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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Optional Memorial of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Our Lady with her parents, Sts. Joachim and Anna
In accordance with Jewish custom our Lady's parents named her eight days after her birth, 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 feast originated in Spain and was approved by the Holy See in 1513; Innocent XI extended its observance to the whole Church in 1683 in thanksgiving to our Lady for the victory on September 12, 1683 by John Sobieski, king of Poland, over the Turks, who were besieging Vienna and threatening the West. This day was commemorated in Vienna by creating a new kind of pastry and shaping it in the form of the Turkish half-moon. It was eaten along with coffee which was part of the booty from the Turks.
The ancient Onomastica Sacra have preserved the meanings ascribed to Mary's name by the early Christian writers and perpetuated by the Greek Fathers. "Bitter Sea," "Myrrh of the Sea," "The Light Giver," "The Enlightened One," "Lady," "Seal of the Lord," and "Mother of the Lord" are the principal interpretations. These etymologies suppose that the Hebrew form of the name is Maryãm, not Miryãm. From the time of St. Jerome until the 16th century, preferred interpretations of Mary's name in the West were "Lady," "Bitter Sea," "The Light Giver," and especially "Star of the Sea." Stella Maris was by far the favored interpretation. The revival of Hebraic studies, which accompanied the Renaissance, led to a more critical appraisal of the meanings assigned to Our Lady's name. Miryãm has all the appearance of a genuine Hebrew name, and no solid reason has been discovered to warrant rejecting the Semitic origin of the word. The Hebrew name of Mary, Miryãm, (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, and when we pronounce her name we affirm her power, implore her aid and place ourselves under her protection.
(Excerpted from Mariology by Juniper B. Carol, O.F.M.)
 From Mary Vitamin:
Mary Vitamin for  September 11th
Topic: Holy Name of Mary (September 12)
St. Alphonsus di Liguori
"After the most sacred name of Jesus, the name of Mary is so rich in every good thing, that on earth and in heaven there is no other from which devout souls receive so much grace, hope, and sweetness."
The Glories of Mary , (Tan Books: 1978), 240.
St. Alphonsus di Liguori
"[T]he wonder of this great name is, that if heard by the lovers of Mary a thousand times, it is always heard again with renewed pleasure, for they always experience the same sweetness each time it is pronounced."
The Glories of Mary , (Tan Books: 1978), 240.
One way to honor the Holy Name of Mary is with the traditional Catholic devotion of praying the “Three Hail Marys.â€
In Devotion to Our Lady, Father Manelli writes about the practice of the Three Hail Marys:
 "The Saints have valued the Hail Mary as a prayer which puts devils to flight, which brings joy to the Angels, which gives glory to the Holy Trinity, and which gladdens Mary's Heart: 'Rejoice, O Lady full of grace!' St. Louis de Montfort said that the unfailing sign of true devotion to Mary is a love for the Hail Mary. Mary's true clients regard the Hail Mary as something very dear, and most expressive of their love for Our Lady. Is it not something beautiful to consider that with each Hail Mary one gives a kiss to our heavenly Mother?"
Devotion to Our Lady, (Academy of the Immaculate: 2001), 149.
To prepare for the feast of the Holy Name of Mary, I will begin my day with three Hail Marys and end the day with the Three Hail Marys.
Marian Vow:
Father Manelli, FI
"A long, complicated practice of piety might seem troublesome. But what is simpler than reciting three Hail Marys? It scarcely takes even a minute of time. What a beautiful thing it would be to begin and end our day by reciting the Three Hail Marys! It would mean offering Our Lady our day and our night, our work and our rest, our sacrifice and our relaxation. Should we not want to do this?"
Devotion to Our Lady, (Academy of the Immaculate: 2001), 149.
I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Thanks be to God for graces received.

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