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Christian/Catholic Symbols. CHI-RHO. The letters X and P are often used as another symbol for "Christ". The first two letters of Christ's name in Greek are X and P . In the Greek alphabet X equals CH and P equals R .

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Christian/Catholic Symbols

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chi rho
  • The letters X and P are often used as another symbol for "Christ".
  • The first two letters of Christ's name in Greek are X and P. In the Greek alphabet X equals CH and P equals R.
  • Also known as the CHi-RHO cross, the letters are usually inscribed one over the other sometimes enclosed within a circle becoming both a cosmic and a solar symbol.
  • The letters IHS often appear on liturgical items, building plaques and gravestones and sacred vessels.
  • IHS is a shortened form of the Greek word for Jesus.
alpha and omega
  • These are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.
  • In the book of revelation 22:13, Christ refers himself as the Alpha and the Omega, that is the first and the last.
  • Christ is the beginning and the end of all creation.
  • The Alpha and Omega symbols are used at various times in the Church liturgical year.
the fish
The Fish
  • One of the oldest Christian symbols was the fish.It was used by Christians to identify themselves, often in times of persecution. It is often found in the Roman catacombs, secret meeting place when the Christians were persecuted by the Romans for their faith.
  • It is based on the acrostic, of the initial letters of the Greek words for Jesus Christ. To understand this symbol you need to know what is the meaning of the acronym.
  • The Greek word for fish is ICHTHUS. This is an acronym for Jesus. Iesous CHristos THeou Uios Soter - this translates as "Jesus Christ, Son of God , Saviour."
  • Christ also referred to his apostles as "Fishers of Men" while the early Christian fathers called the faithful pisculi (fish).
the lamb
The Lamb
  • One of the most important symbols of Christ is the Lamb. Christ as the Lamb of God is mentioned in John 1:35-36 and revelation 5:6-14 and in the words of the Mass.
  • The whiteness of the Lamb symbolises innocence and purity. Lambs are often associated with sacrifice in the Old Testament. Christ, the sacrificial lamb, died for the sins of humanity.
  • The lamb is sometimes portrayed with a flag, symbolic of Christ's victory over death in his Resurrection.
the dove
The Dove
  • The dove is the symbol of the Holy Spirit. When Christ was baptised by John the Baptist, a dove descended on him (Matthew 3:16 and Mark 1:10).
  • The dove is sometimes depicted with an olive branch in its mouth, as a symbol of peace. It also symbolizes God's grace.
  • Do you remember Noah's story, God had sent a great flood and after the rain stopped, Noah sent out a dove to search for dry land, it returned carrying an olive brach from the Mount of Olives, a symbol of God's forgiveness.
the cross
The Cross
  • The most famous and widespread Christian symbol is the Cross. It is found wherever there is a Christian presence.
  • In Roman times, the Cross was seen as an instrument of torture and public humiliation. Criminals were put to death on cross.
  • For Christians however, the Cross became a symbol not only of Jesus' death but also of his Resurrection

Celtic Cross

Greek Cross