Jesus Lesus! That’s a Mega-Typo

Someone misspelled the name of the Vatican’s raison d’etre, Jesus, on a commemorative medallion, striking 6,000 gold, silver and bronze coins with the name Lesus. Several of the medallions were sold before someone noticed the error. The remaining medallions were recalled, making the four that were sold collectors items.

The coins were struck by the Italian Mint to honor the papacy of Francis I and carried a Latin inscription which the Pope said inspired him to join the Catholic priesthood:

Vidit ergo Jesus publicanum et quia miserando antque eligendo vidit, ait illi sequere me (Jesus therefore sees the tax collector, and since he sees by having mercy and by choosing, he says to him, follow me).

I suppose the capital L could be confused with a J if you’re looking in a mirror. But more likely “Jesus” was presented as Iesus, since I was J in ancient texts–remember INRI (Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum) the Latin reading as “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews” — and whoever was doing the inscription for the coin thought I was a lower case L (l) not a J and made a copy-editing decision on their own.

Didn’t anyone who speaks Latin check the proofs? Maybe the devil IS in the details–and the Vatican!

Just for fun:

Using Latin gematria, Iesus= 67, and Lesus =70. Running those numbers in the gematria calculator, you can get some interesting results. Using traditional Jewish gematria for 67 produces fapfemale, and Im a geek, amongst others; in simple gematria, Elvis, Satanic, and iPhone are some of the meanings.  For 70, the traditional is not quite as interesting, resulting in, amongst others, I God, meme, and hidden. In simple gematria 70 is way more fun: robot, Yaweh, women, demons, Adam and Eve, Bernie Mac, cold feet, and zombies are just some of the results.

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Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.