The Ki-Ro Badge

If you are a Scout or a member of the Archconfraternity of St. Stephen, you will be interested in these notes on the KI-RO badge.

Our Lord's name in Greek is KRISTOS - CHRIST. Its first two letters superimposed one upon the other is the symbol chosen for the Altar Serversí medal and the Catholic Scout badge.

We were first given the name Kristianos - Christians or followers of Christ, at Antioch about the year A.D. 42; so that our own name, as well as Our Lordís name, begins with the letters KI - RO.


The KI-RO sign was used as secret sign of recognition between Christians during Roman persecution times, and it was used as a trekking sign to lead the Catholics to Mass in the Catacombs. In succeeding centuries it has been used as a Christogram, representing the name of Christ, in Church decoration, on Altar frontals, on vestments, in Missals and prayer books.

In January, 1955, the KI-RO sign was found scratched on the base of a small clay lamp discovered during the excavation of the Roma town of Caerleon, Monmouthshire. It is the earliest evidence of Christianity, under the Romans, in Wales. It almost certainly points to a period of persecution some time after the year 200 A.D. The lamp is now in the National Museum of Wales.


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