Most Holy Name of Mary: 12th September


In accordance with Jewish custom our Lady’s parents named her eight days after her birth, and were inspired to call her Mary. The feast of the Holy Name of Mary therefore follows that of her Birthday, as the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus follows Christmas.

The feast originated in Spain and was approved by the Holy See in 1513; Innocent XI extended its observance to the whole Church in 1683 in thanksgiving to our Lady for the victory on September 12, 1683 by John Sobieski, king of Poland, over the Turks, who were besieging Vienna and threatening the West. This day was commemorated in Vienna by creating a new kind of pastry and shaping it in the form of the Turkish half-moon. It was eaten along with coffee which was part of the booty from the Turks.

The ancient Onomastica Sacra have preserved the meanings ascribed to Mary’s name by the early Christian writers and perpetuated by the Greek Fathers. “Bitter Sea,” “Myrrh of the Sea,” “The Light Giver,” “The Enlightened One,” “Lady,” “Seal of the Lord,” and “Mother of the Lord” are the principal interpretations. These etymologies suppose that the Hebrew form of the name is Maryãm, not Miryãm.

From the time of St. Jerome until the 16th century, preferred interpretations of Mary’s name in the West were “Lady,” “Bitter Sea,” “The Light Giver,” and especially “Star of the Sea.” Stella Maris was by far the favored interpretation. The revival of Hebraic studies, which accompanied the Renaissance, led to a more critical appraisal of the meanings assigned to Our Lady’s name. Miryãm has all the appearance of a genuine Hebrew name, and no solid reason has been discovered to warrant rejecting the Semitic origin of the word. The Hebrew name of Mary, Miryãm, (in Latin Domina) means lady or sovereign; this Mary is in virtue of her Son’s sovereign authority as Lord of the World. We call Mary our Lady as we call Jesus our Lord, and when we pronounce her name we affirm her power, implore her aid and place ourselves under her protection.

About Gertrude

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium.
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40 Responses to Most Holy Name of Mary: 12th September

  1. golden chersonnese says:

    I had previously learned that “Martha” perhaps meant “lady”. “Mar” in Syriac/Aramaic means “lord” and is a title bestowed on the Lord Jesus (Mar Isho), male saints, patriarchs and bishops. “Mart” or “Marth” is “lady” and is the title bestowed on Our Lady, “Mart Maryam”.

    The only female name mentioned in the Qur’an is indeed that of the Mother of the Lord, Maryam. She has a whole chapter in the Qur’an bearing Her name and Her name is quite a common one among Muslim women..


  2. Toad says:

    “Miryãm has all the appearance of a genuine Hebrew name, and no solid reason has been discovered to warrant rejecting the Semitic origin of the word.”

    …So, it’s a Jewish name, is it?

    Well, blow me down.


  3. Toad says:

    Toad is reminded by this post of what constitutes a problem for more Americans than one might think: “If Jesus was Jewish, how come He had a Mexican name?”


  4. golden chersonnese says:

    Toad, I think the reason is that if your mum is Jewish that makes you Jewish too. 😦


  5. Toad says:

    ….Or, by the same token, if your Mother is a saint, or a kleptomaniac, that makes you one, too.
    Hold on, that can’t be right…


  6. Roger says:

    The Pre existent Christ and the Pre existent Mary. Quite simply the Woman was known to Adam and Eve as was Our Lord.
    As for Islam its foundation is Christianity. Its a heresy, as Belloc points out.
    What is a Jew? There are twelve tribes that form Israel. Jewish is a fragmented Faith it isn’t a unified single belief. There was only one place where blood sacrifice took place, the Temple, so there has been no blood sacrifice in Jerusalem since AD 66.
    Read the Mystical City Of God by Mother Mary Of Agreda.
    She is Enthroned in Heaven.
    God’s curse on those who take Mary’s Holy name in Vain!


  7. Toad says:

    Surely God doesn’t go around cursing his children?


  8. Roger says:

    Yes he does chastise his children. His Mercy and His Justice are implicit in Free Will. Original Sin is an Anathema that passes from Adam and Eve through their children.
    God is good and Love. Is man good? Unless you understand this the Passion becomes meaningless and the Faith bereft of content!
    God chastises!


