Thursday, September 12, 2013

Holy Name of Mary

It’s hard to imagine that the Blessed Mother has many more feasts than Jesus himself in the Liturgical calendar. In one week between September 8 and 15, there are three celebrations honoring Mary. September 8 is the Nativity of Mary, September 15 is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, and today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Name of Mary, a feast only recently introduced, even though this was made officially a universal feast by Blessed Pope Innocent XI to commemorate victory over the Turks at the Battle of Vienna in 1683.
The feast was only a local one at its inception in 1513, when it was instituted in Cuenca, Spain. It was initially celebrated on September 15th and later on the 17th. Pope Gregory XV extended the celebration to the Archdiocese of Toledo in 1622. In 1666 the Discalced Carmelites received the faculty to recite the Office of the Name of Mary four times a year. In 1671 the feast was extended to the whole of Spain. After the victory of the Christians, lead by King John III Sobieski of Poland, over the Turks in the Battle of Vienna in 1683, the feast was extended to the whole Church by Pope Innocent XI, and assigned to the Sunday after the Nativity of Mary. Before the battle King John had placed his troops under the protection of the BVM. 

In Latin "Sacred Holy Name of Mary"
Even in the past 60 years, there has been some controversy over the date of this festivity. In 1954, it was re-instated at September 12, but was removed temporarily as many thought it was duplication of the Nativity of Mary, but in 2001, the feast of the Holy Name of Mary was once again set to be celebrated today.
Mary is Mariam or in the Holy Land. The Hebrew variant of the name is Miriam. The name may have originated in the Egyptian Meri-Amun, "beloved of the God". It was incorporated in the Exodus narrative as Miriam, the name of Moses' sister. It became common in ancient Israel, hence its appearance in the gospel narrative as the name of Jesus' mother and several other women. The name is very common among Arabs, Iranians and other Muslim cultures.
However, Mary is called by an innumerable number of names that denote a connection with something special, Our Lady of Lourdes, Fatima, Queen of Peace, Angels, Perpetual Help, Our lady of Snows, even Our Lady of Baker City.

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