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Is This a Catholic (or Other Christian) Symbol?

 
JoHarrington
Posts: 1816
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on 09/03/2014

Sorry for the blurriness:


ologsinquito
Posts: 418
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on 09/03/2014

Jo, I don't recognize it.


frankbeswick
Posts: 79
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on 09/03/2014

I H S. Written in a way so fancy that even a lifelong Catholic, as I am, did not recognize it at first. The I is written as a cross. 

It is Catholic. It stands for Iesu Hoc Sacramentum, Jesus This Sacrament. This represents the reality of Christ present in and through the sacramental element of the host, the consecrated bread which becomes his body, in what Benedict the sixteenth called a transcendent mode of presence. 


frankbeswick
lobobrandon
Posts: 534
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on 09/03/2014

Recognized it immediately :) Then realized that Frank already explained about it. Btw, the one you posted is a bit too compact. It's usually on the host (Communion during mass) too. The three nails below represent the three during the crucifixion. 

I tried inserting an image: got this error: 

  • Ensure this value has at most 10000 characters (it has 16857).

http://www.clipartbest.com/cliparts/xTg/KMx/xTgKMx7Ec.png


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frankbeswick
Posts: 79
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on 09/03/2014

Where are the three nails? I cannot see them, but considering that my vision is less than it was, that's not surprising. 


frankbeswick
lobobrandon
Posts: 534
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on 09/03/2014

 

frankbeswick: 09/03/2014 - 08:41 AM

Where are the three nails? I cannot see them, but considering that my vision is less than it was, that's not surprising. 

It's usually represented as such. The image I posted has them (URL given). I've never seen one where the cross forms the I. So, I thought of posting one of the more traditional images.


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chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
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on 09/03/2014

I remember this from my German Catholic School days from the middle of the last century.

JHS = Jesus, Heiland, Seligmacher (loosely translated: Jesus, Healer, Blessed-Maker)


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ologsinquito
Posts: 418
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on 09/03/2014

Beautiful!


pkmcr
Posts: 458
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on 09/04/2014

It's actually a Christogram and is one of the monograms that is used for the Greek Spelling of Jesus Christ. It's actually the first three letters in Greek from memory.

IHS was adopted by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) as their symbol - we had Jesuits amongst our Professors at the Gregorian University when I was a seminarian in Rome.

Sorry to say that the use of Jesus Hominum Salvator (Jesus Saviour of Men) or other attributions of words to the letters is actually incorrect although perfectly understandable Smile

It's also worth noting that at various times people have attributed different meaning to the letters to serve their own purposes.

Edited to add - Brandon is absolutely right about the nails that appear on the Communion Wafter representing the Crucifixion of our Lord and Saviour.


JoHarrington
Posts: 1816
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on 09/04/2014

Thank you all.  This has been an education.

So I can safely assume that if I've found that symbol in a church, then the church is Catholic?  I also spotted a similar one on a gravestone, though the top letter hadn't turned into a cross.


pkmcr
Posts: 458
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on 09/04/2014

 

JoHarrington: 09/04/2014 - 05:45 AM

Thank you all.  This has been an education.

So I can safely assume that if I've found that symbol in a church, then the church is Catholic?  I also spotted a similar one on a gravestone, though the top letter hadn't turned into a cross.

Jo, no - it's a Christian symbol and can be frequently found in Protestant and Orthodox Churches as well


JoHarrington
Posts: 1816
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on 09/04/2014

Ah!  What about if there was a statue of Mary and baby Jesus there, on a table, with candles, and another by the pulpit?  Still any Christianity, or looking more Catholic?


lobobrandon
Posts: 534
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on 09/04/2014

Mother Mary that's more Catholic, but there are many denominations that believe in her too.


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pkmcr
Posts: 458
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on 09/04/2014

 

JoHarrington: 09/04/2014 - 09:01 AM

Ah!  What about if there was a statue of Mary and baby Jesus there, on a table, with candles, and another by the pulpit?  Still any Christianity, or looking more Catholic?

If they refer to Our Lady as The Blessed Virgin Mary probably Catholic or very High Church Of England


frankbeswick
Posts: 79
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on 09/04/2014

Some high Anglican Churches might have the sign. I visited one high, Anglo-Catholic church years ago, and the way that I could tell that it was not RC is that it was flying the cross of St George. It was in other ways totally Catholic. Generally the high Anglicans can be more Catholic than the Catholics are when it comes to ceremonies and vestments. 

Don't distinguish Christianity from Catholic. Catholic is one branch of Christianity, but too many evangelical Protestants have taken to calling themselves Christian, and this has led some people to think that Catholicism and Christianity are different. 

Reverence for Mary is found in Catholics, Old Catholics, Orthodox, High Anglican, Coptic and Nestorian. These latter two are rare in Britain. 


frankbeswick
pkmcr
Posts: 458
Message
on 09/04/2014

The biggest clue that you are in a Church of England Church is the Lectern - which is generally speaking in the form of an Eagle - based on the symbol of St John The Evangelist and quite often will be adorned with the words "Let he that has ears listen" or something along those lines.

My late Father was a convert to Catholicism so I have quite a lot of relatives on that side who are Protestants including several Vicars.


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