Sept. 12, 2016: Most Holy Name of Blessed Virgin Mary
The name “Mary,” being the name of the Blessed Mother, deserves special respect and devotion, and is thereby celebrated in four ways: First, Mary is a name of honor, since the faithful praise Mary as the Mother of our Divine Savior; she is rightfully called “Mother of God,” for Jesus true God, second person of the Holy Trinity entered this world becoming also true man through Mary who had conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. Second, Mary is a most holy name, because the very mention of her name reminds us she is full of grace, has found favor with God, and is blessed among all women. Third, Mary is a maternal name, because she is our Mother, whom our Lord gave to us a He was dying on the cross (cf. John19:26-27). Finally, Mary is a name of the mother who responds to all of our needs, protects us from evil, and prays “for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.”
The holy name of Mary has been revered in many ways. St. Louis de Montfort (d. 1716) said, “The whole world is filled with her glory, and this is especially true of Christian peoples, who have chosen her as guardian and protectress of kingdoms, provinces, dioceses, and towns. Many cathedrals are consecrated to God in her name. There is no church without an altar dedicated to her, no country or region without at least one of her miraculous images where all kinds of afflictions are cured and all sorts of benefits received. Many are the confraternities and associations honoring her as patron; many are the orders under her name and protection; many are the members of sodalities and religious of all congregations who voice her praises and make known her compassion. There is not a child who does not praise her by lisping a ‘Hail Mary.’ There is scarcely a sinner, however hardened, who does not possess some spark of confidence in her. The very devils in hell, while fearing her, show her respect.”
"Greet Mary frequently with the ‘Ave Maria!’ Salute Mary, think Mary, honor Mary, lean on Mary, commend yourself to Mary and repeat the Name of Mary. Be with Mary everywhere, be silent with Mary, pray with Mary, rejoice with Mary, be sad with Mary, work with Mary, walk and sit with Mary, and be recollected with Mary." - Thomas A Kempis, Author of "Imitation of Christ"