Iesus Hominum Salvator

Re-reading  Ashok’s blog on Loyola post about Fr. Pulikkal’s four letter word, awoke the curious cat in me and send me on a small hunt to find other catchprases and acronyms i have come across at Loyola. This is a bit about other symbols associated with my alma matter.
One i very vividly remember was JHS. How not to? seeing that it is written across the school emblem, painted on the main building, on the school flags and on the buses. What does IHS mean? Ever wondered?


For that you need to know what a christogram is. A Christogram is a monogram or combination of letters which forms an abbreviation for the name of Jesus Christ, and is traditionally used as a Christian symbol. The most commonly encountered Christogram is the X (or more accurately, Greek letter Chi) in the abbreviation Xmas (for “Christmas”), which represents the first letter of the word Christ.

IHS is the most commonly uses Christogram. derived from the first three letters of the Greek name of Jesus, iotaetasigma or ΙΗΣ. Here the Greek letter eta was transliterated as the letter H in the Latin-speaking West (Greek eta and Latin-alphabet H had the same visual appearance and shared a common historical origin), while the Greek letter sigma was either transliterated as the Latin letter C (due to the visually-similar form of the lunate sigma), or as Latin S (since these letters of the two alphabets wrote the same sound). Because the Latin-alphabet letters I and J were not systematically distinguished until the 17th century, “JHS” and “JHC” are equivalent to “IHS” and “IHC”.(courtsy Wikipedia)

IHS is also interpreted as standing for “Iesus Hominum Salvator ” , which is latin for “Jesus savior of men”. Some uses have even been created for the English language, where “IHS” is interpreted as an abbreviation of “I Have Suffered” or “In His Service”. Such interpretations are known as backronyms.

Searching the same also brings up a rather blasphemous usage of the name of Christ, as Jesus H. Christ, cynically implying that the name CHRIST(Which is Greek for Messiah) is actually a surname rather than a title. Since the transliteration IHS gave rise to the backronym Iesus Hominum Salvator, it is plausible that JHC similarly led to Jesus H. Christ. Another usage of the term implies that the H is an abbreviation for the name Harold, a play on words from the Lord’s Prayer(the “Our Father”) as if Harold were the name of Jesus’ Father: “Our Father, who art in heaven, Harold be thy name …”; thus, Harold is taken to be Jesus’ middle name.

That is the history of JHS/ IHS. The only place i have noticed this is on the emblem of Loyola.Hope others can give other references 🙂


AMDG is continued into ” Ad Majorem Die Gloriam Inque Hominum Salutem”,which means “For the greater glory of God, and the salvation of mankind.”

Then there was MAGIS. It is emblazed, along with the words “In persuit of Excellence”, on the plaque, given to us when we passed out of school.

Magis (pronounced “màh-gis”) is a Jesuit phrase that means “the more”. It is taken from Ad majorem Dei gloriam. Magis refers to the philosophy of doing more, for Christ, and therefore for others. It is an expression of an aspiration and inspiration. It relates to forming the ideal society centered around Jesus Christ.

The roots of the phrase are ascribed to St. Ignatius’ exercise of doing more for God. He would encourage people around him during his time by asking: “What have I done for God? What am I doing for God? and What MORE can I do for God?”

By the way , i also dug up INRI 🙂

INRI is an acronym of the Latin phrase IESVS·NAZARENVS·REX·IVDÆORVM, which translates to English as: “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews ”

(It is seen on the base of Jesus’s cross)


This post is heavily borrowed from Wikipedia. It just shows off my ability to search stuff over the net(which isnt anything to boast of) and inability to write technical facts in my own words. It is a striving from my part to fill the void i left by not posting in November. Also reading up tons of material about Christianity, its history, names of christ, Acronyms, Christograms, history of St. Ignatious, The jesuits etc and seeing the Lords prayer(perhaps the most famous of them all) in full version, which i long wanted to- has kinda left me in a real spiritual mood. HAD TO put this down, for my later reference at least.

Bear with me.

Could any inspired/spirited(jobless?) loyolite, please find out what the seven bars on the emblem represent? I knew but i forgot. Wow i never thought id get to like christianity and history so much. Now back to reading. chow.


