The name Jesus was given to the Holy Child at God's command (Luke 1:31). The Holy Name is all-powerful because of the Person Who bears it; we honor it because of the command of Christ, that we should pray in His Name and because it reminds us of all the blessings we receive through our Holy Redeemer. Hence St. Paul was able to write to the Philippians: ".... at the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven, on earth, and under the earth" (Phil. 2:10). By means of this devotion we also make amends for improper use of the Holy Name.Hymn in Honor of the Holy Name
Jesu Dulcis Memoria
Jesus, the very thought of TheeRoman Breviary
With sweetness fills the breast!
Yet sweeter far Thy face to see
And in Thy presence rest.
No voice can sing, no heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find,
A sweeter sound than Jesus' name,
The Savior of mankind.
O hope of every contrite heart!
O joy of all the meek!
To those who fall, how kind Thou art!
How good to those who seek!
But what to those who find? Ah! this
Nor tongue nor pen can show--
The love of Jesus, what it is,
None but His loved ones know.
Jesus! our only hope be Thou,
As Thou our prize shalt be;
In Thee be all our glory now,
And through eternity. Amen.
(Indulgence of 5 years)
The Feast of the Holy Name
by Father Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876
"Thy name is like oil poured out."--Cant. 1.
The Church celebrates a special festival for the glorification of the sacred Name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. This is salutary and right, for it is the Name of the Redeemer of the world; and, therefore, with regard to its relation to Him who bears it, and to the work He accomplished, it is a most solemn, mighty, holy, sanctifying, sweet and consoling Name. But the most important point in its consideration is that it exercises a powerful influence upon our lives as children of God and His Holy Church.
But, to denote more clearly the person of the Redeemer, and what He accomplished by the institution of His Church, we add, according to the direction of Holy Scripture, to this Name still another, namely, Christ. We should frequently think of the signification of this Name and its relation to us; for after it we are called, in imitation of Christ, and as members of His Church, Christians. It can be said of this holy Name, as well as of the name Jesus, that it is a most holy, solemn, mighty, sanctifying, and consoling Name, admirably qualified to exercise an influence upon our lives, that we may not only call ourselves disciples of Jesus and of His Church, but also live as such.
I will, therefore, speak today of the dignity of the Name to be called a Christian, and of the influence which that Name should exercise upon our lives. O Mary, help of Christians, protectress of the Catholic Church, assist us, that we may not merely be called Christians, but may also live as such! I speak in the most holy name of Jesus, for the greater glory of God!
As we read the acts of the martyrs, we see that, at the time of the persecution of Diocletian, Christians, in the bright light of day, walked in the public streets having plates on their foreheads, on which were inscribed the words: "I am a Christian." This confession was to remind the persecutors of the Church how useless it was to induce the faithful--who knew what the name Christian signified, and what relation it bore to the name of Christ Himself--to apostatize from the true faith.
To understand this more clearly, we need only first think of the glorification which is due to the Name of Jesus; and consider how all the circumstances, which elevate it to such a dignity, and surround it with the light of glory, refer also in manner and degree to the name "Christian," which we bear as children of His Church. I say, first, the Name of Jesus is a most solemn Name, which, as the angel said to St. Joseph, was sooner named in heaven than on earth. It is the Name of the Incarnate Son of God. The name Christian is also a name which was sooner named in heaven than it was bestowed upon man on earth. There was indeed no necessity that we should receive the happiness of being children of the true Church of Christ. For this great privilege we are indebted to the decree of the love and mercy of God, who, from all eternity, ordained that we should be born of Catholic parents; or else, enlightened and encouraged by the assistance of God, receive grace to become children of the Holy Church. We shall the better estimate this happiness, if we think of the multitude of men throughout the world who lived before Christ, are now living, and will yet live in the future, without ever attaining it.
Yes, a precious, a glorious and gracious name is the name of Christian. The name Jesus is the Name of the Son of God, who became Man for us, and the name Christian is that of the children of God; it was imparted to us at baptism, through which we were regenerated, as children of the Church, and, at the same time, as children of our Father in heaven. The name of Jesus is glorious, through the properties of the person and dignity of Christ and His kingdom. All these circumstances are so many rays which glorify the name of "Christian" before the face of heaven and earth.
