Readings & Reflections: Tuesday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time & Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary, September 12,2017

Readings & Reflections: Tuesday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time & Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary, September 12,2017

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

Lord Jesus, You chose your first disciples, not for what they were, but for what they would be capable of becoming under your direction and power.  Lord when You call me to serve, I must not shrug back because I think that I have little or nothing to offer. “Lord, fill me with gratitude and generosity for all you have done for me.  Take my life and all that I have as an offering of love for You,  my God and Savior, my All in All.” In your Name, I pray. Amen.

Reading I
Col 2:6-15
Brothers and sisters:
As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in him,
rooted in him and built upon him
and established in the faith as you were taught,
abounding in thanksgiving.
See to it that no one captivate you with an empty, seductive philosophy
according to the tradition of men,
according to the elemental powers of the world
and not according to Christ.

For in him dwells the whole fullness of the deity bodily,
and you share in this fullness in him,
who is the head of every principality and power.
In him you were also circumcised
with a circumcision not administered by hand,
by stripping off the carnal body, with the circumcision of Christ.
You were buried with him in baptism,
in which you were also raised with him
through faith in the power of God,
who raised him from the dead.
And even when you were dead in transgressions
and the uncircumcision of your flesh,
he brought you to life along with him,
having forgiven us all our transgressions;
obliterating the bond against us, with its legal claims,
which was opposed to us,
he also removed it from our midst, nailing it to the cross;
despoiling the principalities and the powers,
he made a public spectacle of them,
leading them away in triumph by it.

The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 145 145:1B-2, 8-9, 10-11

R. The Lord is compassionate toward all his works.
I will extol you, O my God and King,
and I will bless your name forever and ever.
Every day will I bless you,
and I will praise your name forever and ever.
R. The Lord is compassionate toward all his works.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. The Lord is compassionate toward all his works.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. The Lord is compassionate toward all his works.

Lk 6:12-19
Jesus departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself,
and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles:
Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus,
Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

And he came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground. A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured. Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection 1 – Jesus departed to the mountain to pray

While in the middle of His public ministry, Jesus recognized the need to regularly communicate with the Father. Jesus went out of His way to pray. He consulted the Father before He made any important decisions. He always sought His will and humbly adhered to the Father’s up-to-date instructions, no matter how bizarre they may be in the eyes of the world around Him.

In today’s gospel, we see Jesus go up the hill to pray and spend the whole night praying to the Father as He sought His wisdom on who should be His initial apostles, on whom He shall built His church. Emerging the right leaders for His ministry was every important to Jesus that He had to give the Father an opportunity to speak to Him and bring Him His will.

In our present day life, we too should have the same attitude and disposition about prayer. We need to acknowledge that moments of prayer are the special times we should allocate for the Lord in order that we may be united and remain united with the Father and His people. These are times when we seek His will and empowerment through spiritual retreats, mortifying acts like fasting or moments of meditation and prayer. These are times when we step back from our regular routine and seek God. These are opportune times when God updates us of His will and plan for us, the times when He blesses us with His grace, strengthens and equips us with necessary tools so that we may be His effective vessels of healing through love, mercy and compassion, so that our will may be one with His.

Today, we are all reminded that in order to continue to live in Christ Jesus, our Lord and be in His Spirit, we should be firmly rooted in him and built up in him, growing ever stronger in faith. And these, we can only accomplish if we regularly seek Him in prayer and in study of scripture coupled by regularly receiving His Body and Blood through the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. He makes alive in us that the only way we can plan the affairs of His community is through deep prayer and discernment. He reveals to us that the gift of anointed leadership in community just does not come overnight but through a process of continued prayer.

In the same light, He has made known that differences in thought and conflicting approaches in addressing how we should proceed as God’s flock should be settled and resolved and this can only achieved by retreating in prayer and fasting and detaching ourselves from our present world and allowing God, His will and plan to prevail. We should not be concerned about our interests, our influence and our preferences but think of the general good of God’s community.


Prayer is a necessary ingredient to spiritual growth and maturity.


Heavenly Father, whenever change within your own church’s traditions and practices start to startle my heart, please lead me to be more prayerful so that I may receive your wisdom and guidance.  In Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Reflection 2 – Jesus chose twelve apostles

What is God’s call on your life? When Jesus embarked on his mission he chose twelve men to be his friends and apostles. In the choice of the twelve, we see a characteristic feature of God’s work: Jesus chose very ordinary people. They were non-professionals, who had no wealth or position. They were chosen from the common people who did ordinary things, had no special education, and no social advantages. Jesus wanted ordinary people who could take an assignment and do it extraordinarily well. He chose these men, not for what they were, but for what they would be capable of becoming under his direction and power.

Give yourself unreservedly to God – he will use you for greatness in his kingdom
When the Lord calls us to serve, we must not shrug back because we think that we have little or nothing to offer. The Lord takes what ordinary people, like us, can offer and uses it for greatness in his kingdom. Is there anything holding you back from giving yourself unreservedly to God?

