What does that “IHS” mean?! Is it “In His Service”??

Home » What does that “IHS” mean?! Is it “In His Service”??


What does that “IHS” mean?! Is it “In His Service”??

The symbol IHS is a Christogram — a combination of letters that form an abbreviation for the name of Jesus Christ. Originating from the first three letters of the Greek name of Jesus (??????), IHS is transliterated as ‘IHS’ or ‘???’. Over time, it has also been interpreted in Latin as “Iesus Hominum Salvator,” which means “Jesus, Savior of Mankind,” although this is a backronym rather than its original meaning.Chasuble Easter With IHS Embroidery


The use of IHS as a symbol for Jesus Christ dates back to the early Christian era, although its popularization in the form we recognize today began in the Middle Ages. The symbol became widely used in religious art and inscriptions from around the 3rd century, but it was during the medieval period that it became more prominently featured in Christian iconography. In contemporary times, the Church extensively uses the IHS symbol. It can be found on liturgical items, church furnishings, vestments, and books. The symbol serves as a visual reminder of Jesus’ presence and as an expression of faith.

IHS Embroidery
IHS Embroidery

The Spread of IHS Monogram in History

Saint Bernardine of Siena (1380–1444) is credited with popularizing the IHS monogram in the 15th century. He used it as part of his mission to renew Christian piety and devotion. After his canonization, the use of IHS as a symbol of Christ spread more widely across Europe. The Society of Jesus (Jesuits), founded by Saint Ignatius of Loyola in 1540, adopted the IHS monogram as their emblem. It symbolizes their commitment to spreading the name of Jesus, often encircling it with a sun and adorning it with a cross on its top, representing the divine light of Christ.

Chasuble Easter Design

Embroidery Design

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the symbolism of the IHS monogram and its significance in Christian history! Share your insights, opinions, or personal experiences with us. Let’s engage in a meaningful conversation about this timeless symbol of faith.

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Soli Dei Gloria

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