The “Jesus nut,” also called the “Jesus pin,” is the nut that holds the main rotor to the mast of some helicopters, such as the UH- 1 Iroquois helicopter. The long and strong metallic fans of the helicopter are fitted to the main rotor of the mast. The “Jesus nut” is a slang term first coined by American soldiers in Vietnam; the technical term is MRRN or main rotor retaining nut.
The origin of the term comes from the idea that, if the “Jesus nut” were to fail in flight, the helicopter would detach from the rotors and the only thing left for the crew to do would be to pray to Jesus before the helicopter crashed. Today’s Gospel explains why Jesus must be the pivotal point in our lives, through the little parable of the vine and the branches.