Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

CHI-RHO

A symbol of Christ, arranged as a monogram, comprising the first two letters, XP, of his name in Greek. First presented publicly in the fifth century, it has been found in catacomb inscriptions of the second century. The P is usually vertically rendered with a single crossbar producing the X, but sometimes an additional transverse cross is used for embellishment and the initials A and Ω are free or attached to the added bar. Emperor Constantine (d. 337) employed it as an emblem on his military standard, the labarum and ancient Welsh and Scottish tomb monuments bear this sacred symbol carved in stone. As a monogram denoting triumph it fell into disuse after the fall of Rome, the Cross supplanting it. (Etym. Greek chi. X; rho, P.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

An unexpected surge in confessions? 1 hours ago
The Problem with Catholic Social Teaching 6 hours ago
In Iraq, the Pope has good reason to seek intervention, but fear unilateral US action 24 hours ago
As Catholic News Unfolds... August 19
An Iraqi archbishop's warning to the West August 19

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8