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12th September The Most Holy Name of Mary

In September, the Church celebrates three Marian feasts in one week: the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (8th September), the Holy Name of Mary (12th September) and Our Lady of Sorrows (15th September). The Feast of the Holy Name of Mary is an optional memorial.

In Lourdes, the Holy Name of Mary is voiced every hour during the rosary at the Grotto. It is also proclaimed in the evening during the torchlight procession, where all the pilgrims sing the Ave Maria together, praising and thanking the Lord for all the graces they have obtained through the intervention of the Virgin Mary.

The feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary

The feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary originated in Spain in the 16th century and was then extended to the universal Church by Pope Innocent XI in 1683. He wanted to thank the Virgin for having protected Christianity when the King of Poland, John Sobieski, defeated the Ottoman troops during the siege of Vienna. The Fathers of the Church attested to the power of Mary’s name. Saint Ambrose (4th century) writes for example:
“Your name, O Mary, is a precious ointment, which breathes forth the perfume of divine grace. Let this ointment of salvation enter the inmost recesses of our souls.”
The Church celebrates the power of the Virgin Mary’s intercession: through her faithful prayer, she watches over her people, who are so often tossed around on the waves of history.
In Lourdes, the name of Mary has been uttered day and night in front of the Grotto ever since the time of the apparitions. Following Bernadette, pilgrims from all over the world turn to Mary full of confidence in her maternal intercession.

Words from the Saints on the Holy Name of Mary:

“Your name, O Mary,” says Saint Ambrose, “is a precious ointment, which breathes forth the scent of divine grace!”

“How glorious is Your name, O holy Mother of God! exclaims Saint Bonaventure; how glorious is that name which has been the source of so many marvels!”

“O name full of sweetness! exclaims Blessed Henri Suzo. “O Mary, what must thou thyself be, since thy name alone is thus amiable and gracious!”

The name of Mary is a name of salvation. “The name of Mary alone”, says Saint Bernard, “puts all demons to flight…”

Blessed and invoked by all Christians around the world, the name of the Virgin Mary is sufficient in itself to comfort the faithful.

The first glory of this blessed name is that it was chosen by God, before being revealed to the parents of the new born Virgin, and then that it was uttered so respectfully by the Archangel Gabriel. Since then, all Christian generations have repeated it at every moment of every day; Heaven presents the earth with this beautiful name, and the earth replies to Heaven with a melodious echo.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary,
full of Grace,
the Lord is with thee.
blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners
now, and at the hour of death.

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