Readings & Reflections: Monday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time & Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary, September 12,2016

Readings & Reflections: Monday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time & Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary, September 12,2016

Our salvation begins when an archangel speaks the name of Mary. To be Christian is to cry on that Annunciation unceasingly. Saint Louis de Montfort wrote that “the salvation of each individual is bound up with the Hail Mary.” This prayer that names the holy name of the Mother of God “brought to a dry and barren world the Fruit of Life. It will cause the Word of God to take root in the soul and bring forth Jesus.” The holy name of Mary bears such power because of the unique bond between Mother and Son. “When God sent his Son born of a woman, he instituted a once and for all order of salvation in which the union of Mother and Child stands at the center” (Romanus Cessario, O.P.). To accept the divine privilege of speaking the name of Mary is to participate in that saving union.

Please click this link to watch the video on Who is Mary according to Scripture?

Please click this link to watch the video of the Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary from various speakers/ sources


Opening Prayer

“Heavenly Father, you sent us your Son that we might be freed from the tyranny of sin and death. Increase my faith in the power of your saving word and give me freedom to love and serve others with generosity and mercy as you have loved me.” In Jesus’ Mighty Name, I pray. Amen

Reading 1
1 Cor 11:17-26, 33

Brothers and sisters:
In giving this instruction, I do not praise the fact
that your meetings are doing more harm than good.
First of all, I hear that when you meet as a Church
there are divisions among you, and to a degree I believe it; there have to be factions among you in order that also those who are approved among you
may become known.
When you meet in one place, then,
it is not to eat the Lord’s supper,
for in eating, each one goes ahead with his own supper,
and one goes hungry while another gets drunk.
Do you not have houses in which you can eat and drink?
Or do you show contempt for the Church of God
and make those who have nothing feel ashamed?
What can I say to you? Shall I praise you?
In this matter I do not praise you.

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my Body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my Blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.

The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 40:7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 17
R. (1 Cor 11:26b) Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.

Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Burnt offerings or sin.offerings you sought not;
then said I, “Behold I come.”
R. Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.

“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
To do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!”
R. Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.

I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R. Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.

May all who seek you
exult and be glad in you
And may those who love your salvation
say ever, “The LORD be glorified.”
R. Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.

Lk 7:1-10

When Jesus had finished all his words to the people, he entered Capernaum.
A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die, and he was valuable to him. When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and save the life of his slave. They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying, “He deserves to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.” And Jesus went with them, but when he was only a short distance from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him,
“Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you;
but say the word and let my servant be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” When the messengers returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection 1 – God’s desire

God’s desire is for every man to converge as one big family, one church in communion with Him and with one another. There shall be no outsiders, no strangers, only brothers and sisters. Isaiah 2:1 states, “The mountain of the Lord‘s house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills. All nations shall stream toward it.”

But with each passing year, we see how man’s natural tendency to break up into smaller groups has developed and matured. We see it in families, in neighborhoods, in socio-civic and political groups and even within God’s very own Body, the Church. Although the division can be both significant and superficial at times, the intensity by which a division transpires can be dismal and discouraging. Instead of ‘us’ and ‘we’ what develops are outsiders, ‘they’, inferiors and strangers, not quite the vision of God’s plan for all of us.

In today’s first reading St Paul can be quoted as saying to the Corinthians: “Brothers and sisters: In giving this instruction, I do not praise the fact that your meetings are doing more harm than good. First of all, I hear that when you meet as a Church there are divisions among you, and to a degree I believe it.” St. Paul was rebuking the people of Corinth who were in a carnal state about the cliques and factions within them. Instead of being able to build each other up to the Lord as one family, they have become strongly opinionated against each other, ending up in schisms and factions. To be divided into smaller entities is not bad in itself provided everyone is united in the Name of our Lord where love and understanding prevail.

