January in the Catholic Church: The Month of the Holy Name of Jesus

The Catholic Church has a rich history of traditions to enhance the spiritual lives of the faithful. One such tradition is to dedicate each month to a particular devotion based on an aspect of the liturgical calendar, a historical event, or a combination of both.

 

Sometimes the monthly Catholic devotion loosely lines up with Church seasons, but it’s typically not exact. The devotions are assigned to standard calendar months rather than the liturgical calendar, which varies slightly from year to year.

 

The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus

 

In the 1500’s there was a feast of the Holy Name that was celebrated on the second Sunday of Epiphany. This feast was removed from the Church calendar in 1969 because Jesus’ naming was already commemorated during the Octave of Christmas:

 

“After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was

called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”

Luke 2:21

 

However in 2002 the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus was restored as an optional memorial on the first free day after January 1st.

 

Why the Name of Jesus Is Holy

 

First, names have a special significance in the Bible. For example names could reflect the reaction of parents to the birth of their child. Other times names indicated a special call upon one’s life, or a particular mission given by God. The name of Jesus has been translated as “God saves”, “Savior”, “the Lord saves”.

 

Second, not only is the meaning of Jesus’ name important, but what also matters is Who named Jesus: God the Father. The Archangel Gabriel, on a mission to St. Joseph from the Father, spoke of Mary:

 

“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save

his people from their sins.”

Matt 1:21

 

Third, as seen above, the Name of Jesus is powerful and by which we are saved. It is the Name of Jesus that casts out demons and heals the sick. Jesus, in coming to make all things new, transformed death into eternal life. St. Paul reminds us we should be filled with awe and reverence:

 

“…at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and

on earth and under the earth.”

Phil 2:10

 

Ways You Can Increase Your Love and Reverence

 

  • Attend Mass on the feast of the Holy Name, if possible.

 

  • Pray the novena to the Holy Name in preparation for the feast. You can find that prayer and others at ascensionpress.com. Click on “Free Media”, then on “Prayers”.

 

  • Recite the Prayer to the Holy Name of Jesus by St. Alphonsus Liguori not just in January, but as part of your regular devotional prayers (see below).

 

  • Use a concordance or internet search to do your own Bible study about the Holy Name of Jesus.

 

  • Read and reflect on the Holy Name, asking the Holy Spirit to fill you with more love and reverence for Jesus and His Name. A classic resource is The Wonders of the Holy Name by Fr. Paul O’Sullivan, EDM OP, STL, which you can find at the TAN Books website.

 

  • Train yourself to be mindful when you hear someone use God’s Name in vain. You can make an immediate act of reparation by praying, “Blessed be the Holy Name of Jesus / God” or something similar.

 

Prayer to the Holy Name of Jesus

                                                                                    by St. Alphonsus Liguori

 

                   O my Jesus, thou art the Savior who hast given Thy blood and Thy life for

                   me, I pray Thee to write Thy adorable name on my poor heart; so that having

                   it always imprinted in my heart by love, I may also have it ever on my lips,

                   by invoking it in all my necessities.

 

                   If the devil tempts me, Thy name will give me strength to resist him; if I lose

                   confidence, Thy name will animate me to hope; if I lose confidence, Thy name

                   will animate me to hope; if I am in affliction, Thy name will comfort me, by

                   reminding me of all Thou hast endured for me.

 

                   If I find myself cold in Thy love, Thy name will inflame me by reminding me

                   of the love Thou hast shown me.

 

                   I have fallen into so many sins, because I did not call on Thee; from henceforth

                   Thy name shall be my defense, my refuge, my hope, my only consolation, my

                   only love.

 

                   Thus do I hope to live, and so do I hope to die, having Thy name always on my lips.

                   Amen.

 

Catholic Radio Can Help You Grow Your Devotional Prayer Life

 

In addition to regular radio programs, The Station of the Cross also broadcasts the daily Mass. The readings and prayers for various feast days and memorials can enrich your faith and give you something to meditate upon as you go about your day.

 

You can listen to the Holy Mass live from the EWTN Chapel at 8:00 am Eastern, or listen on demand at your convenience at thestationofthecross.com or via the iCatholicRadio app.

Tags:

Related Updates & Blogs

Massive Win for the Unborn

5 Things You Might Not Know About St. Joseph

St. Faustina: Message of Divine Mercy

Upcoming Schedule