  9. Roger says:

    Its a beautiful topic the Holy Name of Mary.
    Here before our eyes is woman as God created her sinless. Mary is woman as Our Lord is Man as created.
    She is the sign of Man’s reconciliation to God. The start of the reparation of fallen Man to God Our Father. It is her FIAT that will bring the sacrificial Lamb onto the Altar of this Fallen world.
    Her Free Will choice unlocked Man’s Salvation.
    The price was the sword of sorrow that pierce her Immaculate Heart. Today millions of her children are butchered in their mothers wombs (Abortion) . Her children because she is the new Eve the Mother given to Us by God. Her children are butchered and slaughtered globally and this blood offering to Satan is bringing down on Man God’s Justice on a world soaked in the blood of the innocent.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Toad says:

    If you read carefully, Roger, you will see that question is whether or not God .curses his children – not chastises them. I chastise my dogs, mildly, to be sure, but I don’t curse them.
    (Although I do occasionally use the odd bad word to them)


  11. golden chersonnese says:

    In fact, with the Muslims, as soon as you mention Mary, there is a notable change in attitude: there is an atmosphere of piety, of silence, of brotherhood, as if after chatting about many things, you were entering a place of worship, and there is silence.


  12. Roger says:

    But Islam is not the True Faith. Why should I want to discuss Islam? The story of Lepanto and the Holy Rosary are well known.
    Anathema is a curse. Well Our Lord cursed the fig tree and it withered away. Curse will be found numerously with respect to God in the Bible.


  13. Roger says:

    What God’s curse do is change the Laws that man lives by. This is behind the destruction of the Tower of babel and the confusion of tongues. Anathemas are Peter’s keys. Emmerich saw the Church of Man and God’s Anathemas. Mary’s warnings as La salette, Fatima and Garbandal are because of the madness of denying and ignoring God’s Laws.
    Heaven and Hell are realities. Sin is real so is Satan doesn’t matter what the world would have you believe. Democracy cannot change Gods Anathema on Sodomy or the murder called abortion.


  14. Toad says:

    We get back to the old question of why God would make an infinite universe for the benefit of mankind, on one pokey little planet, (as far as we know,) whose job is to worship Him, and then so arrange it so that the vast majority of people who have ever lived, including now – have no idea what The One True Religion is about – and most of them have never even heard of Catholicism..
    We can’t blame people who have no knowledge of Christ – and not only all the various assorted Christs, but The One True Catholic Christ. (The Lutheran Christ, or The Anglican Christ, won’t do, as we know) for being “heretics.” It doesn’t make sense. (I know it’s not supposed to, but even so…)
    If you Roger, had been born in Mecca, you would right now be ranting on, on Islam Pure & Simple, about Christian Infidels, how awful they are, and how they are all cursed and Hell-bound.
    Wouldn’t you, now?


  15. Roger says:

    We know why man was Created. We also know that Love is selfless and this we see in the Trinity. We see this Love in the Sacred Heart, boundless and infinite. As St John says God is Love.
    So it follows that Heaven is Selfless and that worship is actually being immersed in a fecundity of uncreated Love. Love not chains bind the Blessed together.
    Hell is a place as far away from God as it is possible to be. It is the self centered and populated by those who hate God and each other.
    We have free will and our choice is where in Eternity we will end.
    I don’t blame people with no knowledge of Christ. I blame Christians who have so ill used the love and gifts given to them.
    Man rebelled against His Father, thats the Fall of Adam and Eve. Creation is the work of Love for Love so Hatred and rebellion would destroy that work. So man was exiled , but with a promise that one would come to repair the Fall.
    The Saints actually show in their lives that they are not constrained by the rigid laws of exile. In other words its choice that keeps man in exile.
    Mary is the new Eve. Mother of the living. God’s gift to Us is His own mother.
    Man’s exile will end but entry into that messianic kingdom will be by free will choice. Self or selfless thats the choice.
    Providence not chance raised us in Christendom and we are judged by the greater gifts given to Us.


  16. Toad says:

    “Providence not chance raised us in Christendom…”

    Then it must have been providence, not chance, that raised Hindus in Asia, and Incas in Peru.
    You see what I’m getting at, don’r you?


  17. kathleen says:

    You exaggerate the panorama of the state of religion in the world. One third of the whole world is Christian; that is a large percentage of all those who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God,
    the Saviour of Mankind. Well over half of those ‘Christians’ (an estimated + 1.2 billion) happen to be Catholics! Therefore you cannot make out that Catholicism is in any way a minimalist religion on no consequence; most people have heard about Christ, and a large portion of the world are followers of Christianity.
    It is however true that Islam is currently the fastest growing religion at present (probably due mostly to their high birth-rate) and that is something that should trouble and challenge us.

    To know Christ; to love Him and His Blessed Mother; to be part of the Holy Catholic Church…… Yes, we are truly blessed, and we should never forget this. All the means of gaining salvation for our souls are laid at our feet!! Is it any wonder that in our Morning Offering every day we include the words: “we thank You for having created us, for having called us into Your Holy Church…”?


  18. kathleen says:

    Like so many females, one of my three Christian names is Mary.
    I feel deeply privileged to bear the name of the Blessed Virgin, and I can honestly say I have so often known her motherly help and protection in my life.