Unanimity in God does not mean that we are always one in our ways and thoughts but it necessarily implies that we are one in our faith and love for God and His people. So that when everyone meets in His Name, we all partake of the same blessings God has given us. No one shall be judged as poor or richer. No one shall be more gifted than the rest for we are all God’s children. No one shall be considered better while another as sinful and broken.

As God’s family, we are under one covenant of one and the same love, baptized in the Name of the one true God and redeemed by the same power the Cross. We are one family with our Lord Jesus, the True Christ.

Today, we need to ask ourselves if we have really been one flock united in Christ. What have we done on our own for God’s plan of unity to come true? Have we left anyone or any group outside the circle of our love and concern? Isn’t it time to open the doors of our hearts to all and bring everyone inside?

As we endeavor to consistently dwell on God’s Word, let us ask our Lord to probe our soul and spirit and reveal to us the true thoughts, intentions and motivations of our hearts whenever there is an urge for us not to conform with the body and we say that we have asked the Spirit to lead us. Through faithful prayer and our persistence in getting to know our Lord through His Word, He will guide us out of our conflicts with one another and into the unity of the Spirit in the bond of love.

Through the same Body and Blood of Christ, let us all remain united with God and with each other in the bond of peaceful understanding.

If we allow God’s gift of faith to prevail in us (Luke 7:1-10), then differences in opinions and approach will never develop into conflicts but into ways by which to perfect our unity with one another and with our Lord.

In order to earnestly pursue our efforts towards oneness, we need to determine just how polarized our community has been. We need to ask ourselves how responsible were we in making this happen despite our claim that we have done everything for God’s glory. We need to dialogue and appreciate each one’s contribution as we are all gifted workers of our Lord with God given gifts that may be used to foster God plans for our community.


Amidst differences in opinion, we need to seek God’s will for us as a private Association of the Faithful.


Heavenly Father, may those factions which divide your flock due to differing opinions be able to come together and remain united in the Name of your Son, our Lord Jesus. In His Name, I pray. Amen.

Reflection 2 – Say the word – be healed

Do you seek the Lord Jesus with confidence and pray with expectant faith? A Roman official boldly sought Jesus with a daring request. What made him confident that Jesus would receive his request and act favorably towards him? Like a true soldier, he knew the power of command. And he saw in Jesus both the power and the mercy of God to heal and restore life. In the Roman world the position of centurion was very important. He was an officer in charge of a hundred soldiers. In a certain sense, he was the backbone of the Roman army, the cement which held the army together. Polybius, an ancient write, describes what a centurion should be: “They must not be so much venturesome seekers after danger as men who can command, steady in action, and reliable. They ought not to be over-anxious to rush into the fight, but when hard pressed, they must be ready to hold their ground, and die at their posts.”

The centurion who approached Jesus was not only courageous, but faith-filled as well. He risked the ridicule of his Roman companions by seeking help from a Jewish preacher from Galilee, as well as mockery from the Jews who despised Roman occupation of their land. Nonetheless, this centurion approached Jesus with confidence and humility. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) notes that the centurion regarded himself as unworthy to receive the Lord into his house: “Humility was the door through which the Lord entered to take full possession of one whom he already possessed.” The centurion was an extraordinary man because he loved his slave. In the Roman world slaves were treated like animals rather than people. The centurion was also an extraordinary man of faith. He believed that  Jesus had the power to heal his beloved slave. Jesus commends him for his faith and immediately grants him his request.

Are you willing to suffer ridicule in the practice of your faith? And when you need help, do you approach the Lord Jesus confidently with expectant faith?

“Lord Jesus you came to set us free from the tyranny of sin, selfishness, and fear. Increase my faith in the power of your saving word and give me joy and freedom to love and serve others generously for their sake just as you have generously laid down your life for my sake.” – Read the source:

Reflection 3 – Faith Works

According to your faith let it be to you. –Matthew 9:29

Not all Christians exercise the same degree of faith. Some people seem to think their problem is too big for God to solve. Others are sure that God is all-powerful, but they’re not confident that He will do what is best for them. Still others affirm, “I know what God can do, and I’ll trust Him to do what He has promised.” These various attitudes range from a weak and tentative faith to a firm confidence that takes God at His word and believes He is good.

