Tuesday, January 3, 2006
The Holy Name of Jesus

Optional Memorial (1969 Calendar): January 3
Double of II Class (1954 Calendar): January 2*

* According to the Traditional Catholic Calendar from 1911 and into the early 1960s, the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus occurs on the Sunday of January 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th. When no Sunday occurs on these days, then the feast is celebrated on January 2nd. Before 1911, this Feastday was kept on the Second Sunday after Epiphany.

For the name of "Jesus" means "God saves." "At the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil 2:10-11)

Jesus Christ, The Great King of the World, knew rejection. He was rejected from the Inn in Bethlehem while still living in the womb. He knew cold as he lay in rags in Bethlehem. He knew hunger as the devil tempted Him in the desert for 40 days. He was rejected for His words on the Eucharist too. And He knew rejection - at the hour He needed them the most, all of his friends left Him to the Cross - only St. John would return.

Today let us recall Jesus Christ, who became like us, completely like us in all things but sin to be the sacrifice for our sins - our redemption. Let us honor His name, given to Him before His conception through the words of the angels. Read on the history of the Feast of the Holy Name.

"If you think the name "Jesus" continually, and hold it firmly, it purges your sin, and kindles your heart; it clarifies your soul, it removes anger and does away with slowness. It wounds in love and fulfills charity. It chases the devil, and puts out dread. It opens heaven, and makes a contemplative man. Have Jesus in mind, for that puts all vices and phantoms out from the lover." - Richard Rolle (†1349) A hermit, a mystic, and a writer of devotional works and biblical translations. Taken from The Form of Perfect Living and Other Prose Treatises, Thomas Baker, 1910 London
"The feast of the Holy Name is of comparatively recent origin, its first promoter was St Bernardine of Siena, who lived in the fifteenth century. This holy man established the practice of representing the Holy Name of Jesus surrounded with rays, and formed into a monogram of its three first letters, ihs.[3] The custom spread rapidly through Italy, and was zealously propagated by the great St John of Capestrano, who, like St Bernardine of Siena, was of the Order of Friars Minor. The Holy See gave its formal approbation to this manner of honouring the Name of our Saviour, and, in the early part of the sixteenth century, Pope Clement VI, after long entreaties, granted to the whole Franciscan Order the privilege of keeping a special Feast in honour of the Most Holy Name of Jesus.

"Rome extended the same favour to various Churches; and, at length, the Feast was inserted in the universal Calendar. It was in the year 1721, at the request of Charles VI, Emperor of Germany, that Pope Innocent XII decreed that the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus should be kept throughout the whole Church; he also chose the Second Sunday after the Epiphany as the day, but as we have already explained, the feast is now fixed for the Sunday following the Circumcision."


O God, Who didst constitute Thine only-begotten Son the Savior of mankind, and didst bid Him be called Jesus: mercifully grant, that we who venerate His holy Name on earth, may fully enjoy also the vision of Him in heaven. Through the same our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

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