Friday, 12 September 2008

Memorial of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today we Catholics commemorate the Holy Name of Mary. This feast exemplifies the Roman Catholic focus on Mariology and the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mother Mary's parents named her eight days after her birth in accordance with Jewish custom and were inspired to call her Mary. The feast of the Holy Name of Mary therefore follows that of her Birthday, as the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus follows Christmas. The Hebrew name of Mary (in Latin Domina) means lady or sovereign; this Mary is in virtue of her Son's sovereign authority as Lord of the World.

We call Mary our Lady as we call Jesus our Lord. When we pronounce her name, we affirm her power, implore her aid and place ourselves under her protection.On this day dedicated to the Holy Name of Mary let us repeat that wonderful prayer of Saint Bernard (responding to Pope Benedict XVI 's invitation to "invite everyone to become a trusting child before Mary, even as the Son of God did"): “Look to the star of the sea, call upon Mary … in danger, in distress, in doubt, think of Mary, call upon Mary. May her name never be far from your lips, or far from your heart … If you follow her, you will not stray; if you pray to her, you will not despair; if you turn your thoughts to her, you will not err. If she holds you, you will not fall; if she protects you, you need not fear; if she is your guide, you will not tire; if she is gracious to you, you will surely reach your destination.” [source: Catholic Culture]

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