13 Responses to Iesus Hominum Salvator

  1. Ashok says:

    Glad to see you on the history trail. The Loyola University of Chicago too has a logo with seven stripes. The explanation they provide is: “The field with seven stripes represents the seven Loyola brothers, from the maternal side of the family, who distinguished themselves in battle in the 14th century.”

  2. Karthik says:

    De..Your blog needs an urgent update..Onnu vegam post cheyyu ishta..

  3. silverine says:

    Really interesting bits of trivia or shall I say untrivial trivia! 🙂

  4. JG says:

    I guess when it comes to acronyms they can mean anything that fit, some other versions really point to an obscure background, which makes more sense for a Roman empire trying to salvage their decadent status, and it was easier for Romans to accept christianity as long it was mixed with all their pagan religions they practiced back then.

    IHS really stands for Isis,Horus,and Seb. Isis was a pagan Babylonian goddess (which is now what the Catholic Church calls Mary). Horus was Isis’ son and Seb was the father of Isis. All are associated with Sun worship. The Catholic church tells us that it means “Iesous Hominum Salvator,” “Jesus, savior of man.” However, that is not what it actually means. Too many of those monograms are in coailition with sun worship, just pay attention to Eucharistic adoration (monstrance shape = sun). Notice that the wafer used in the Eucharist is round and has the symbols “IHS”. This is a perfect example of the sun worship that is still a common aspect of the Catholic faith. This is partly because of Constantine, who actually formed the Roman Catholic Church. Constantine was a life long pagan and only converted on his deathbed.

  5. José Sáez says:

    Excuse me for my bad English. You forgot that this simbol was created in XV century by Bernardine of Siena, the famous franciscan preacher. He was accused as herectic for the use of that anagram and defended it with humility patient front the Pope Martin V, who finaly approved his simbol. Later, the “logo” was addopted by Ignatius of Loyola for his jesuits.

  6. Hamschmidt says:

    Dear Sirs,
    on your webside “” there is a mistake because IHS is combined bl 2 greek letters Iota and Eta and a latin Letter S, which can be seen in a lot of bibels of the MA, which means IHS for Jesus, IHV for Jesu and IHM for Jesum. This are nomina sacra.

    There is no necessary for an e-mail answer
    W. Hamschmidt

  7. vacuum cleaners for pet hair…

    Iesus Hominum Salvator « The Loyolite Diaries…

  8. Odis Degiorgio says:

    Thx for information.

  9. mkkw says:

    Спасибо за указание, акроним “Jusus hominum Salvator” появился в XVI веке. Но есть сведения, что он возникает ещё раньше – в 600 году по Рождеству Христову. Это особенно важно, когда в антропологической классификации: (1) “Homo”, (2) “homo Sapiens”, (3) “Homo Faber, (NB) 4. Jesus hominum Salvator (!), (5) homunculus, (6) Homo Ludens … появляется ПОСЛЕДНИ, завершающий антропологический ряд сегодняшний тип “e-homo” или “анти-человек”. Сейчас возникает последний этот вид как антропологический представитель технотронного анти-Человечества (“bio-механоид”) eCiviliz ! А противостоит ему антрополгический ПОЛНОЦЕННЫЙ ЧЕЛОВЕК – вы, я и другие христиане. Которые принадлежант к космически ПОЛНОЦЕННОМУ типу существ и граждан планеты Земля – Jesus hominum Salvator …

  10. mkkw says:

    Sorry, I want tipe: ” J e s u s h o m i n u m S a l v a t o r ” ! But NOT: “Jusus” (it is Mistake).

  11. tecknikest says:

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  12. Ikiogha Justice says:

    The historical description of the symbol IHS as a Roman symbol that denotes sun worship is absurd. Christianity though a divine revelation of the life of faith in Jesus was developed within a culture but it is not the case that if other cultures uses similar symbols the meaning and its application are the same. For instance a letter or word may be spelt or pronounced the same way in so many languages but the meanings differs. Therefore, IHS remains a christian symbol, a designation that depicts “Jesus saviour of man” and not sun worship as the anti propagator of the christian faith would postulate.

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