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Ave Maria Mediations
Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus: January 3rd

“so that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven,

on earth and under the earth”(Phil. 2:8)

Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim,
Till all the world adore His sacred Name.


The veneration of the Holy Name was encouraged by the example of St. Bernard of Clairvaux but the greatest promoters of this devotion were St. Bernardine of Siena and his follower St. John Capistrano. “They carried with them on their missions in the turbulent cities of Italy a copy of the monogram of the Holy Name, surrounded by rays, painted on a wooden tablet, wherewith they blessed the sick and wrought great miracles. At the close of their sermons they exhibited this emblem to the faithful and asked them to prostrate themselves, to adore the Redeemer of mankind.” ( Catholic Encyclopedia )

The practice of showing the monogram of Jesus over gates and above doors largely begins with their exhortations.? In the sixteenth century the Holy Name was introduced as a liturgical feast. In the year 1530 Pope Clement VII first per?mitted the Order of Friars Minor to celebrate the Name of Jesus with its own proper Office.

Name 1

Jesus in the soul’s abyss
Is sweeter far than earthly bliss;
A tower strong is that Name mild
Ne’er disturbed by tempest wild.
Far lovelier than a diamond bright,
That Name adorns the soul with light.
The Name of Jesus sweetly rings
Like rarest zither’s silver strings.

Ah, Jesus, for Thy Name’s blest sake
Forgive my sins, exceeding great.
Grant, dear Lord, that Thy fair name,
May wound my heart with holy pain.
Jesus, choicest Lover mine,
May my heart’s love be ever Thine.
Bless me Jesus, God of power,
Now and in death’s departing hour.

(Blessed Henry Suso)


St. Bernard would hold up for veneration the monogram of Christ’s Name — the letters “IHS” — surrounded by rays. This ancient monogram is a Latinization of the Greek monograms for Iesous Christos, “IH XP” and “IC XC”.

IHS represents the name of Jesus. Originally the letters came from a contraction of his name in Greek. Later, they became linked to the special devotion to his holy name. Over time, IHS has taken on different meanings. For example, it is also associated with the first letters of the Latin phrase “Iesus Hominum Salvator” (Jesus, Savior of Men).


The heart of every Christian should respond to this invitation and exalt the most Holy Name of Our Savior, that is, His very Person, for the Name of Jesus expresses what He is: Savior, Redeemer. This sacred Name, announced by the Angel to both Mary and Joseph, was given to Our Lord by God Himself. “Thou shalt call His Name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins” (Mt1:21).

This Name expresses and synthesizes the great myteries of the Incarnation and the Redemption; it is at the center of the universe like a point of contact, like a bridge between God and all mankind. Man can reach God only by means of Jesus and in the Name of Jesus : “for there is other Name under heaven whereby we must be saved”.

“0 glorious Name! Gracious Name! Name full of love and virtue!Through You, sins are forgiven, enemies overcome, the sick healed, and sufferers strengthened in adversity! You are the honor of believers, the Master of preachers, the comfort of those who toil, the support of the weak. Holy desires are nourished by the ardor of Your fire; and by it, necessary suffrages are obtained, contemplative souls are inebriated, and the triumphant are glorified in heavenly glory! By Your most Holy Name, 0 sweet Jesus, You make us reign with the Blessed, You, their glory, You who triumph gloriously with the Father and the Holy Spirit, in perfect Unity and Trinity, forever and ever.

0 Name of Jesus, exalted above every other Name! O triumphant Name! 0 joy of Angels! 0 terror of hell! All hope of pardon, of grace and of glory is found in You! O sweetest Name, You pardon the guilty, You reform evil habits, You fill the timid with divine sweetness and drive away terrifying visions! 0 glorious Name! By You, the mysteries of eternal life are revealed, souls are inflamed with divine love, strengthened in time of struggle, and freed from all dangers. 0 desirable Name! Delightful Name! Admirable Name! Venerable Name! Little by little You raise the souls of the faithful by Your gifts and graces to the heights of heaven. All to whom You communicate Your ineffable grandeur, by Your power attain to salvation and glory!”

(St. Bernardine of Siena).

How good is Your Name, 0 Lord! Grant that its goodness may make me, unworthy creature that I am, capable of loving and praising You with all my heart. I want to begin and end all my works by invoking Your Name, and to mark all my affections, desires, under?takings, joys, and sorrows with this sacred seal. But 0 Lord, I beg You, above all, imprint Your Name on my heart and mind, so that I may always love You and think of You.

(Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene OCD)

The IHS Monogram of Jesus

From the Holy Name Society:

Holy Mother Church reveals to us the greatness of His Name. The month of January is traditionally dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus. Since the 16th century Catholic piety has associated entire months to special devotions. Holy Mother Church reveals to us the greatness of His name. ?It was on the occasion of the rite of Circumcision that a name was given to children among Jews. So the Church uses the same Gospel as that of the Feast of the Circumcision, and dwells on the second part, which tells us that “the Child was called Jesus”, “as God had bid that He should be called”. This name means Savior, for “there is no other name given to men whereby we must be saved”.

