I. H. S.
A monogram, to which various meanings have been attached. Thus, these letters have been supposed to be the initials of In hoc signo, words which surrounded the cross seen by Constantine. But that inscription was in Greek; and besides, even in a Latin translation, the letter V, for vinces, would be required to complete it. The Church has generally accepted the monogram as containing the initials of Jesus Hominum Salvator, a Latin expression meaning Jesus the Savior of Men; a sense in which it has been adopted by the Jesuits, who have taken it in the form here illustrated, as the badge of their society. So, too, it is interpreted by the Masonic Templars, on whose banners it often appears. A later interpretation is advocated by the Cambridge Camden Society in a work published by them on the subject. In this work they contend that the monogram is of Greek origin, and is the first three letters of the Greek name, JESUS. But the second of these interpretations is the one most generally received.
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