Thursday, 14 October 2010


My mother also has an extensive holy collection, icons, monstrances, crucifixes, and Jesuses--a Jesus Corner.  Once, in what may well be an apocryphal episode but still a cute story nonetheless, a visitor, a neighbor, studying the assemblage, remarked, "Gee, you have so many Henrys."  Henrys?  "You know, 'Inri."  The INRI is the initialism for Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum, Jesus from Nazareth, King of the Jews that was hung above the Cross.  In some places and at certain times, one hears the phrase "Jimminy H. Christmas" or "Jesus H. Christ" flung around like His middle name was Henry or something, whereas the H is actually a majuscule Greek letter Eta, one form of the definite article, the.  Incidentally, the once secret fish symbol for Christians, the Ichthys, probably originated itself because Jesus' birth fell at the dawn of the zodiacal age of Pisces, the Fish.