Jesus offers true freedom and healing for all who are troubled or afflicted
Wherever Jesus went the people came to him because they had heard all the things he did. They were hungry for God and desired healing from their afflictions. In faith they pressed upon Jesus to touch him. As they did so power came from Jesus and they were healed. Even demons trembled in the presence of Jesus and left at his rebuke.

Jesus offers freedom from the power of sin and oppression to all who seek him with expectant faith. When you hear God’s word and consider all that Jesus did, how do you respond? With doubt or with expectant faith? With skepticism or with confident trust? Ask the Lord to increase your faith in his saving power and grace.

“Lord Jesus Christ, you are the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Inflame my heart with a burning love for you and with an expectant faith in your saving power. Take my life and all that I have as an offering of love for you, who are my All.” – Read the source:

Reflection 3 – Who Christ Chooses

What is God’s call on your life? When Jesus embarked on his mission he chose twelve men to be his friends and apostles. In the choice of the twelve, we see a characteristic feature of God’s work: Jesus chose very ordinary people. They were non-professionals, who had no wealth or position. They were chosen from the common people who did ordinary things, had no special education, and no social advantages. Jesus wanted ordinary people who could take an assignment and do it extraordinarily well. He chose these men, not for what they were, but for what they would be capable of becoming under his direction and power. When the Lord calls us to serve, we must not shrug back because we think that we have little or nothing to offer. The Lord takes what ordinary people, like us, can offer and uses it for greatness in his kingdom. Is there anything holding you back from giving yourself unreservedly to God?

Pope Benedict XVI gives his reflection to all of us today. He said, “Why do we want to be disciples of Christ? The answer is: because, in communion with him, we hope to find life, the true life that is worthy of the name, and thus we want to make him known to others, to communicate to them the gift that we have found in him… Anyone who excludes God from his horizons falsifies notion of reality and, in consequence, can only end up in blind alleys or with recipes for destruction… The first basic point to affirm, then, is the following: only those who recognize God know reality and are able to respond to it adequately and in a truly human manner… yet here a further question immediately arises: who knows God? How can we know him? For a Christian, the nucleus of the reply is simple: only God knows God, only his Son who is God from God, true God, knows him. And he “who is nearest to the Father’s heart has made him known” (Jn 1:18). Hence has the unique and irreplaceable importance of Christ for us, for humanity. If we do not know God in and with Christ, all of reality is transformed into an indecipherable enigma; there is no way, and without a way, there is neither life nor truth… God is the foundational reality, not a God who is merely imagined or hypothetical, but God with a human face; he is God-with-us, the God who loves even to the cross. When the disciple arrives at an understanding of this love of Christ “to the end,” he cannot fail to respond to this love with a similar love: “I will follow you wherever you go” (Lk 9:57)… The disciple founded… upon the rock of God’s Word, feels driven to bring the Good News of salvation to his brothers and sisters. Discipleship and mission are like the two sides of single coin: when the disciple is in love with Christ, he cannot stop proclaiming to the world that only in him do we find salvation (cf. Acts 4:12). In effect, the disciple knows that without Christ there is no light, no hope, no love, no future… When God is absent – God with the human face of Jesus Christ – these values fail to show themselves with their full force” (Source: Pope Benedict XVI, His Holiness Benedict XVI was elected to the See of St. Peter in 2005).

Reflection 4 – Jesus chose the twelve disciples

Jesus’ decision to appoint the Twelve Apostles was a prayer-event – it was the fruit of Jesus’ communion with his heavenly Father. He knew each one of his disciples, he knew their faults and failings, their gifts and their talents. He saw their hearts and was not fooled by outward appearances.

Simon Peter would be the Rock who remains firm in the faith, who repents and strengthens his brethren, who feeds and tends the flock of the Church. Andrew, the first-called, would become a fisher of men and call men and women to follow Christ. James and John, the sons of thunder, would learn the way of God’s merciful love. Philip would lead men and women along the path that leads to the Father. Bartholomew, the one without guile, would teach the way of child-like simplicity, the condition for entry into the Kingdom. Matthew would teach how to leave everything and sell everything to obtain the Kingdom, the pearl of great price. Thomas would lead others on the path to Jerusalem and teach them how to find refuge in the wounds of the risen Christ. James would teach the principles of right conduct and the vanity of faith without love. Simon would be consumed by zeal for Christ, the new temple. Jude appeals to Christians to wait prayerfully and patiently for the Lord and to not give into doubt or let themselves be deceived by false prophets. Finally, Jesus knew that Judas would betray him and hand him over to the temple authorities. He knew how Judas struggled with sin and would despair when faced with the gravity of his sin.

Jesus called the Apostles to be with him throughout his public ministry and learn from him. He would teach them how to pray, how to enter into communion with the Father. They would be his disciples and the sign of the restoration of the twelve tribes of Israel. They were called to humble service, but this service would lead to deep friendship with him. Just as Jesus’ washed their feet, they would be called to wash the feet of the communities they served.