As we study the ministry of Jesus, we see varying degrees of faith in those who came to Him. He cast out a mute spirit from a son whose father wavered between faith and doubt (Mk. 9:17-24). He healed a leper who knew He could but was not sure He would (Mk.1:40-45). And He healed the servant of a centurion who was so sure of the outcome that he asked Jesus merely to speak the word from afar (Lk. 7:1-10).

These examples don’t teach that God always answers according to the strength of our faith. Rather, in His wisdom He responds to any degree of faith. His ultimate goal is to lead us to trust Him completely, so that we may know the fullness of His fellowship. Because of who Jesus is, He can turn the weakest faith into strong faith.  — Dennis J. De Haan

O for the peace of a perfect trust,
My loving God, in You–
Unwavering faith that never doubts
The good You choose to do. –Anon.

Our faith in God grows greater as we recognize the greatness of our God (Source: Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries).

Reflection 4 – Faith heals

Jesus was once approached by a centurion who was concerned about his servant who was ill. Jesus was willing to visit the man’s home to heal the servant, but the centurion assured Jesus: “Only speak the word, and my servant will be healed.”

Jesus cures the servant of the Roman centurion and He shows his goodness to all – of every age, condition and nation. There was once a lady who reads the story of the Roman centurion and said, “After reading the words of Jesus about the Roman centurion’s faith, my faith is strengthened and something happens within me. I declare wholeness within my soul, and healing takes place somewhere in me. I affirm oneness with God and with all people, and new possibilities become apparent as attitudes and situations begin to shift in me.”

Faith gives us the certainty that God would not permit an evil if he did not cause a good to come from that very evil, by ways that we shall fully know only in eternal life. We know that everything God works for good for those who love him.

Here are the stories in real life of people who live in faith and become saints:

  1. According to Dame Julian of Norwich: “Here I was taught by the grace of God that I should steadfastly keep in the faith… and that at the same time I should take my stand on and earnestly believe in what our Lord showed in this time – that “all manner of thing shall be well.”
  2. The Virgin Mary most perfectly embodies the obedience of faith. Throughout her life and until her last ordeal when Jesus her Son died on the cross, Mary’s faith never wavered. She never ceased to believe in the fulfillment of God’s word. And so the church venerates in Mary the purest realization of faith.

Thus, we are also challenged to show our faith in God even in sickness and difficult times in our lives by humbly saying the words before the Holy Communion: “Lord, I am worthy to receive you but only say the word and I shall be healed.”

Reflection 5 – Learning from divisions

Are there divisions in your family or workplace or parish? St. Paul makes a startling observation in today’s first reading. He says, “There have to be factions among you …” as if this were a good thing.

Why? Where is the blessing in division? Paul explains: ” … for the approved — the tried and true — to become known and stand out clearly.” Tried in what? True to what?

Love. Sometimes we’re motivated by love, and sometimes we’re motivated by selfishness. The word “sin” means, at its historical root, “to miss the mark.” What is the mark we always aim for? Love. Jesus put it this way: “To love God wholeheartedly and to love others as you love yourself.”

If we truly want to unite ourselves to God, so that we experience his unconditional, caring love each moment of each day, we have to live in his love, which means that our love for others has to be unconditional, like his.

To perfect our love — to become aware of the limits of our love so that we can stretch and grow beyond these limits — our love has to be tested and tried. Every difficulty is an opportunity to love more fully than we did in the last test we endured. However, this growth will divide us from those who choose to remain selfish.

Paul says that the selfish person gets drunk on his wealth while disregarding the needs of others. To put this in terms of parish divisions, for example, selfish clergy and lay leaders get intoxicated by their status, their authority, their clout, their college degrees, their years of experience, and even their God-given talents while disregarding the feelings and insights and input and value of others.