Devotion to the Holy Name is deeply rooted in the Sacred Scriptures, especially in the Acts of the Apostles. Although it is not difficult to find devotion to the Holy Name in some ancient Christian liturgy, the official origin of this feast is traced to the sixteenth century, when it was celebrated by the Franciscan Order. It was promoted in a special manner by St. Bernard, St. Bernardine of Siena, St. John Capistran and by the Franciscan Order. This special feast was extended to the whole Church in 1727 during the Pontificate of Innocent XIII.

The feast is meant to impress on all Christians the dignity of the Holy Name. Before the reform of the Roman Calendar this feast was celebrated on January 2. In the liturgical revisions of Vatican II, the feast was deleted, though a votive Mass to the Holy Name of Jesus had been retained for devotional use by the Dominican and Franciscan Orders. With the release of the revised Roman Missal in March 2002, the feast was restored as an optional memorial for the whole Church and set on January 3.

Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus

V. Lord, have mercy on us.
R. Christ, have mercy on us.
V. Lord, have mercy on us. Jesus, hear us.
R. Jesus, graciously hear us.
V. God the Father of Heaven
R. Have mercy on us.
V. God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
R. Have mercy on us.
V. God the Holy Spirit,
R. Have mercy on us.
V. Holy Trinity, one God,
R. Have mercy on us.
V. Jesus, Son of the living God, R. Have mercy on us.
Jesus, splendor of the Father, [ etc. ] Jesus, brightness of eternal light.
Jesus, King of glory.
Jesus, sun of justice.
Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary.
Jesus, most amiable.
Jesus, most admirable.
Jesus, the mighty God.
Jesus, Father of the world to come.
Jesus, angel of great counsel.
Jesus, most powerful.
Jesus, most patient.
Jesus, most obedient.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart.
Jesus, lover of chastity.
Jesus, lover of us.
Jesus, God of peace.
Jesus, author of life.
Jesus, example of virtues.
Jesus, zealous lover of souls.
Jesus, our God.
Jesus, our refuge.
Jesus, father of the poor.
Jesus, treasure of the faithful.
Jesus, good Shepherd.
Jesus, true light.
Jesus, eternal wisdom.
Jesus, infinite goodness.
Jesus, our way and our life.
Jesus, joy of Angels.
Jesus, King of the Patriarchs.
Jesus, Master of the Apostles.
Jesus, teacher of the Evangelists.
Jesus, strength of Martyrs.
Jesus, light of Confessors.
Jesus, purity of Virgins.
Jesus, crown of Saints.

V. Be merciful, R. spare us, O Jesus.
V. Be merciful, R. graciously hear us, O Jesus.

V. From all evil, R. deliver us, O Jesus.
From all sin, deliver us, O Jesus.
From Your wrath, [ etc. ] From the snares of the devil.
From the spirit of fornication.
From everlasting death.
From the neglect of Your inspirations.
By the mystery of Your holy Incarnation.
By Your Nativity.
By Your Infancy.
By Your most divine Life.
By Your labors.
By Your agony and passion.
By Your cross and dereliction.
By Your sufferings.
By Your death and burial.
By Your Resurrection.
By Your Ascension.
By Your institution of the most Holy Eucharist.
By Your joys.
By Your glory.

V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. spare us, O Jesus.
V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. graciously hear us, O Jesus.
V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. have mercy on us, O Jesus.

V. Jesus, hear us.
R. Jesus, graciously hear us.

Let us pray.

O Lord Jesus Christ, You have said, “Ask and you shall receive, seek, and you shall find, knock, and it shall be opened to you.” Grant, we beg of You, to us who ask it, the gift of Your most divine love, that we may ever love You with our whole heart, in word and deed, and never cease praising You.

Give us, O Lord, as much a lasting fear as a lasting love of Your Holy Name, for You, who live and are King for ever and ever, never fail to govern those whom You have solidly established in Your love. R. Amen.


Some Scripture Passages Featuring the Sacred Name of Jesus:

And when eight days were fulfilled for His circumcision, His Name was called Jesus, the Name given Him by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
(Luke 2:21)

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Mt.1:20)

But these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His Name. (Jn.20:30)

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2: 37)

Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In theName of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. (Acts 3:5)

Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the Name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 21:12)

That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.(Phil.2:9)

Colossians 3:17
All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.

And this is his commandment, that we should believe on the Name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. (1 Jn.3:22)

Apocalypse 22:4
And there shall be no curse any more; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. And they shall see His face: and His Name shall be on their foreheads.

Sr. JosephMary f.t.i.

Author Sr. JosephMary f.t.i.

Our Lady found this unworthy lukewarm person and obtained for her the grace to enter the Third Order of the Franciscans of the Immaculate. May this person spend all eternity in showing her gratitude.

More posts by Sr. JosephMary f.t.i.

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