The Apostles would be granted authority to govern the Church. They would be guided by the Holy Spirit so that they could bring the Gospel of the Kingdom to all nations. They would be filled with the Holy Spirit so that they could work for the sanctity of the Church, baptizing, confirming through the laying on of hands, celebrating the Eucharist, forgiving sins, healing the sick, ordaining others for ministry, and bringing men and women into the covenant bond of marriage.

The Apostles will lead men and women to inherit the Kingdom of God and do so by combating sin in their lives. Saint Paul today puts Christians on guard about injustice. If we are truly brothers and sisters in the Lord, then we should seek to be reconciled with one another. The condition for entry into the Kingdom is observing the commandments. We have been washed clean through the waters of Baptism. We have been justified by the grace of Christ and are brought to sanctity by the Holy Spirit.

When we sin we need to place ourselves before the throne of God’s mercy and confess our sins with a contrite heart. When others sin against us, we need to show them mercy, imitating the merciful love of our heavenly Father and the merciful heart of Jesus. Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God. – Read the source:

Reflection 5 – Preparation in prayer

As the scene opens in today’s Gospel reading, Jesus knows that it’s time to discern which of his disciples should be trained as future leaders of the Church.

It was such an important decision that he had to surrender all of his logical thinking and his emotional feelings about who was best qualified. He had to look past their worldly credentials. He had to narrow the number down to a mere twelve out of many who could have been chosen. So he went away on a “retreat” and separated himself from all distractions, to pray. He gave his time to no one but the Father. He even devoted the entire night to the Father — the entire night!

When we face important decisions, when we need to discern the right direction, when we prepare to do something important, do we spend enough time in prayer? Or are we easily distracted? Worry and indecision are usually signs that we haven’t spent enough time alone with God.

Do we know God so well that we need less time alone with the Father than Jesus did? Conversely, is the Father such a stranger that we don’t know how to get deeply in touch with him?

Usually, it seems impractical to separate ourselves from family, work, or ministry long enough to go away on a prayer retreat or even to attend daily Mass or meditate in a garden or sit in front of the Blessed Sacrament. There’s always something else that begs for our attention. So, why do we even hope to hear God?

Can we really make the best decisions by guessing at God’s will and trusting our own ideas? How can we proceed successfully, ready and prepared to face obstacles, if we’ve not already established a good connection to God’s wisdom?

The more important the decision, the more necessary it is to get away from all distractions, including (or especially!) the distractions of our own will and desires. This is only possible when we slow down and pray long enough to ascend above our worldly and self-centered thinking.

Communing with God doesn’t require constant chatter with him. Jesus might have slept through part of the night, but even in sleep he remained united with the Father, because he took the time to be alone with him. To empty ourselves so that our souls are alone with him, we need to silence all that is not of God, even our burdens. We have to slow down and pray long enough to release our worries to him.

Do you recognize your soul’s hunger for this? How much time alone with God do you need today to better prepare for whatever you’re facing — or rather, so that he can prepare you for whatever you don’t even know you’ll be facing? – Read the source:

Here’s an idea: Use my e-book Knowing God’s Will and Doing It Well( in a self-made retreat. Find a place near your home, away from distractions, and assign a block of time for reading it slowly. Print the e-book, put it into a 3-ring binder with a sheet of blank paper between each reflection. During the retreat, journal your thoughts, feelings, ideas, worries, etc. over the course of 21 days. If you are discerning a very important decision, take a whole day for this. And don’t let anything or anyone steal that precious time from you and your Lord!


Reflection 6 – Fly With The Eagles

He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles. –Luke 6:13

A well-known business leader commented on the winners and the losers in his profession. “The winners fly with eagles,” he said, “and the losers run with turkeys.”

When Jesus selected the small group to whom He would entrust His mission in the world, the men appeared to be anything but “eagles.” Jesus knew that by His power and grace they could soar, but first He had to teach them to fly together.

What a strange mix! There was Peter, impetuous and uncouth. Andrew was simple and believing, but Thomas had a question mark for a mind.

Then consider Matthew and Simon. Matthew probably had held his post as tax collector by cooperating with the Romans. Simon the Zealot may have belonged to a guerrilla band determined to make life miserable for the foreign overlords of Rome by disrupting their trade or by rioting in the streets. Think of it—it would be a little like having one from the political right and one from the political left on the same church board.

Why this diversity? Perhaps to teach us that loyalty to Jesus comes first. Discipleship, true to its name, requires us to learn love and obedience and submission in a diverse community of faith under one Head—Jesus Christ.  — Haddon W. Robinson

God builds His church with different stones,
He makes each one belong;
All shapes and sizes fit in place
To make the structure strong. —Sper

Unity among believers comes from our union with Christ (Source: Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries).

Reflection 7 – 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.


SEPTEMBER 12, 2016 BY 

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, Aramaicwas 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 Martyrologyon 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.