In the midst of this, the “tried and true” stand out clearly. They try to mend divisions by extending gestures of kindness when they’re mistreated. Who is the person who proclaims “the death of the Lord until he comes again” (which Paul describes as the true meaning of the Mass, i.e., the Lord’s Supper)? The one who offers humble, loving service despite conflicts. We proclaim the Lord’s sacrificial death on the cross by making sacrifices, nailing the unloving reactions we feel. Thus, we become Eucharist for others.

In today’s Gospel reading, why did Jesus praise the faith of the pagan centurion? It wasn’t only because the official understood the power of an authoritative command. The man had humility; he even built a synagogue for the Jews out of concern for them. We can surmise from this that he genuinely loved his ailing servant. Likewise, in our humility we’re able to see the value of others, not just for what they can do for us, but as precious human beings.

Our faith is tried every time we encounter people who oppose us. Our faith is proven true when we respond to them with love. – Read the source:

Reflection 6 – Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary

This feast is a counterpart to the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus (January 3); both have the possibility of uniting people easily divided on other matters.

The feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary began in Spain in 1513 and in 1671 was extended to all of Spain and the Kingdom of Naples. In 1683, John Sobieski, king of Poland, brought an army to the outskirts of Vienna to stop the advance of Muslim armies loyal to Mohammed IV in Constantinople. After Sobieski entrusted himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary, he and his soldiers thoroughly defeated the Muslims. Pope Innocent XI extended this feast to the entire Church.


Mary always points us to God, reminding us of God’s infinite goodness. She helps us to open our hearts to God’s ways, wherever those may lead us. Honored under the title “Queen of Peace,” Mary encourages us to cooperate with Jesus in building a peace based on justice, a peace that respects the fundamental human rights (including religious rights) of all peoples.


“Lord our God, when your Son was dying on the altar of the cross, he gave us as our mother the one he had chosen to be his own mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary; grant that we who call upon the holy name of Mary, our mother, with confidence in her protection may receive strength and comfort in all our needs” (Marian Sacramentary, Mass for the Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary).

Read the source:

Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors responded to God’s invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint. Click here to receive Saint of the Day in your email.



Oh sweet Virgin Mary!

How Sweet is the Name of Mary in Life and in Death*

THE great name of Mary…given to the divine mother, was not found on earth, neither was it invented byVirginMaryAndJesusWithRosesFrescoRosaryMadonnathe mind or will of men, as were all other names in use among them; but, it came from heaven and was given to the Virgin by divine ordinance, as St. Jerome and others attest. “From the treasury of the divinity, oh Mary, came forth thy excellent and admirable name. For the Most Holy Trinity … gave to thee this name, next to the name of thy Son, so superior to every name, and attached to it such majesty and power, that when it is uttered, all in heaven, earth, and hell must fall prostrate and venerate it” [Richard of St. Laurence]. Among all the other privileges which the Lord has attached to the name of Mary, let us see how sweet he has made it to the servants of this most holy Lady in life, as well as in death.

Mary’s Sweet Name, Full of Grace and Blessings

St. Anthony of Padua attributes to the name of Mary the same sweetness as St. Bernard attributed to the name of Jesus. The name of Jesus, said the latter, the name of Mary, said the former, is joy to the heart, honey to the mouth, melody to the ear of their devoted servants. It is related in the life of the [Blessed]John Ancina, Bishop of Saluzzo, that when he pronounced the name of Mary, he experienced so great aMarianoSalvadorMaellaHimmelfahrtMariensAssumptionOfMarysensible sweetness that he even tasted it on his lips. And, we read in the holy Canticles, at the Assumption of the Virgin, the angels three times asked her name:

“Who is she that goeth up by the desert as a pillar of smoke?”
[cf Song of Songs 3:6].

“Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising?” [cf Song of Songs 6:10]. And in another:

“Who is this that cometh up from the desert, flowing with delights?” [cf Song of Songs 8:5]

Why did the angels ask the name of this queen so often? “The sound of the name of Mary was so sweet to the angels, and they repeated the question that they might hear it repeated also” [Richard of St. Lawrence].

I do not hear speak of this sensible sweetness, since it is not commonly granted to all, but I speak of the salutary sweetness of consolation, love, joy, confidence, and strength, which the name of Mary universally gives to those who, with devotion, pronounce it….Speaking on this subject, Francone the Abbot says, that next to the holy name of Jesus, the name of Mary is so rich in blessings, that no other name is uttered on earth or in heaven from which devout souls receive so much grace, hope, and sweetness. “For the name of Mary contains in itself something admirable, sweet, and Divine, which, when it meets a friendly heart, breathes into it an odor of holy sweetness. And the wonder of this great name is that if heard a thousand times by the lovers of Mary, it is always heard as new, the sweetness they experience in hearing it spoken being always the same.”

In pronouncing the name of Mary, Blessed Henry Suso felt his confidence so much increased, and his love so joyfully enkindled, that amidst the joy and tears with which he pronounced the beloved name, heMaryAndJesusModlitewnikZygmuntaStaregothought his heart would have leaped from his mouth and affirmed that this most sweet name, as honeycomb, melted into the depth of his soul [and he exclaimed]: “Oh most sweet name! Oh, Mary, what must thou thyself be, if thy name alone is lovely and sweet?”

St. Bernard, too, says to her: “Oh great, oh merciful Mary, most holy Virgin, worthy of all praise, thy name is so sweet and lovely that it cannot be spoken without enkindling love to thee and to God in the heart of him who pronounced it; the thought of it alone is enough to console thy lovers, and inflame them with a far greater love to thee.” “If riches are a consolation to the poor, because by them they are relieved of their miseries, oh how much more does thy name console us sinners, oh Mary; far more than the riches of earth it relieves us in the troubles of the present life” [Richard of St. Lawrence].

“Thy name, oh Mother of God, is full of grace and divine blessings” [St. Methodius]. And, St. Bonaventure affirms that the name cannot be pronounced but it brings some grace to him who devoutly utters it. So great is the virtue of thy name, oh most compassionate Virgin, that no one can pronounce it, however hardened, however desponding may be his heart, and not find it wonderfully softened; for thou who consoles sinners with the hope of pardon and of grace.

Mary’s Name is Like Ointment or Oil:

CathedralOfSaintMaryMiamiInterior05AmbryThy most sweet name is a sweet ointment, which breathes the fragrance of divine grace. “May this oil of salvation descend into the depths of our soul” by which St. Ambrose intends to say: Oh Lady, remind us often to pronounce thy name with love and confidence; for thus to name thee, either is a sign that we already possess divine grace, or that we shall soon recover it. And, as Landolph [or Ludolph] of Saxony expresses it: “The remembrance of thy name, oh Mary, consoles the afflicted, brings back the wanderer to the path of salvation, encourages the sinner, and saves him from despair.”

“Thy name is as oil poured out” [cf Song of Songs 1:3]. “The glory of her name is compared to oil poured out. As oil heals the sick, diffuses odor, and kindles flame; thus the name of Mary heals sinners, rejoices hearts, and inflames them with divine Love” [Blessed Alanus]. Richard of St. Laurence encourages sinners to invoke this great name because that alone will be sufficient to cure all their maladies, adding that there is no disease so malignant that it will not at once yield to the virtue of this name.

Devils Fear It

TheImmaculateConceptionTiepoloGiambattistaDieUnbefleckteEmpfangnisHiResOn the other hand, the devils, as Thomas à Kempis affirms, are in such fear of the Queen of Heaven that at the sound of her great name they flee from him who pronounces it as from burning fire. The virgin herself revealed to St. Bridget that there is no sinner living so cold in divine love, that if he invokes her holy name, with the resolution to amend, the devil will not instantly depart from him. All demons so greatly venerate and fear her name, that when they hear it pronounced they immediately release the soul which they held in their chains.

