Today is the Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary.
‘A person’s name means much more in the liturgy and in the Bible than to us moderns. It is an expression of one’s personality, of one’s whole being or nature. In many cases individuals who in sacred history were assigned special roles received from God a name suited to their mission. We may well admit that the name of the Mother of God did not befall her accidentally but through divine design. For us Christians the name Mary is a sacramental which is ever spoken and honoured with deepest piety. No wonder then that preachers and writers have sought to assign it meanings, to accord it highest praise. The liturgy offers various interpretations, e.g., “friend,” “mistress” (Peter Chrysologus in the third nocturnal), “star of the sea”. The is last title is widely used in the Office (although sound basis for such etymology is lacking). Upon it St Bernard builds an edifying homily to which we listen in the second nocturn. Also in the lovely Vesper hymn of Marian Offices, Ave, Maris Stella, this title used and explained in the third strophe.
Today’s feast is also a family feast in God’s great family. Mary not only is God’s Mother, she is the Mother of us Christians too. Some few days ago we celebrated her birthday, today her name day. And many of us have sisters who keep this day as a special union with their heavenly patroness.
Nor ought we be unmindful that today's feast is a thanksgiving celebration. It is the anniversary of Vienna’s wonderful, almost miraculous, deliverance from the Turks on September 12, 1683. Pope Innocent XI designated this day as one of gratitude for the victory of the Cross over the crescent, due to Mary’s intercession’.
from The Church’s Year of Grace, 1953, by Pius Parsch, 1884-1954
Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God: that thy faithful people who rejoice in the name
and protection of the most holy Virgin Mary, may by her loving intercession be delivered
from all evils on earth and be found worthy to come to everlasting joys in heaven;
through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee,
in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Divine Worship: The Missal
Fr Lee Kenyon
Priest, Husband, Father, Lancastrian, Mancunian