This “IHS” is not what you think.

This “IHS” is not what you think.

By Fr. Henry Charles Umelechi

As a Christian, especially a Catholic, you may have wondered the meaning of the monogram “IHS” you have been seeing either in the vestments of priests and ministers, inscription infront of the altar, infront of the ambo for reading the Word in the church, at the church doors, etc.

The common assumption is that it is a Latin abbreviation for “Iesus Hominum Salvator,” which means Jesus Savior of mankind or of men in a generic sense.

However, this is not just an abbreviation but a Greek monogram from the first three letters of the name Jesus in Greek (ΙΗΣΟΥΣ), often used as a Christian emblem.

ΙΗΣΟΥΣ is Jesus in Greek capital letters. By Greek pronunciation, it becomes IHSOUS. “H” is pronounced like “e” in “egg.” When IHSOUS is transliterated to English it becomes “Iesous.”

But, it’s first three Greek capital letters are IHS.

IHS stands practically for the MOST HOLY NAME OF JESUS. The name which is above every other name, at which every knee must bow (Philippians 2:10).

It is this Jesus that is the savior of mankind. Let’s always give it the proper reverence.

Everyone must not get married. It’s not a do-or-die-affair.





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