The white lily is a sign of purity and is one of the symbols associated with St Catherine of Siena. The lily has been an important flower since Biblical times. Like other flowers the lily too has different flower meanings.
Fra Bartolommeo did a beautiful painting of St. Catherine of Siena with a lily. She is wearing the black and white robes of the Dominican Order. St. Catherine lived in Italy between 1347 and 1380.
According to the Bible, petals of the white lily signify virginity, purity and the radiant soul of the Virgin Mary. This notion of purity had been with the lily flower since the ancient days. The Chinese and the Greeks had linked the white lily to purity. For the ancient Egyptians the lily meant growth and fertility. To the Chinese, the symbolic meaning of the lily is summer, good luck and abundance.