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Can Anyone Identify This Symbol?

Can Anyone Identify This Symbol?

Posted: 7 Oct 2012 5:29PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 7 Oct 2012 5:31PM GMT
Surnames: o'brien
My O'Brien ancestors have the same symbol at their gravesite as shown on this photo. Could possibly be intertwined letters H I and S? Is it Irish symbolism or religious symbolism?

Any help offered is appreciated.
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Re: Can Anyone Identify This Symbol?

Posted: 7 Oct 2012 6:04PM GMT
Classification: Query
I. H. S.

On several headstones in the Churchyard is the sacred monogram I.H.S., and there appears to be a doubt as to the actual meaning of these letters. They are sometimes explained as the initial letters of Jesus Hominum Salvator, i.e., Jesus Saviour of Men; or as In Hac Salus, i.e., In this (Cross) is Salvation. I have even heard them explained as I Have Suffered. But, beautiful as these explanations may be, they are not correct. I.H.S. or I.H.C. as it is also written, is the abbreviated form of the Holy Name of Jesus in Greek. Another monogram commonly used in the early days of Christianity was XP, the first two letters of the name Christ in Greek. This-monogram is generally found with the P standing within the X, and when placed over a grave signifies "In Christ" or "Asleep in Christ;" and so I.H.S. on a headstone signifies that the person buried below is asleep "In Jesus." One of the oldest signs or symbols used for Christ was the Fish, because the Greek word for Fish contains the initial letters of "Jesus Christ, God's Son, Saviour." In the days when being a Christian meant death, a follower of Christ, when speaking to a chance acquaintance would, as it were carelessly, draw a fish with his stick on the ground; or would use the word in some such way that the person spoken to would recognise the sign, if a Christian; but if riot, would fail to notice anything unusual.

Re: Can Anyone Identify This Symbol?

Posted: 7 Oct 2012 10:08PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thank you so much for your thoughtful and thorough response. Very much appreciated!

Re: Can Anyone Identify This Symbol?

Posted: 16 Nov 2012 6:19PM GMT
Classification: Query
Yes...The letters IHS form the monogram of His holy name; they are derived from the Greek six-letter word for Jesus, thus the first three letters are: Iota, Eta, Sigma...Other interpretations of the characters are only pious fancies.jenny

Re: Can Anyone Identify This Symbol?

Posted: 3 Mar 2013 4:04PM GMT
Classification: Query
This is a frequently used monogram for the name Jesus, based on the first three letters of the Greek version of the name. You would see it carved or depicted in some other form in Christian churches, Roman Catholic, Anglican etc. You might see it on the font, lectern or pulpit for example. Try looking in some search engine for a fuller description.

Re: Can Anyone Identify This Symbol?

Posted: 4 Mar 2013 1:45AM GMT
Classification: Query
I remember, as a child, this symbol being on the communion table at our church. I was told that it meant In Hoc Signo Vinces.

Re: Can Anyone Identify This Symbol?

Posted: 2 Apr 2013 5:40PM GMT
Classification: Query
IHS is the initials or symbol for "Jesus" in the Catholic faith.

Re: Can Anyone Identify This Symbol?

Posted: 21 Sep 2013 6:14PM GMT
Classification: Query
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