New Catholic Dictionary – Abel the Patriarch

detail of the painting 'Cain and Abel'; 18th century by José Vergara Gimeno; Museu de Belles Arts de València, Spain; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

Second son of Adam and Eve, slain by his brother Cain because the latter’s oblation was not accepted favourably by God as was Abel’s. For his death in this way he is regarded as a type of Our Saviour. His death symbolizes, too, the bloody sacrifice of the Cross and the unbloody one of the altar. He is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass, and his name holds first place in the Litany for the Dying.

Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Abel the Patriarch”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 27 January 2016. Web. 27 September 2021. <>