The name Christian indicates an extremely high and glorious position, which we maintain among the creatures of God; for, as Christians, we are changed from children and slaves of Satan into children of God,--citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem,--fellow-citizens of the angels, and brothers and sisters of the saints. We are permitted to call Mary, the Queen of heaven, our Mother; and Jesus, who sits at the right hand of His Father, our Brother. Through baptism, by which the name "Christian" is imparted to us, we enter into the visible kingdom of Christ upon earth; enjoy, with Holy Church, her victories and triumphs, and attain to the possession of the infinite merits of our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ, who deposits them in the treasury of the Church,--yes, we even attain to the personal possession of Christ Himself, in the most august Sacrament of the Altar.
The happiness of being a Christian gives us, at the same time, the right to become heirs of heaven, and one day to enter into it, body and soul, to dwell forever there. Not only this; but this Name, if we live accordingly, gives us power to elevate our thrones in heaven always higher and higher, by the good works which we perform on earth in the state of grace, and to gather always more and more treasures, and so become richer and richer for eternity. What a great happiness to be a Christian! But, in order to reign one day royally with Christ in the strength of His Name, we must certainly do something on our part. We must lawfully combat against the powers of darkness, which endeavor to seduce us to deviate from the narrow path of salvation, and walk on the broad and pleasant road of eternal perdition.
In this regard, we must be zealous in overcoming temptation; we must avoid sin, and, with the zeal of the saints, perform good works. But the name Christian reminds us, furthermore, of a series of motives which, if we consider them properly, will inspire us with courage and strength to conquer in this manner victoriously, and to crush the head of the serpent of temptation, thus coming nearer and nearer each day to that perfection at which we all must aim.
I am a Christian, how could I, by sinning, sacrifice the dignity of having been created in the image of God, and every right and title to the triumphant kingdom of Christ in heaven? Never! ah, never! I am a Christian; and as long as I possess within my heart the power to feel, I will utter the triumphant cry: "Depart from me !" and endeavor, by my progress in the path of perfection, to remain close to Christ, and to become always more like unto Him, that He may not be ashamed to call me His brother before all the radiant angels of His heavenly realm.
The Name of Jesus is a holy and sanctifying Name, so also is the name of Christian. It was imparted to us in baptism, whose saving waters cleanse every stain of sin from the soul, and infuse into it the priceless boon of sanctifying grace. As true Christians we shine, as St. Paul assures us, like bright and sparkling torches amid the darkness, which, through idolatry, sins, and crimes of every kind, bury and enchain the nations of the earth.
"Let your light shine, that men may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." These are the words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. How earnestly, therefore, should not the consciousness--" I am a Christian "--urge us to the imitation of Christ, and to the utmost solicitude in the momentous affair of our salvation. A martyr of Christ who, in the early ages of Christianity, was dragged before the judge because he was a Christian, gave to all the questions of the pagan judge the unvarying answer: "I am a Christian." What is your name? "I am a Christian." What is your occupation? "To be a Christian."
If I can thus reply with truth, then indeed my salvation is secured; if not, then indeed I am in danger. Ah, yes! a Christian I am, and will ever be! The Name of Jesus is a Name which is full of the sweetest consolation and celestial benediction; so also is the name Christian. It whispers to us to look into the mystery of the Redemption of the world,--the passion and death of our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ.
Instructed by Christ's word, encouraged by His example to bear the cross, all troubles lose the appearance of evil, and shine with a lovely light along the way to heaven to increase our joy in the kingdom of eternal reward, if we, with Him, for Him, and through Him, have victoriously endured the trials which He has sent us here on earth. It was this that amazed the heathens, and was so often the means of winning them to confess the truth of our holy faith. What admiration filled them when they beheld how Christians, in the midst of torments, praised and thanked God that He deemed them worthy to testify in this manner their love to Him, and their fidelity to the faith He came to teach. "I am a Christian." This one thought is a blessed source of consolation. Oh, what joy in the remembrance that we are in possession of a dignity the very name of which is a pledge of security for us for time and eternity!
Well is it for us if, through constant meditation on the above, a true appreciation of this dignity penetrates us. Thus we shall, after a joyfully happy and meritorious life, receive, upon our dying bed, that consolation which St. Teresa experienced when she yielded her pure soul into the hands of the Lord: "I die as a child of the Holy Catholic Church." Amen!
