Friday, 12 September 2008

The Holy Name of Mary

Today, September 12th, is the commemoration of the Holy Name of Mary. It originated in Spain in the sixteenth century, and was extended to the universal church after the victory of King Jan Sobieski of Poland in 1683 against the Turks in the siege of Vienna on that feastday. Through Our Lady's intercession, Europe was saved from Islamic domination. On a more personal note, the feast of the Holy Name of Mary is also the anniversary of the consecration of the basilica of Downside Abbey, my old school.

Why is the very name of Mary holy? It is because of her singular privilege of being conceived without sin, and being pre-redeemed by her son from the very moment of her conception. Far from detracting from the honour due to Our Lord, the incarnate word, she shows forth his great power: for all the honour due to her is from Him, and from Him alone.

In the liturgical reforms of 1969, the Holy Name of Mary was abolished from the calender, but in the last years of Pope John Paul II, by his personal intervention he restored the commemoration of both the Holy Name of Jesus and the Holy Name of Mary, for which we should be eternally grateful to him.

1 comment:

Fr PF said...

Although removed from the universal calendar all those years ago, the feast was retained in the liturgical calendar for Bavaria (-and perhaps other places too).