  19. Toad says:

    Kathleen, of course Catholicism is not a “minimalist” religion. It-s an enormous religion. My point is that it is only one of several religions. Which has always seemed odd to me, who was told from birth that it is the only “true” religion.
    Which seemed to me to make its attitude to others somewhat arrogant and “exclusive.”
    It’s also odd to see you citing, “Christianity” as a amiable, friendly whole, when “Christian” religions dislike one another intensely, as damned heretics. Just like the Sunnis and Shia do.
    In the Good Old Days, (Ah, the nostalgia!) Protestants and Catholics hated each other far more cordially than either bothered hating Islam, or Hinduism.


  20. johnhenrycn says:

    As is often the case, Toad, I’m drawn to your comments much like a child is drawn into an open sewer. That actually happened to me once – not a happy experience, let me tell you – but to say that the division between Catholics and Protestants is one of hatred…that displays a humongous misunderstanding of our symbiosis, probably because – so far as I can tell – you moved directly from babylike acceptance of Catholicism to prideful adult Indifferentism, or perhaps even to bizarre Lovecraftian Cosmicism – who can say for sure? – without any study of Protestantism in between. To say that: “In the Good Old Days…Protestants and Catholics hated each other far more cordially than either bothered hating Islam, or Hinduism” marks you as a person who has never seen Christ from both sides of the divide; I have, as have quite a few others who visit here and who can tell you that your knowledge of the division is sadly lacking historical perspective. Of course, you’re to be forgiven, because your undergraduate thesis did not deal with the Methodist Missionary Society and the succour it received from and gave to Catholic missionaries in the Yukon and Northwest territories.
    If you cannot find it in your heart to return to the Church right now, I pray that you read My Utmost For His Highest, by the Baptist missionary, Oswald Chambers, who died during service with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in 1917, and who was a most profound influence in leading me home to Rome, even though he never knew it and would likely be dismayed to think it. I still read that slim volume on a regular basis.


  21. Roger says:

    Yes Toad of course I see what you are getting at .The same applied to the time of Our Lord and that of the Apostles. But today there is one big difference which is that we have had had 2000 years of evangelisation. Ignorance isn’t a reasonable excuse today. Worse masonic pluralism imposed on Christendom. The West has rejected Christ dumped him in favour of materialism and opened the door to religions that actually are demonic and leave man in the fallen state of Adam. On whose authority can we say this? Well the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. St Augustine demonstrated the vices and sins of the Roman Gods.
    The role of Mary in these times, and her title is well set out in De Montfort. Ecumenism became an acceptance of validity of beliefs that cannot repair for Adam’s Sin.
    Actually today there are those who happily claim to be Christians and worship at demonic shrines. The Hindu ceremony permitted at the Fatima shrine is a desecration of that shrine! Harsh words? well Islam believes in beheading does it not? It also has the 30 virgins provided for its martys in Paradise (thats in in Q’ran).


  22. Toad says:

    It’s not so complex as all that, JH, It’s just that I vividly remember what were euphemistically known as “The Troubles,” in Northern Ireland. (And, a bit before my time, “The Hundred years War” which made life so exciting for the great Montaigne.
    Hard times. Harder than now. Mind that sewer.


  23. Pingback: Meryemana Evi – The House of Mary | Meadowsweet

  24. Toad says:

    “On whose authority can we say this? Well the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. “
    Right. And how can we be confident that they are not simply talking nonsense?
    Because they are the Fathers and Doctors of The Church, that’s how.
    Can you give me any good reason to believe they are talking any less nonsense than Richard Dawkins, for example?


  25. johnhenrycn says:

    Oh, are you from Londonderry, Toad? Please, don’t wrap the mantle of vivid personal experience over your shoulders unless you lived there or somewhere nearby. Isle of Dogs more like?


  26. johnhenrycn says:

    “Can you give me any good reason to believe they are talking any less nonsense than Richard Dawkins, for example?”

    For starters, Toad, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church didn’t look favourably upon “light pedophilia”, so far as I know. I’m not so sure about your Richard Dawkins:
    …although, to be fair to the all-wise Professor Dawkins, I remember once, as a youngster, going to a cinema in downtown Toronto to watch a triple-bill Charlie Chan mystery extravaganza and being fondled there by a “light pedophiliac”, until I changed seats three times, after which I left, in exasperation, but without suffering any “lasting damage”, except for the cost of my movie ticket.


  27. johnhenrycn says:

    …a movie theatre a few blocks south of the Charlie’s Angels body rub parlour on Yonge Street – “The Longest Street In The World”, according to Guiness – where a 12 year old was violently fondled in 1977. I remember sitting in at a preliminary hearing concerning one of his convicted murderers, who is still in prison. Nothing to do with you, but Dawkins’s puerile experience prompts that memory.


