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The Holy Name of Jesus

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The Holy Name of Jesus

January 2nd, or the Sunday Between January 1st and 6th

In the traditional calendar, this feast is celebrated on the Sunday before the Feast of the Epiphany and after the Octave-Day of Christmas, since according to the Old Law Our Lord was given His Holy Name of Jesus at His Circumcision, eight days after His Nativity. When there is no Sunday between January 1st and January 6th, however, the Feast is celebrated on January 2nd. The traditional Mass of the Feast mentions the Holy Name of Jesus twenty-seven times. In the modern calendar, an optional memorial of the Holy Name may be celebrated on January 3rd, with the Holy Name specifically proclaimed perhaps a dozen times, or potentially as few as four times. The first great promoter of this feast was St. Bernardine of Sienna, who also made popular the monogram of IHS surrounded by the rays of the sun, and the Franciscans were the first to be granted the celebration of this feast, in the early sixteenth century. The feast was placed on the general calendar in the year of Our Lord 1721, at the request of the Holy Roman Emperor. Devotion to the Holy Name Itself dates back to the earliest days of the faith, and even the simple, devout repetition of the Name “Jesus” is a great aid to devotion and a powerful weapon against the pervasive and grave sin of blasphemy.

 

Traditional Roman Martyrology for January 2nd

THE Octave of St. Stephen, the first martyr.

At Rome, the commemoration of many holy martyrs, who, despising the edict of the emperor Diocletian, which ordered that the sacred books should be delivered up, preferred to surrender themselves to the executioners rather than to give holy things to dogs.

At Antioch, the passion of blessed Isidore, bishop.

At Tomis, in Pontus, in the time of the emperor Licinius, three holy brothers, Argeus, Narcissus, and the young man Marcellinus. This last, being enrolled among the new soldiers, and refusing to serve, was beaten almost to death, and for a long time kept in prison. Being finally cast into the sea, he finished his martyrdom; but his brothers were beheaded.

At Milan, St. Martinian, bishop.

In Nitria, in Egypt, blessed Isidore, bishop and confessor.

The same day, St. Siridion, bishop.

In Thebais, St. Macarius of Alexandria, abbot.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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