Hymn: Jesu, decus angelicum
O Jesu, thou the beauty art
Of Angel worlds above;
Thy Name is music to the heart,
Enchanting it with love.
Celestial Sweetness unalloyed!
Who eat thee hunger still;
Who drink of thee still feel a void,
Which only thou canst fill.
O my sweet Jesu! hear the sighs
Which unto thee I send;
To thee mine inmost spirit cries
My being's hope and end.
Stay with us. Lord, and with thy light
Illume the soul's abyss;
Scatter the darkness of our night,
And fill the world with bliss.
The following stanza is never changed.
O Jesu, spotless Virgin flower,
Our life and joy; to Thee
Be praise, beatitude, and power,
Through all eternity.
V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.
Prayer of Petition
O Divine Jesus, Thou hast promised that anything we ask of the Eternal Father in Thy name shall be granted.
O Eternal Father. In the name of Jesus, for the love of Jesus, in fulfillment of this promise, and because Jesus has said it, grant us our petitions for the sake of Jesus, Thy Divine Son. Amen.
A Novena in Honor of the Most Holy Name of Jesus
O Merciful Jesus! Who didst in Thine early infancy commence Thine office of Savior, by shedding Thy Precious Blood, and assuming for us that Name which is above all names; we thank Thee for such early proofs of Thine infinite love; we venerate Thy sacred Name, in union with the profound respect of the angel who first announced it to the earth, and unite our affections to the sentiments of tender devotion which the adorable Name of Jesus has in all ages enkindled in the hearts of Thy servants.
Animated with a firm faith in Thine unerring word, and penetrated with confidence in Thy mercy, we now most humbly remind Thee of the promise Thou hast made, that when two or more should assemble in Thy Name, Thou Thyself wouldst be in the midst of them. Come, then, into the midst of us, most amiable Jesus, for it is in Thy sacred Name we are here assembled. Come into our hearts, that Thy Holy Spirit may pray in and by us; and mercifully grant us, through that adorable Name, which is the joy of Heaven, the terror of hell, the consolation of the afflicted, and the solid ground of our unlimited confidence, all the petitions we make in this novena.
O blessed Mother of our Redeemer: who didst participate so deeply in the sufferings of thy dear Son, when He shed His Sacred Blood, and assumed for us the Name of Jesus: obtain for us through that adorable Name, the favors we petition in this novena. Beg also, that the most ardent love may imprint on our hearts that sacred Name, that it may be always in our minds, and frequently on our lips; that it may be our defense in temptations, our refuge in danger, during our lives, and our consolation and support in the hour of death. Amen.
Act of Reparation for Blasphemies Uttered
Against the Holy Name
The Sign which the angel gave the shepherds to help them find the new-born Savior, points to His lowliness: "This shall be a sign to you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." No other new-born baby who was wrapped in poor swaddling clothes and lying in a manger, a feeding trough for animals, could be found anywhere else but in a stable. Thus in lowliness the King of heaven, the Son of God, chose to be born, because he came to destroy the pride that had been the cause of man's ruin.Prayer
The prophets had already foretold that our Redeemer was to be treated as the vilest of men on earth and that He was to be overwhelmed with insults. How much contempt had not Jesus indeed to suffer from men! He was called a drunkard, a trickster, a blasphemer and a heretic. What ignominies He endured in His Passion! His own disciples abandoned Him; one of them sold Him for thirty pieces of silver, and another denied having ever known Him. He was led in bonds through the streets like a criminal; He was scourged like a slave, ridiculed as a fool, crowned with thorns as a mock king, buffetted and spit upon, and finally left to die, hanging on a cross between two thieves, as the worst criminal in the world. "The noblest of all," says Saint Bernard, "is treated as the vilest of all." But the Saint adds, "The viler Thou art treated, the dearer Thou art to me." The more I see Thee, my Jesus, despised and put to shame, the more dear and worthy of my love dost Thou become to me.
