"Some medieval beastiaries, such as the 13th century Aberdeen Beastiary and Harley Beastiary, depict the mother both killing and reviving her chicks.Here is the description of the pelican from the Aberdeen Beastiary:It is devoted to its young. When it gives birth and the young begin to grow, they strike their parents in the face. But their parents, striking back, kill them. On the third day, however, the mother-bird, with a blow to her flank, opens up her side and lies on her young and lets her blood pour over the bodies of the dead, and so raises them from the dead."
"The image also found its way into literature ranging from prayers to plays. Thomas Aquinas, in a Eucharistic poem later used as a hymn, wrote this verse (in Edward Bouvier Pusey’s translation):
'Pelican of mercy,The pelican is the state bird of Louisiana, a state which needs the Lord's mercy after the recent floods of August 2016 literally raised the dead, and a state which, according to the Politico ratings of 2016, ranks 51st out of 50 (okay, they included D.C.) which is worse than terrible.
Jesus, Lord and God,
Cleanse me, wretched sinner,
in Thy Precious Blood:
Blood where one drop for human-kind outpoured
Might from all transgression have the world restored.'"
Pelican of Mercy...