Medieval IHS (Christogram) Religious Knights Order Ring, Very Rare
IHS with Cross used by many Religious Orders including The Society of Jesus, Jesuits, etc.
Could be dated 14 - 16 Century AD (but can be much older).
Origin: Western Europe
Size: D. 2,1 cm.
Condition: Close to perfect, wearable, see actual photos. There are no repairs or restoration. Original Patina.
IHS is a Christogram — a combination of letters that represent the holy name “Jesus.” Early scribes would abbreviate the sacred names of Jesus by using the first two letters of the name, or the first and last letters, with a line over the letters. For example, the Greek letters Chi-Rho (which looks like our English X and P) was an abbreviation for the name “Christ.” Likewise, I (iota) and H (eta) are the first two Greek letters for “Jesus.” Sometime in the second century, the third letter, S (sigma), was added, thereby rendering IHS. These Christograms, such as XP or IHS, served as secret codes, whereby inscribed on a tomb, they indicated a deceased Christian, or on a doorpost, a Christian home.
St. Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444) and his student St. John of Capistrano (1386-1456) used the Christogram IHS to promote devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. In their preaching missions throughout Italy, they carried wooden placards with the IHS surrounded by rays. St. Bernardine and St. John blessed the faithful with this monogram, invoking the name of Jesus, and many miracles were reported. They also encouraged people to have the monogram placed over the city gates and the doorways of their homes, instead of a family crest, to show their devotion and allegiance to the Lord. Countering the objections of some who considered this veneration superstitious, Pope Martin V in 1427 approved the proper veneration to the Holy Name and asked that the cross be included in the monogram IHS. Largely due to St. Bernadine’s preaching, the name “Jesus” was added to the Hail Mary: “Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.”
During this time also, because of the decline of Greek and predominance of Latin, IHS was viewed as an acronym for the Latin Iesus Hominum Salvator, meaning “Jesus Savior of Mankind.”
Provenance: The seller warrants that they have obtained this lot in a legal manner. Purchased by the Vendor in late 90`s in Leipzig from private collection formed before 1970`s. Provenance documents seen by Catawiki.
- IHS Christograme Religious Knights Order Ring, Rare
- Century/ Timeframe
- 14 - 16 Century AD
- Good Condition, See Photo