INRI: The dbl Cross


A fragment of the titulus from the True Cross (the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified) still exists and lies in the Church of Santa Cruces in Rome. Or at least, many people believe that a small wooden block, less than a foot long, is an original relic from 2,000 years ago. Many others hotly contest this. Still, if the story is true about the Roman emperor Constantine sending out his mother, Helena, as a missionary, then there may be some authenticity in the piece. Helena is said to have taken the titulus of Jesus’ cross as an aid in spreading Christianity throughout the Roman Empire.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the letters INBI reflect the equivalent Greek text Iésous o Nazóraios o Basileus tón Ioudaión

There are several other interpretations of INRI, including:

  • Igne Natura Renovatur Integra – ‘By fire nature is restored in purity’; a medieval Rosicrucian motto refering to the inner fire of the spirit, and for the Masons, the regeneration of nature by the influence of the sun symbolizes the spiritual regeneration of mankind by the sacred fire (truth and love).
  • Iustum Necar Reges Impios – ‘It is just to exterminate or annihilate impious or heretical kings, governments, or rulers’; printed on the Jesuit flag

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