The Chrismon IHS is a Christogram, a monogram or combination of letters that makes an abbreviation for the name of Jesus Christ. The IHS is traditionally used as a religious symbol or Chrismon in the Christian Church.
Contrary to the belief, the meaning of IHS is not, In His Service, though the message contained in that idea is actually a good thought. We should be in Jesus’ service.
In actuality, IHS comes from the Greek. It is an abbreviation of the name IHΣΟΥΣ which is the Greek spelling of Jesus.
The Eastern Orthodox Church arranges the letters or letters similar, into a cross. The letters used are the first letters of Christ or Jesus Christ in the Greek language.
In the West, the “IHS” Christogram appeared first on coins during the time of Justinian II. This took place during the 7th and 8th centuries A.D. The monogram appeared using both “IHS” and “IHC.”
Within the Roman Catholic faith, Jesuits adopted IHS as its emblem during the 1600s.
As with Chrismons, we have already seen, IHS also is attached to legend surrounding the Roman Emperor Constantine. It is said that before the battle against Maxentius in 312 A.D. Constantine had a vision of the “IHS” inscription on a cross.
Some commentators believe the abbreviation “IHS” actually came from Egyptian mythology. Present knowledge, however, is unable to confirm this understanding.
This Chrismon, as with the Chi Rho, points us toward the one for whom we journey to Bethlehem each Advent. IHS points us to Jesus.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
With Joy and Thankfulness,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved