and I’ve not seen another since.
    I feel God answered my prayer and it was His way of giving me strength, showing me love and lifting me up.
    PTL! ?

  8. I was walking in Nature, I looked up and was astounding by seeing 3 red cardinals playing the tree. It was breathtaking. When my husband tried to take a pic, the birds flew away. I heard in my Spirit “the Best lens are your eyes” Yesterday, my neighbor introduced herself to me and we started talking about feathers that her and I have seen. Then she brings up the 3 cardinals, she said it was in scripture. So I searched for it, and I see the article. Thank so much. I pray everyone Love and Peace forevermore ❤️?


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