The Holy Name of Mary
Eight days after the birth of the Blessed Virgin, her holy parents, Saint Joachim and Saint Anne, inspired by God, gave her the name of Mary. The name Mary means Lady, and also Star of the Sea. Just to say her holy name is a prayer. It gives everyone who does so favor with God and power over the devil. Blessed Pope Innocent XI set up the feast of the Holy Name of Mary in 1683 to thank her for the victory which the Catholic army under John Sobieski, King of Poland, gained over the Turks (Mohammedans), who were trying to sack Vienna and move in and conquer all the Catholics of the West.
Mary's name occurs in the first part and in the second part of the Hail Mary. In the middle of the Hail Mary, one speaks the Holy Name of Jesus. Great apostles of the Holy Name of Mary have been Saint Anthony of Padua and Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux says, "0 most holy Virgin Mary, your name is so sweet and admirable that one cannot say it without becoming inflamed with love toward God and toward you."
Blessed Alan de la Roche said,
Let everyone who loves you, O most holy Mary, listen to this and drink it in:
Whenever I say Hail, Mary, the court of heaven rejoices and earth is lost in wonderment; I despise the world and my heart is filled with the love of God, when I say 'Hail, Mary.'
All my fears wilt and die and my passions are quelled, if I say 'Hail, Mary'; devotion grows within me and sorrow for sin awakens,
when I say 'Hail, Mary.'
Hope is made strong in my breast and the dew of consolation falls on my soul more and more, because I say, 'Hail, Mary.' And my spirit rejoices and sorrow fades away, when I say 'Hail, Mary.'
The Power of Marys Name
Richard of Saint Laurence states "there is not such powerful help in any name, nor is there any other name given to men, after that of Jesus, from which so much salvation is poured forth upon men as from the name of Mary." He continues, "that the devout invocation of this sweet and holy name leads to the acquisition of superabundant graces in this life, and a very high degree of glory in the next …
Hence Richard of Saint Laurence encourages sinners to have recourse to this great name, because it alone will suffice to cure them of all their evils; and "there is no disorder, however malignant, that does not immediately yield to the power of the name of Mary."
The Blessed Raymond Jordano says "that however hardened and diffident a heart may be, the name of this most Blessed Virgin has such efficacy, that if it is only pronounced, that heart will be wonderfully softened" …
In fine, "your name, 0 Mother of God, is filled with divine graces and blessings," as Saint Methodius says. So much so, that Saint Bonaventure declares "that your name, 0 Mary, cannot be pronounced without bringing some grace to him who does so devoutly." Grant, 0 Lady, that we may often remember to name you with love and confidence; for this practice either shows the possession of divine grace, or else is a pledge that we shall soon recover it.
On the other hand, Thomas a Kempis affirms "that the devils fear the Queen of heaven to such a degree, that only on hearing her great name pronounced, they fly from him who does so as from a burning fire."
The Blessed Virgin herself revealed to Saint Bridget "that there is not on earth a sinner, however devoid he may be of the love of God, from whom the devil is not obliged immediately to fly, if he invokes her holy name with a determination to repent." On another occasion she repeated the same thing to the saint, saying, "that all the devils venerate and fear her name to such a degree, that on hearing it they immediately loosen the claws with which! they hold the soul captive." Our Blessed Lady also told Saint Bridget "that in the same way as the rebel angels fly from sinners who invoke the name of Mary, so also do the good angels approach nearer to just souls who pronounce her name with devotion."
SAINT ALPHONSUS DE LIGUORI
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