Angels Draw Closer

Just as the rebel angels depart from sinners who invoke the name of Mary, on the contrary, the good angels draw closer around those just souls who devoutly pronounce it. The frequent utterance of the name of Mary is a sign that we’re already living in divine grace, or that we shall soon receive that life; for this powerful name is effectual to obtain help and life for him who devoutly invokes it [St. Germanus].

A Tower of Strength

This admirable name is like a tower of strength, by taking shelter in which the sinner will be saved from death, since from this celestial tower the most abandoned sinners come forth securely defended and saved [Richard of St. Laurence]. Richard goes on to say it’s a tower of strength which not only shields sinners from punishment but also defends the just from the assaults of hell. Next to the name of Jesus there is no name which gives such support, and through which so great salvation is bestowed upon men, as this great name of Mary. Especially is it everywhere known, and the servants of Mary daily experience, that her great name gives strength to overcome temptations against chastity. Remarking on St. Luke’s words: “And the name of the Virgin was Mary” [cf Luke 1:27], he says that these two names, Mary and Virgin, are united by the evangelist to show the name of this most pure Virgin can never be separated from chastity. Hence St. Peter Chrysologus says the name Mary is a sign of chastity; whoever is in doubt whether he has yielded to temptations against purity, if he remembers having invoked the name of Mary may be sure that he has not violated chastity.

Name of Mary

May the Name of the Virgin Mary be Blessed through the Ages!

Special Graces for Those Who Recite the Name of Mary

Let us, then, always follow the beautiful counsel of St. Bernard, who says: “In every danger of losing divine grace let us think of Mary, let us invoke the name of Mary together with that of Jesus, for these names are always united. Let these two most sweet and powerful names never depart from our heart and our lips, for they will always give us strength to keep us from falling, and to conquer every temptation.”Very precious are the graces which Jesus Christ has promised to those…devoted to the name of Mary, as he himself, speaking to his holy mother, gave St. Bridget to understand, revealing to her that whoever will invoke the name of Mary with confidence and a purpose of amendment, shall receive three special graces, namely:

  1. A perfect contrition for his sins,
  2. The grace to make satisfaction for them and strength to obtain perfection, and, lastly,
  3. The glory of paradise.

For, as the divine Saviour added: “Thy words are so sweet and dear to me, oh my mother, that I cannot refuse thee what thou doest ask.”

Finally, St. Ephrem adds that the name of Mary is the key of the gate of heaven to him who devoutly invokes it. Therefore, St. Bonaventure rightly calls Mary “the salvation of all those who invoke her as if it were the same thing to invoke the name of Mary and to obtain eternal salvation.” The invocation of this holy and sweet name leads to the acquisition of superabundant grace in this life, and sublime glory in another. “If you desire, then, brethren,” concludes à Kempis, “to be consoled in every affliction, have recourse to Mary, invoke Mary, honor Mary, recommend yourselves to Mary. Rejoice with Mary, weep with Mary, pray with Mary, walk with Mary, and with Mary seek Jesus; in a word, with Jesus and Mary desire to live and die. Do this and you will always advance in the way of the Lord; for Mary will pray for you, and the Son will surely graciously listen to the mother.”

