INRI

In Covington, Indiana, there are two small cemeteries at the North edge of town—Prescott Grove Cemetery and St. Joseph’s Cemetery.  The two are on the same plot of land but separated by a common road that leads into the cemeteries and cuts them in half.  Like many Catholic cemeteries the focal point of the cemetery is a crucifix.  In the case of the St. Joseph Cemetery, the figure of Jesus Christ is painted which has the effect of giving the sculpture a lifelike appearance.  Above the head of Christ is a small rectangular plaque which is called a titulus, or title, with the initials “INRI.”  In Western Christianity, many artists depicted the crucifix with a parchment or plaque, though, some did carve the initials directly into the cross.  The initials, INRI, represent the Latin inscription IESVS NAZARENVS REX IVDÆORVM which in English translates to “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews.”

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