Origins of the locket

I find it interesting that the MRA monogram is displayed so prominently on both the locket and at the top of the Latin prayer for protection. The IHS christogram is often used as the symbol for the Jesuit order, which would be expected because IHS symbolizes the holy name of Jesus and Jesuits are also known as the Society of Jesus. But why do we sometimes see the MRA monogram juxtaposed with the IHS symbol? It almost seems like MRA might relate to a different subset or denomination of the Jesuit order. The symbols from the Latin prayer are shown in the image below.

DSC_7986 (1024x361)

I recently found a reference to an almost identical document that was created by the Jesuits around the same time. It also has two stamps at the top associated to the Jesuits, but curiously both of the stamps have different variations of the same IHS symbol. The document can be viewed here. This furthered my suspicions about the MRA monogram might represent a specific group within the Jesuit order. So far, I haven’t had much luck identifying one, but I did find a few references to cottages in Scotland that used very similar symbolism as seen here and below.

The other interesting aspect of the locket is that it has sunburst symbolism used instead of the traditional halo for anything considered to be holy. For example, in some of my older posts you’ll notice that all of the depictions of Saints use the sunburst symbolism while much of the art from that era would have used the traditional oval halo. The sunburst is also seem emanating from the center of the Cross of Lorraine, as well as the central woodcut image just to the left of the Cross.

4 - Copy (3)

I think that many of these clues will eventually lead to answers, but until then, the search continues..

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One Response to Origins of the locket

  1. Colton Thompson says:


    My name is Colton Thompson, I am/have been extremely interested in you wordpress blog regarding this ‘relic’. I have put many hours of research into this artifact. Although, I have a few questions regarding that you may be able to help me with. I would also like to know if you have made any further progress into the orgins/true status of it as a relic; which I believe it is. I look forward to communicating with in the near future.


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