  28. Toad says:

    You are right about my part in :The Troubles” JH, it was as an onlooker as usual. Recording the various atrocities. (E.G. Australian children killed outside Harrods by IRA bombs)
    The nearest I personally came was during the spate of bombings in London (England) being told to evacuate Chancery Lane tube station, because of a bomb threat. Which turned out false. Oh, and being made to leave a theatre during a performance of, as I recall, “Jesus Christ, Superstar,” for the same reason. Also false.

    Oh. and he’s not “my” Dawkins. Far too nice.
    It’s a shame him being human, though, I agree.
    Like Wittgenstein. Or Scruton. Or Toad. But not JH.
    …And us “Papists” call it “Derry”


  29. johnhenrycn says:

    “And us “Papists” call it ‘Derry'”
    Really? Who says “us Papists” or “Derry” except for Crazy Mary From Londonderry 😉 and you and other IRA wanabees and hicks from West Virginia?
    Just joking, Toad. You’re a good bloke, as they say in the part of Spain I come from.


  30. johnhenrycn says:

    I didn’t mean to say that you were an IRA wanabee, Toad; I really didn’t, even though that’s exactly what I said and meant to say. It’s just that I didn’t mean to say it, as in wanting to insult you. So, what’s the weather like where you are?


  31. johnhenrycn says:

    It’s so hard keeping up with your inanities,Toad; but one last question before bed:
    When you say (re Dawkins) that “It’s a shame him being human, though, I agree.”, what exactly are you agreeing to? Punctuation marks (commas) are so confusing for us papists, though, I agree.


  32. Toad says:

    Well put JH. So, let’s try: “It’s a shame (Dawkins) being human, I agree.”
    However, it’s a failing many of us are afflicted with.
    Fatally, in Toad’s case.

    The weather here is spectacular right now.
    Every day it reminds me of 9/11


  33. Brother Burrito says:


    Dawkins is blinded by his own pride. Sadly, that same pride is seen by many to be a token of his assuredness as a “preacher of truth”, as he is perceived as by his myriad disciples.

    The salvation of his soul is still the priority, and we must pray for him and for his followers.

    As regards the weather, well, all Christians expect an apocalypse (personal or global) at all times. You might call it “living in the moment”. Nothing surprises me any more, everything is God’s will being done, apart from my own sins, which I have some choice over. (If I didn’t, they wouldn’t be sins).

    Kind regards.


  34. johnhenrycn says:

    Toledo, Ohio, your former home, Toad, is closer to New York than mine. The morning it happened, I remember a client came into my office with a look of profound shock on his face. Nothing to do with his soon-to-be-ex-wife’s demands. God, it was so utterly sad. People who watch videos of the tragedy must be sick. I went to New York three months later- felt I should out of respect – and the atmosphere was quintessentially American. People selling things about 9/11 on street corners (my son-in-law bought a photo of the Twin Towers for me), policemen who’d only started shaving the week before puffed up with pride to be associated with heroes of the NYPD who died in the disaster, people flocking to St Patrick’s Cathedral to beg forgiveness (as did I, even though I was not then Catholic) for the souls of the dead, and Americans in general carrying on with life – not as if it never happened, but as if they knew it was just a blip in their history, which it was, considering theirs is one of the three greatest countries in the world:


  35. Roger says:

    Augustines example of the vices and virtues of the Gods is an effective approach to looking at other religions. The Gods at war with each other? Islam has delights of the flesh in the here after “..It was mentioned by Daraj Ibn Abi Hatim, that Abu al-Haytham ‘Adullah Ibn Wahb narrated from Abu Sa’id al-Khudhri, who heard Muhammad saying, ‘The smallest reward for the people of Heaven is an abode where there are eighty thousand servants and seventy-two houri, over which stands a dome decorated with pearls, aquamarine and ruby, as wide as the distance from al-Jabiyyah to San’a ..”
    Islam is attractive to those that want to have and take with them into the next world,


  36. johnhenrycn says:

    Thanks, Roger. What I was going to say before Roger reminded me of the essence of this blog was that I wish the quartet I linked above had somehow managed to include the UK in their paean of praise to great nations; but here is my personal offering to that place. Skip the ad if you can;)


  37. johnhenrycn says:

    Internet malfunction today, I guess. All the best 🙂


  38. Roger says:

    But the Holy name of Mary and the depths that flow from that name! Her Fiat is the reason for the Church, the sacraments, great works of Art, glorious saints, the end of Man’s exile from Heaven. We can never say enough about Mary. Everything we say exults and magnifies Our Lord!


  39. johnhenrycn says:

    You’re a better man than me, Gunga Din, as Kipling would say if he was alive; so carry on


  40. Roger says:

    Incidently in Telegraph 12 Sept Dawkins believes its important to teach the Bible and enjoys (but doesn’t believe) in Anglican Church’s and evensong.


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