O Jesus, my Savior and Redeemer, Son of the living God. behold, we kneel before Thee and offer Thee our reparation; we would make amends for all the blasphemies uttered against Thy holy name, for all the injuries done to Thee in the Blessed Sacrament, for all the irreverence shown toward Thine immaculate Virgin Mother, for all the calumnies and slanders spoken against Thy spouse, the holy Catholic and Roman Church. O Jesus, who hast said: "If you ask the Father anything in My name. He will give it to you," we pray and beseech Thee for all our brethren who are in danger of sin; shield them from every temptation to fall away from the true faith; save those who are even now standing on the brink of the abyss; to all of them give light and knowledge of the truth, courage and strength for the conflict with evil, perseverance in faith and active charity! For this do we pray, most merciful Jesus, in Thy name, unto God the Father, with whom Thou livest and reignest in the unity of the Holy Ghost world without end. Amen.(Indulgence of 500 days)
Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most Holy.
Blessed be her Holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste Spouse.
Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints.
Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven,
have mercy on us.*
God the Son, redeemer of the world,*
God the Holy Ghost,*
Holy Trinity, one God,*
Jesus, Son of the living God,*
Jesus, splendor of the Father,*
Jesus, brightness of eternal light,*
Jesus, king of glory,*
Jesus, son 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 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 all saints,*
Be merciful, spare us, O Jesus.
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Jesus.
From all evil,
deliver us, O Jesus.**
From all sin,**
From Thy wrath,**
From the snares of the devil,**
From the spirit of fornication,**
From everlasting death,**
From the neglect of Thine inspirations,**
By the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation,**
By Thy nativity,**
By Thine infancy,**
By Thy most divine life,**
By Thy labors,**
By Thine agony and passion,**
By Thy cross and dereliction,**
By Thy sufferings,**
By Thy death and burial,**
By Thy resurrection,**
By Thine ascension,**
By Thine institution of the most Holy Eucharist,**
By Thy joys,**
By Thy glory,**
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Hear us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, who takest 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, Who hast said: ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you; mercifully attend to our supplications, and grant us the gift of Thy divine charity, that we may ever love Thee with our whole heart and with all our words and deeds, and may never cease from praising Thee.
Make us, O Lord, to have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy name, for Thou never failest to help and govern those whom Thou dost bring up in Thy steadfast fear and love: Who livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.
[Indulgence of 7 years; plenary indulgence once a month on the usual conditions, for the daily and devout recitation of this litany. (114)]
[The faithful who, during the month of January, perform some special act of devotion in honor of the Holy Name of Jesus are granted: an indulgence of 7 years once on any day of the month; a plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this act of devotion is repeated daily for the entire month, (118)]
Prayer for the Conversion or Return to Faith
O God, all hearts are in Thy Hands. Thou canst bend, as it pleases Thee, the most stubborn, and soften the most obdurate. I beseech Thee by the Holy Name, the Precious Blood, the Merits, Wounds and Divine Heart of Jesus, Thy Beloved Son, to grant the conversion we ask. Amen.JESUS, HELP ME!
In every need let me come to Thee with humble trust, saying Jesus, help me!(Composed by an English Bishop during his last illness)
In all my doubts, perplexities, and temptations Jesus, help me!
In hours of loneliness, weariness and trials Jesus, help me!
In the failure of my plans and hopes; in disappointments, troubles and sorrows Jesus, help me!
When others fail me, and Thy Grace alone can assist me Jesus, help me!
When I throw myself on Thy Tender Love as a Father and Savior Jesus, help me!
When my heart is cast down by failure, at seeing no good come from my efforts Jesus, help me!
When I feel impatient, and my cross irritates me Jesus, help me!
When I am ill, and my head and hands cannot work and I am lonely Jesus, help me!
Always, always, in spite of weakness, falls and shortcomings of every kind Jesus, help me and never forsake me.
Indulgenced Ejaculations in Honor of the Holy Name
My Jesus, mercy!
Indulgence of 100 days, for each recital.-- Pius IX. Sept. 24, 1846.
My sweetest Jesus, be not my judge, but my Saviour.
Indulgence of 50 days, for each recital.-- Pius IX, Aug. n, 1851.
Jesus, my God, I love Thee above all things.
Indulgence of 50 days, each time.-- Pius IX, May 7, 1854.
Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! (Luke iii. 38).
Indulgence of 100 days, once a day.-- Leo XIII, Feb. 27, 1886.
The Month of the Nativity: Includes the Feasts of the Circumcision, Holy Name, Epiphany and the Purification
Music: Jesu Dulcis Memoria, Jesu Rex Admirabilis