Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Name of Jesus

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. This feast day has it's origin with St. Bernardine of Siena in the 15th century. The name of Jesus has been reverenced from the earliest days of Christianity and really is an extension of the Second Commandment.

In Christian art, the name of Jesus is often represented by certain letters. We call these Christograms.

Here are some we might see on a regular basis:
1. IHS or IHC or JHS - (we see this a lot around all things Jesuit) it's the letters of the name of Jesus written in Greek. I don't have a Greek font on my computer so the letters would be IHSOUS. (Sometimes, Is were written as Js. And the difference between the S and the C has to do with whether or not it's the Greek capital letter or lower case.)
2. INXI or NIKA - again, Greek letters representing Greek words that mean "Jesus Christ Conquers".
3. XP - these are the Greek letters chi and rho. These are the first two letters of the word Christ written in Greek.

For our prayer today, we can take a few minutes and offer the Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus. Click here for that litany and prayer.

Peace to you today.

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