Skip to comments.The Holy Name of Jesus
Posted on 01/06/2006 10:10:56 AM PST by NYer
From my religious calendar, I see that January 3 is the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. Is this new? The parish where I grew up had a Holy Name Society. What is the origin of this feast day?
Reverence for the Holy Name of our Lord Jesus Christ arose in apostolic times. St. Paul in his Letter to the Philippians wrote, "So that at Jesus name every knee must bend in the heavens, on the earth and under the earth, and every tongue proclaim to the glory of God the Father: Jesus Christ is Lord" (2:10-11). Just as a name gives identity to a person and also reflects a persons life, the name of Jesus reminds the hearer of who Jesus is and what He has done for us. Keep in mind that the name Jesus means "Yahweh saves" or "Yahweh is salvation."
In invoking our Lords name with reverential faith, one is turning to Him and imploring His divine assistance. An old spiritual manual cited four special rewards of invoking the Holy Name. First, the name of Jesus brings help in bodily needs. Jesus Himself promised at the Ascension, "In my name they will cast out demons, they will speak in new tongues, they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick and they will recover" (Mk 16:17-19). After Pentecost, St. Peter and St. John went to the Temple to preach and encountered a cripple begging; St. Peter commanded, "I have neither silver nor gold, but what I have I give you! In the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazorean, walk!" and the crippled man began to walk (Acts 3:1-10). Invoking Jesus name, St. Peter also cured Aeneas (9:32).
Second, the name of Jesus gives help in spiritual trials. Jesus forgave sins, and through the invocation of His Holy Name, sins continue to be forgiven. At Pentecost, St. Peter echoed the prophecy of Joel, "Then shall everyone be saved who calls on the name of the Lord" (2:21), a teaching echoed by St. Paul in his Letter to the Romans (10:13). As St. Stephen, the first martyr, was being stoned, he called upon the name of the Lord and prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit" (Acts 7:59). As he awaited execution, St. Thomas More wrote to his daughter Margaret, "I will not mistrust Him, Meg, though I shall feel myself weakening and on the verge of being overcome with fear. I shall remember how Saint Peter at a blast of wind began to sink because of his lack of faith, and I shall do as he did: call upon Christ and pray to Him for help. And then I trust He shall place His holy hand on me and in the stormy seas hold me up from drowning."
Third, the name of Jesus protects the person against Satan and his temptations. Jesus on His own authority exorcized demons (e.g. the expulsion of the demons of Gadara in Matthew 8:28-34). Through the invocation of His Holy Name, Satan is still conquered.
Finally, we receive every grace and blessing through the Holy Name of Jesus. Jesus said, "I give you My assurance, whatever you ask the Father, He will give you in My name. Until now you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full" (Jn 16:23-24). In summary, St. Paul said, "Whatever you do, in whether in speech or in action, do it in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Col 3:17).
Both St. Bernardine of Sienna (1380-1444) and his student St. John of Capistrano (1386-1456) promoted devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. In their preaching missions throughout Italy, they carried a monogram of the Holy Name surrounded by rays. In its origin, the monogram IHS is an abbreviation of the name Jesus in Greek: I and H representing an Iota and Eta respectively, the first two letters of the name; to which later was added S, a Sigma, the final letter. (A later tradition holds that IHS represents the Latin Iesus Hominum Salvator, meaning "Jesus Savior of Mankind.") St. Bernardine and St. John blessed the faithful with this monogram, invoking the name of Jesus, and many miracles were reported. They also encouraged people to have the monogram placed over the city gates and the doorways of their homes. Dispelling the objections of some who considered this veneration superstitious, Pope Martin V in 1427 approved the proper veneration to the Holy Name and asked that the cross be included in the monogram IHS. Later in 1455, Pope Callistus III asked St. John to preach a crusade invoking the Holy Name of Jesus against the vicious Turkish Moslems who were ravaging Eastern Europe; victory came in their defeat at the Battle of Belgrade in 1456.
In 1597, Pope Sixtus V granted an indulgence to anyone reverently saying, "Praised be Jesus Christ!" Pope Cement VII in 1530 allowed the Franciscans to celebrate a feast day in honor of the Holy Name, and Pope Innocent XIII extended this to the universal Church in 1721; the feast day was celebrated on the Sunday between January 1 and January 6, or otherwise on January 2. (Unfortunately, the feast day was dropped with the revision of the liturgical calendar in 1969 by Pope Paul VI.) Pope Pius IX in 1862 approved a Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus, which Pope Leo XIII later endorsed for the whole Church because he was "desirous of seeing an increase in the devotion toward this glorious name of Jesus among the faithful, especially in a period when this august name is shamelessly scoffed at."
Pope John Paul II reinstituted the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus to be celebrated on January 3. Moreover, the reverential invocation of the Holy Name of Jesus as part of prayer or work, and the recitation of the Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus, still convey a partial indulgence for the reparation of sin. The Holy Name Society, first organized in 1274 and granted the status of a confraternity in 1564, continues to promote at the parish and diocesan levels an increased reverence for the name of Jesus, reparation for the sins of profanity and blasphemy against the Holy Name, and the personal sanctification of its members.
I'm glad they posted an article about the Holy Name of Jesus.
I'll post some more links to this thread this afternoon.
Great hymn. The only tune it should be sung to is Vaughn Williams's "King's Weston," which was written to fit the words. It's splendid and big and beautiful, like so many of his melodies.
"For He who that is mighty hath done great things to me, and holy is His Name."
"Praised be Jesus Christ!" Now and forever.