Hope of the Dying

TheDyingManDerSterbendeDeathbed1518Very sweet, then, in life to her servants, is the most holy name of Mary, on account of the great graces which it obtains for them, as we have seen above; but sweeter still will it be to them in dying by the sweet and holy death she will obtain for them. [Servant of God] Father Sertorio Caputo, SJ, exhorted all called to the bedside of the dying, to often pronounce the name of Mary, saying that this name of life and hope, pronounced in death, is alone sufficient to scatter the enemies and to comfort the dying in all their anguishes. St. Camillus of Lellis also strongly recommended it to his religious, that they should remind the dying often to invoke the name of Mary and of Jesus, as he always practiced it with others. But, more sweetly he practiced it himself at the moment of his death, when … he named with so much tenderness his beloved names of Jesus and Mary, that he inflamed also with love of them all those who heard him. And at length, with his eyes fixed on their adorable image … the saint expired in celestial peace, pronouncing with his last breath the most sweet names of Jesus and Mary. This short prayer of invoking the holy names of Jesus and Mary, says à Kempis, which is as easy to retain in the memory as it is sweet to consider, is at the same time powerful to protect whoever uses it from all the enemies of our salvation.

“Blessed is he,” says St. Bonaventure, “who loves thy sweet name, oh Mother of God. Thy name is so glorious and admirable, that those who remember to invoke it at the moment of death, do not then fear all the assaults of the enemy.”

Father Fulgentius of Ascoli, OF Cap expired singing: “Oh Mary, Mary the most lovely of all beings, let me depart in thy company.” [And] Blessed Henry the Cistercian … died with the name of Mary on his lips! Let us pray [that] God to grant us this grace, that the last word we pronounce at death may be the name of Mary, as St. Germanus desired and prayed, “Oh sweet death, oh safe death, that is accompanied and protected by such a name of salvation, that God does not permit it to be invoked in death, except by those whom he will save!”

Oh, my sweet Lady and mother, I love thee much, and because I love thee, I love also thy holy name. I purpose and hope with thy aid always to invoke it in life and death [St. Liguori].

For the glory, then, of thy name, when my soul departs from this world, wilt thou come to meet it, oh blessed Lady, and take it in thy arms? Do not disdain, oh Mary, to come and comfort it, then, with thy sweet presence. Thou art its ladder and way to paradise. Wilt thou obtain for me the grace of pardon and eternal rest? Oh Mary, our advocate, to thee it belongs to shield thy servants, and defend their cause before the tribunal of Jesus Christ [St. Bonaventure].


* Adapted from St. Alphonsus Liguori’s treatise on the most holy name of Mary, found in his work “The Glories of Mary”.


Art: Vierge aux roses (Virgin with roses), Giovanni, 17th century, PD-US author’s life plus 70 years or less; Himmelfahrt Mariens, Mariano Salvador Maella, by 1819, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less; A leaf from the “Prayer Book of Sigismund I of Poland”, Stanislaw Samostrzelnik, 1524, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less; Detail from The ambry in the Cathedral of Saint Mary in Miami, Florida, Farragutful photographer, 25 January 2015, own work, CCA-SA 4.0 International; The Immaculate Conception, Giambattista Tiepolo, 1767-68, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less;  Mariae Benedictum in Saecula (May the Name of the Virgin Mary be Blessed through the Ages) colorized detail of Pseudo-Gothic Triptych, Francisco Pallàs y Puig, between 1890 and 1899, PD-US author’s term of life plus 80 years or less; Der Sterbende (The Dying Man), Lucas Cranach the Elder, PD-US published in the U.S. prior to 1 January 1923; all Wikimedia Commons.

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About Liz Estler

Editor, Liz holds a Master of Arts in Ministry Degree (St. John’s Seminary, Brighton, Massachusetts), Liturgy Certificate (Boston Archdiocese), and a BS degree in Biology and Spanish (Nebraska Wesleyan University – Lincoln). She has served as hospital chaplain associate, sacristan, translator and in other parish ministries. She was a regular columnist for a military newspaper in Europe and has been published in a professional journal. She once waded in the Trevi Fountain!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) – The Madonna of the Roses (1903)

The Feast of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary is an optional memorial celebrated in the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church on 12 September. It has been a universal Roman Rite feast since 1684, when Pope Innocent XI included it in the General Roman Calendar to commemorate the victory at the Battle of Vienna in 1683.[1] It was removed from the Church calendar by Annibale Bugnini, Secretary to the Commission for Liturgical Reform during Vatican II, but restored by Pope John Paul II in 2002, along with the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus.

