What Does IHS Mean?

The gravestone symbol on these crosses, commonly seen as the letters IHS or as a monogram, is a Christian symbol that represents the name of Jesus Christ. It can also be spelled IC, XC, or XPS. The symbol gained popularity in the 12th century when St Bernard of France encouraged his followers to devote themselves to the name of Jesus. While there are various interpretations of its meaning, it is widely believed to stand for the first three letters of Jesus Christ's name in Greek, which are iota, eta, and sigma. When capitalized, eta is represented as 'H'. Another interpretation is that IHS stands for the Latin phrase Iesus Hominum Salvator, meaning Jesus savior of mankind.