Thanks so much for posting this! :)
a) The Chi-Rho Symbol. The oldest monuments bearing this symbol date to the third century, the first being found on a burial inscription of a consul from the year 369. From the third century we have the following authentic forms: (1) the separate letters; (2) the superimposed letters; (3) the monogram cross. ￼After the triumph of Christianity, the Chi-Rho monogram spread into all countries and found manifold use. It no longer served as a mere abbreviation of the sacred Name, but stood as a symbol for Christ the King. Artists often surrounded it with a laurel wreath or a circle. This signified Chris's dominion over the world, or His triumph over all enemies of His kingdom.
b) The IHS Symbol. The familiar abbreviation IHS is a symbol of the Name Jesus which has retained its popularity down through the centuries. It owes its spread to St. Bernardine of Siena, who had it placed on his banner, surrounded with twelve rays of the sun and surmounted by a cross. It soon became the most popular monogram for the Holy Name of Jesus. By his words St. Bernardine persuaded many priests to place the letters on altars or on the interior and exterior walls of churches. Many Italian cities responded to his efforts and put the monogram in large letters on the outer walls of their town halls, as may still be seen in Siena.
c) Ichthys. The early Church loved another monogram for our Savior's name, the widely-used ICHTHYS. Christ's full title was (in Greek): Iesous Christos Theou Yos Soter, Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior. The initial letters of these five words form the Greek word ICHTHYS, which means fish. For this reason Christ is often pictured as a fish. Thus both the abbreviation and the picture became for the early Christians a secret symbol for the Redeemer. Tertullian presupposed popular familiarity with the fish symbol when he wrote about 200: "We (Christians) are born as little fishes in water after the model of our Ichthys Jesus Christ"
No, excellent hymn. I tried to find a link to the tune in my usual sources but to no avail.
By the way, the Lutheran calendar has retained the Festival of the Holy Name on its traditional January 1 date.
It is in the old (1940) Episcopal Hymnal at No. 356 (1st tune) and the new (1980) at 435.
The old tunes (Evelyn is one) are too square in meter for the text. King's Weston uses an irregular placement of the long and short notes to emphasize the natural rhythm of the text. Vaughn Williams was a very fine composer.
This beautiful litany is over five centuries in use by the faithful, having been composed by the celebrated preachers of the Holy Name, the Franciscan friars SS. Bernardine of Siena and John Capistran (see Binterim: Denkwurdigkeiten, IV, I, 597; cited by Mershman in Catholic Encyc., ix, 290). As early as 1585 Pope Sixtus V, on appeal of the Carmelites, attached an indulgence of 300 days for recitation of this litany, an implied recognition of its public use. It was not however until 1862 that Pope Pius IX approved one of the several formularies in use, for those dioceses whose ordinaries had made special request; finally in 1886 Pope Leo XIII extended the public and solemn use of this litany to the world. According to the official Preces et Pia Opera, No. 89, it is now enriched with an idulgence of seven years, a Plenary under ordinary conditions, if said daily together with the prayer, for one month.
Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us .
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the living God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Splendor of the Father, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Brightness of eternal Light, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of Glory, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Sun of Justice, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most amiable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most admirable, have mercy on us.
Jesus, the mighty God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Father of the world to come, have mercy on us.
Jesus, angel of great counsel, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most powerful, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most patient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, most obedient, have mercy on us.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Lover of Chastity, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our Lover, have mercy on us .
Jesus, God of Peace, have mercy on us .
Jesus, Author of Life, have mercy on us .
Jesus, Model of Virtues, have mercy on us .
Jesus, zealous for souls, have mercy on us .
Jesus, our God, have mercy on us .
Jesus, our Refuge, have mercy on us .
Jesus, Father of the Poor, have mercy on us .
Jesus, Treasure of the Faithful, have mercy on us .
Jesus, good Shepherd, have mercy on us .
Jesus, true Light, have mercy on us .
Jesus, eternal Wisdom, have mercy on us .
Jesus, infinite Goodness, have mercy on us .
Jesus, our Way and our Life, have mercy on us .
Jesus, joy of the Angels, have mercy on us .
Jesus, King of the Patriarchs, have mercy on us .
Jesus, Master of the Apostles, have mercy on us .
Jesus, Teacher of the Evangelists, have mercy on us .
Jesus, Strength of Martyrs, have mercy on us .
Jesus, Light of Confessors, have mercy on us .
Jesus, Purity of Virgins, have mercy on us .
Jesus, Crown of all Saints, have mercy on us .
Be merciful, spare us, O Jesus!
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Jesus!
From all evil, deliver us, O Jesus .
From all sin, deliver us, O Jesus .
From your wrath, deliver us, O Jesus .
From the snares of the devil, deliver us, O Jesus .
From the spirit of fornication, deliver us, O Jesus .
From everlasting death, deliver us, O Jesus .
From the neglect of your inspirations, deliver us, O Jesus .
Through the mystery of your holy Incarnation, deliver us, O Jesus .
Through your Nativity, deliver us, O Jesus .
Through your Infancy, deliver us, O Jesus .
Through your most divine Life, deliver us, O Jesus .
Through your Labors, deliver us, O Jesus .
Through your Agony and Passion, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your Cross and Dereliction, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your Sufferings, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your Death and Burial, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your Resurrection, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your Ascension, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your Institution of the Most Holy Eucharist, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your Joys, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through your Glory, deliver us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, spare us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Jesus!
Jesus, hear us.
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"; mercifully attend to our supplications, and grant us the grace of your most divine love, that we may love you with all our hearts, and in all our words and actions, and never cease to praise you.
Make us, O Lord, to have a perpetual fear and love of your holy name, for you never fail to govern those whom you solidly establish in your love. You, who live and reign forever and ever. R. Amen.