Meaning of the name[edit]

In Hebrew, the name Mary is Miryam. In Our Lady’s time, Aramaic was the spoken language, and the form of the name then in use was Mariam. In the book, The Wondrous Childhood of the Most Holy Mother of God, St. John Eudes offers meditations on seventeen interpretations of the name “Mary,” taken from the writings of “the Holy Fathers and by some celebrated Doctors”.[2] The name of Mary is venerated because it belongs to the Mother of God.[3]

Meanings ascribed to Mary’s name by the early Christian writers and perpetuated by the Greek Fathers include: “Bitter Sea,” “Myrrh of the Sea”, “The Enlightened One,” “The Light Giver,” and especially “Star of the Sea.” Stella Maris was by far the favored interpretation. These etymologies suppose that the Hebrew form of the name is Maryãm, not Miryãm. The Hebrew name of Mary, Miryãm, (in Latin Domina) means lady or sovereign.[4]


Mary’s name occurs in the first part and in the second part of the Hail Mary.

At Rome, one of the twin churches at the Forum of Trajan is dedicated to the Name of Mary (Santissimo Nome di Maria al Foro Traiano).[3]

Promoters of veneration of the Holy Name of Mary include: Saint Anthony of Padua, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, and Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori. A number of religious orders such as the Cistercians, customarily give each member “Mary” as part of his/her name in religion as a sign honor and of entrustment to her.[5]

Feast day[edit]

The feast is a counterpart to the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus (January 3).[6] Its object is to commemorate all the privileges bestowed upon Mary by God and all the graces received through her intercession and mediation.[7]

The entry in the Roman Martyrology about the feast speaks of it in the following terms:

The Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a day on which the inexpressible love of the Mother of God for her Holy Child is recalled, and the eyes of the faithful are directed to the figure of the Mother of the Redeemer, for them to invoke with devotion.[8]


The feast day began in 1513 as a local celebration in Cuenca, Spain, celebrated on 15 September.[9] In 1587 Pope Sixtus V moved the celebration to 17 September.Pope Gregory XV extended the celebration to the Archdiocese of Toledo in 1622.[3] In 1666 the Discalced Carmelites received permission to recite the Divine Office of the Name of Mary four times a year. In 1671 the feast was extended to the whole Kingdom of Spain. From there, the feast spread to all of Spain and to the Kingdom of Naples.[7]

In 1683, the Polish king, John Sobieski, arrived at Vienna with his army on the octave of the Nativity of Mary. Before the Battle of Vienna, Sobieski placed his troops under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the following year, to celebrate the victory, Pope Innocent XI added the feast to the General Roman Calendar, assigning to it the Sunday within the octave of the Nativity of Mary.[10]

The reform of Pope Pius X in 1911 restored to prominence the celebration of Sundays in their own right, after they had been often replaced by celebrations of the saints. The celebration of the Holy Name of Mary was therefore moved to 12 September.[11] Later in the same century, the feast was removed from the General Roman Calendar in 1969 in the reform of the Calendar by Pope Paul VI, as something of a duplication of the 8 September feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary,[12]but it did not cease to be a recognized feast of the Roman Rite, being mentioned in the Roman Martyrology on 12 September. In 2002 Pope John Paul II restored the celebration to the General Roman Calendar.[1]


One of the local traditions surrounding the development of the croissant, holds that the day was commemorated in Vienna by the creation of a new kind of pastry shaped in the form of a half-moon from the crest on the Turkish flag. It was eaten along with coffee which was part of the booty from the Turks.

William Joseph Chaminade chose the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary as the patronal feast of the Society of Mary (Marianists) rather than a day commemorating a particular dogma or devotion in order to focus on the person of Mary.[13]

A number of parishes and schools are dedicated in honor of the Holy Name of Mary.