Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

On this Feast of the Epiphany ( a somewhat ‘confusing’ Feast – since it was moved by our all-knowing Bishops -coming so shortly after Christmas!) I would like to remind you of a Feast formerly held on this day, and now optional, though I am not sure many parishes celebrate it outside those who observe the Traditional Rites. Another blog – Forest Murmers  (Father Michael Brown)very recently spoke about the ‘forgotten’ anniversaries of our Church, and asked the intriguing question  “do we lack confidence in our Catholic identity?” I leave the answer to that to you, dear reader.

Today the Church celebrates the optional memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus. According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite this feast is celebrated on January 2. In the liturgical revisions of Vatican II, the feast was removed, though a votive Mass to the Holy Name of Jesus had been retained for devotional use. With the release of the revised Roman Missal in March 2002, the feast was restored as an optional memorial in the Ordinary Form on January 3.

The Church reveals to us the wonders of the Incarnate Word by singing the glories of His name. The name of Jesus means Saviour; it had been shown in a dream to Joseph together with its meaning and to Our Lady at the annunciation by the Archangel Gabriel.

Devotion to the Holy Name is deeply rooted in the Sacred Scriptures, especially in the Acts of the Apostles. It was promoted in a special manner by St. Bernard, St. Bernardine of Siena, St. John Capistrano and by the Franciscan Order. It was extended to the whole Church in 1727 during the pontificate of Innocent XIII. The month of January has traditionally been dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus.

According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus which is kept on the First Sunday in the year; but if this Sunday falls on January 1, 6, or 7, the feast is kept on January 2.


About Gertrude

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium.
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4 Responses to Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

  1. The Raven says:

    It’s such a shame that our Kalendar has been so badly mauled during the last 60 years (it’s all Bl Pius XII’s doing, as he originally unleashed the slavering eikonomach Bugnini to begin his reign of vandalism with the changes to the celebration of Holy Week). I deplore the decision by the E&W Bishops to move the Holy Days of Obligation, I feel that we laity have been deprived of a part of our sense of the liturgical year.

    It’s this sort of woolly headed “reform” that has separated the laity from the life ofthe Church: clericalism at its very worst.


  2. Gertrude says:

    Absolutely – also, it made more sense prior to V2 – The Birth. The Circumcision, The Name, The Epiphany, the Presentation etc. Now we have the Magi turning up four days before they should have! I bet it played jiminy with their astronomical charts!
    A Priest friend of mine always describes the decision to move Holy Days as having been made ‘by our lunatic Bishops’. Of course I couldn’t really comment!


  3. The Raven says:

    One thing just occurred to me: in the Greek east they say that the Epiphany actually commemorates the baptism of Our Lord, as this was the the that he was shown to be the son of God (επιφάνεια meaning “showing”). I wonder when the usages diverged so radically!


  4. Gertrude says:

    That’s an interesting point Raven, and one which I do not know the answer to! Teresa is our Classics scholar, so perhaps she will know? The original Tridentine Calender though was mainly reformed by Pius V (our patron) after the Council of Trent, and below I have looked up the Feasts for January. Quite interesting don’t you think? We really have lost a lot of liturgy, and for post-conciliar Catholics I would say – explore your origins – be suprised – be thrilled – be spiritually refreshed.
    1 January: Circumcision of the Lord, Double.
    2 January: Octave of St. Stephen, Double, with commemoration of octaves.
    3 January: Octave of St. John, Double, with commemoration of the octave of the Holy Innocents.
    4 January: Octave of the Holy Innocents , Double
    5 January: Vigil.
    6 January: Epiphany of the Lord, Double.
    7 January: Of the Octave of the Epiphany.
    8 January: Of the Octave.
    9 January: Of the Octave.
    10 January: Of the Octave.
    11 January: Of the Octave of the Epiphany, and commemoration of St Hyginus pope and martyr.
    12 January: Of the octave.
    13 January: Octave of the Epiphany, Double.
    14 January: Hilary bishop and confessor, Semidouble, transferred from yesterday, with commemoration of St Felix Priest and martyr.
    15 January: Paul the First Hermit, confessor, Semidouble, transferred from 10 January, with commemoration of St Maurus.
    16 January: Marcellus pope and martyr, Semidouble.
    17 January: Anthony Abbot, Double.
    18 January: Chair of St Peter at Rome, Double, and commemoration of St Prisca virgin and martyr.
    19 January: Marius, Martha, Audifax, and Abachum martyrs.
    20 January: Fabian and Sebastian martyrs, Double.
    21 January: Agnes virgin and martyr, Double.
    22 January: Vincent and Anastasius martyrs, Semidouble.
    23 January: Emerentiana virgin and martyr.
    24 January: Timothy bishop and martyr.
    25 January: Conversion of St Paul Apostle, Double.
    26 January: Polycarp bishop and martyr.
    27 January: John Chrysostom bishop and confessor, Double.
    28 January: Agnes second.
    29 January:
    30 January:
    31 January:


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