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IHS

THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS


"God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the Name which is above every name, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven, and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" -Philippians 2:9-10

"Blessed be the Name of the LORD, now and forever!"

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1. To the Name that brings salvation
Honour, worship, laud we pay:
That for many a generation
Hid in God's foreknowledge lay,
But to every tongue and nation
Holy Church proclaims to-day

2. Name of gladness, name of pleasure,
By the tongue ineffable,
Name of sweetness passing measure,
To the ear delectable;
'Tis our safeguard and our treasure,
'Tis our help 'gainst sin and hell.

3. 'Tis the Name of adoration,
'Tis the Name of victory;
'Tis the Name for meditation
In the vale of misery;
'Tis the Name for veneration
By the citizens on high.

4. 'Tis the Name by right exalted
Over every other name:
That when we are sore assaulted
Puts our enemies to shame:
Strength to them that else had halted
Eyest to blind and feet to lame.

5. Jesu, we thy Name adoring,
Long to see Thee as Thou art:
Of Thy clemency imploring
So to write it in our heart,
That hearafter, upward soaring,
We with angels may have part.

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Every Catholic should love and have great devotion to the Most Holy Name of JESUS, for this is the Name of our Divine Savior. More than that, this Name is our very Salvation: "There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

Yes, this is the teaching of Holy Mother Church. Contrary to popular (anti-Catholic) opinion, we do believe that our Divine Lord Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. We cannot be saved apart from Christ by calling upon the name of Mary or any saint (although we certainly love them as our family in Christ). Our salvation is in the Name of Jesus Christ, Who died for our sins and rose from the dead to give us a share in His divine Life! Praised be His Holy Name!

This is why the Church has long promoted devotion to the Most Holy Name of JESUS, and encourages her children to pray that Name often, invoking our God and Savior with His Name Above All Names. This page is dedicated to that Holy Name devotion.

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'Jesus Christ' in Greek Monograms of the Holy Name Explained

*IHS*  Does not stand for "In His Service" ! :-)  This monogram of the Holy Name, common among Western Christians, comes from the first three letters in the Greek spelling of Jesus' name (see graphic to the right.)  Those letters are iota ("I"), eta ("H") and sigma (here rendered as its Roman equivalent: "S").

Variations:  Sometimes the iota is rendered as a "J" (hence, "JHS"), or one will see the monogram in all Greek letters, or with the final sigma in a "C" shape (hence "IHC"), an alternate way of rendering the letter sigma.  They all mean the same thing.

*IC XC*  This monogram is more common among Eastern Christians.  It is composed of the first and last letters of Jesus' Name in Greek (iota and sigma) with the first and last letters of Christos, the Greek word for Christ (chi and sigma, respectively). The sigmas are both rendered in "C" form, resulting in "IC XC".

This monogram is commonly written on ikons of Christ near His halo to identify Him, and in the phrase "IC XC NIKA", meaning "Jesus Christ Conquers".

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Holy Name Devotions

The simplest form of devotion to the Most Holy Name of JESUS is the devout, loving recitation of that Name above all names.  Each time you whisper His precious Name ... "Jesus" ... let it be a loving invocation to your Divine Savior and Lord.  You can even make it part of a short prayer, like "Jesus, I love You!", "Praise You, Jesus", and of course, Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me! (a form of the Jesus Prayer).

Praise to the Holy Name of JESUS

O Glorious Name of Jesus,
gracious Name,
Name of love and of power!
Through You sins are forgiven,
enemies are vanquished,
the sick are freed from illness,
the suffering are made strong and cheerful.
You bring honor to believers,
instruction to preachers,
strength to those who toil,
and sustenance to the weary.

Our love for You is ardent and glowing,
through You our prayers are heard.
The souls of those who contemplate You
are filled to overflowing;
and all the blessed in heaven
are filled with Your glory.
Grant that we too may reign with them
through this Your most Holy Name. Amen.

How sad it is for a Christian to hear Jesus' sacred Name used as a common swear word.  It's something we hear far too often today.  See the page Prayers in Reparation for Blasphemy for more on countering blasphemy with praise.

Next Page: Next: Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus


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(The IHS Cross comes from Timo's Christian Clipart Site.)

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