Blog Post

The Chi Rho: A Symbol of Triumph

                                                                              Photo by David Bumgardner on Unsplash

MC asks: “Is the Chi Rho symbol connected to the occult in any way?”

No, it is not.

The Chi Rho symbol is actually older than the cross as a symbol of Christianity. It was used in the first hundred years of the faith as a secret symbol for Christians to identify themselves to one another.

Known as a Christogram, the Chi Rho symbol joins the letter “P” with an “X” superimposed over it. The letters X (chi) and P (rho) are the first two letters of “Christ” in the Greek language. This symbol can be found on the walls of Roman catacombs and on ancient jewelry and pottery belonging to Christians.

It's interesting to note that this symbol made its first public appearance on the shields of Constantine’s warriors in the Battle of Milvian Bridge on October 28, 312 AD. This was a result of a miraculous sign he say in the sky the day before the battle. The following excerpt is from the book, Constantine by the ancient historian and Bishop of Caesarea, Eusebius, in whom Constantine confided:

“He said that about noon, when the day was already beginning to decline, he saw with his own eyes a trophy of a cross of light in the heavens, above the sun, and bearing the inscription, ‘Conquer By This Sign.’ At this sight he himself was struck with amazement, as was his whole army also, which followed him on this expedition, and witnessed the miracle. (Constantine) said, moreover, that he doubted within himself what the import of this apparition could be. And while he continued to ponder and reason on its meaning, night suddenly came on; then in his sleep the Christ of God appeared to him with the same sign which he had seen in the heavens, and commanded him to make a likeness of that sign which he had seen in the heavens and to use it as a safeguard in all engagement with his enemies….the victorious emperor himself long afterwards declared (this) to this writer of history when he (Eusebius) was honored with his acquaintance and society, and (Constantine) confirmed his statement by an oath.” Eusebius, Life of Constantine 28.29

As we know, Emperor Constantine won the Battle of Milvian Bridge and believed it was due to his displaying the Chi Rho on the shields of his men. A few months later, in the Edict of Milan, Constantine declared Christianity legal in the Roman empire, thus ending three hundred years of Imperial persecution of Christians.

The Chi Rho is as Christian as it gets and is a symbol of the triumph of Christ. Wear it with pride!

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