What's In A Name?
by Father Charles M. Mangan
Each September 12th the Church liturgically commemorates the Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary.
Scholars are divided as to the meaning of "Mary" and from whence it came. The most frequent hypothesis is that Mary is the English form of "Miryam" or "Miriam," while its derivation is unclear. We do know that Mary was the name of the sister of Moses and several women mentioned in the New Testament.
Donald Attwater, in his valuable "Dictionary of Mary" (New York: P. J. Kenedy and Sons, 1956) related that Saint Jerome (about 345-420) around the year 400 interpreted "Mary" as meaning "Star of the Sea" (Stella maris).
Perhaps the origin of the name of the Mother of God does not really matter. To research this subject would undoubtedly prove illuminating, but in the final analysis the results--as some experts suppose--may well be inconclusive. Better to recognize why the name "Mary" as it applies to the Maiden of Nazareth is holy than to know its etymology.
A spiritual author wrote decades ago that when we prayerfully utter "Mary," the Mother of Christ in turn says "Jesus." And this is the secret about Our Lady: her unbreakable connection to her Son the Risen Lord. "Mary" is holy because "Jesus" is holy.
We willingly venerate the Mother because of the Son. What He worked in her testifies to His unspeakable greatness and her amazing, lasting receptivity to the Holy Spirit.
Given Mary's link to Jesus, we are not surprised that her very name is sacred. Christ meant everything to her--and it showed. She completely and promptly changed her life based on the Father's desire that His Son "build her tent" in her virginal womb. Mary and her name are holy because of her total surrender to the God-man born of her.
For nearly 2,000 years, the disciples of Jesus have invoked Our Blessed Lady in their petitions. Even her name alone is considered a powerful prayer that has comforted the faithful and troubled demons. No wonder that believers have attached her name to churches, schools, medical facilities and cemeteries why those who hate and fear her (one thinks here of various leaders in twentieth-century Communist countries) have tried mightily to eradicate the mere mention of her from the lips of her trusting sons and daughters.
This hideous endeavor of seeking to wipe out Mary's name and her salutary influence will never be wholly successful. Why? Because the Madonna is well-known in the souls of her humble children with or without the possibility of public demonstrations of loyalty to Our Spiritual Mother. The friends of Our Lady need no monuments to remember and rejoice in her abiding and genuine care for them and their urgent needs.
A happy client of Mary, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) exhorted in one of his Sermons: "In time of danger, of difficulty, of uncertainty, think upon Mary, call upon Mary. Do not let her name depart out of your mouth or out of your heart."
How favored we would be if we adapt as our motto the last prayer of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary as traditionally prayed by Saint Bernard's Order, the Cistercians: "May the lovely Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ and of His Most Blessed Mother be blessed for ever and ever. Amen."
Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
http://www.catholic.org , VA
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan - Official, 390 666161125
Mary, Catholic, Father Mangan
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Is Pope Francis a heretic? Formal letter of correction made public
- Church tricked into hosting satanic fashion show
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, September 27th, 2017 HD Video
- Trump speech rocks NFL as more players protest during Anthem HD Video
- Sts. Cosmas & Damian: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, September 26, 2017
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, September 26, 2017
- Elizabeth Warren - Another liberal hypocrite, scam artist exposed
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, September 25th, 2017 HD
- Woman photographs angel in flight, is it here to deliver a message? HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, September 24th, 2017 HD