Luke 2:21 "...Et
vocatum est Nomen eius IESUS"
("And His Name was called JESUS")
Psalm 90:14 "Because he hoped in me I will deliver him:
I will protect him because he hath known My Name."
Zacharias 10:12 "I will strengthen them in the Lord,
and they shall walk in His Name, saith the Lord."
Apocalypse 3:8 "I know thy works. Behold, I have given before thee a
door opened, which no man can shut: because thou hast a little
strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied My Name."
Apocalypse 15:4 "Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and magnify Thy
Throughout Sacred Scripture, God Himself names or renames those who
have a great
role to play in our salvation. As recorded in the fifth chapter of
Genesis, He named the first man Adam, which means "Man of the Earth", 1 and He changed the name of our
spiritual Father from Abram to "Abraham," which means "Father of Many
Nations." Abraham's wife, Sarai, had her name changed to "Sarah,"
means "Princess" and foretells that she would be the spiritual mother
to kings (Genesis 17). "Moses" means "Drawn from the Water," and
"David" means "Beloved." Our first Pope had been named "Simon" before
became "Peter" to signify his status as the earthly rock of the Church
as Christ is the Foundation and Head.
And so, too, does the Name "Jesus" have
meaning: The Name of the One also known as "Emmanuel" ("God Saves") is
a transliteration of the Hebrew Jehoshua, or Joshua, and it means
"Jehovah is Salvation." That Our
Lord would receive this Name was foretold by the divinely inspired
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall
conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel. He
shall eat butter and honey, that he may know to refuse the evil, and to
choose the good.
Our Lady learned
how she was to name her Child from the Archangel Gabriel:
And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city
of Galilee, called Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name
was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And
the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord
is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was
troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of
salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary,
for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy
womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus.
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and
the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he
shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there
shall be no end.
... and St. Joseph heard it from an angel in a
Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary
was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with
child, of the Holy Ghost. Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just
man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away
privately. But while he thought on these things, behold the angel of
the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David,
fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived
in her, is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son: and thou
shalt call his name JESUS. For he shall save his people from their
sins. Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which the Lord
spoke by the prophet, saying: Behold a virgin shall be with child, and
bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being
interpreted is, God with us. And Joseph rising up from sleep, did as
the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife.
And he knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn son: and he
called his name JESUS.
Then, when He
was circumcised on the 8th day after
His Nativity, He received the Holy Name:
And after eight days were accomplished, that the child should be
circumcised, his name was called JESUS, which was called by the angel,
before he was conceived in the womb.
And what of it?
St. Peter sums it up after he healed the lame man and was then asked by
the high priest, "By what power, or by what name, have you done this?":
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said to them: Ye princes of the
people, and ancients, hear: If we this day are examined concerning the
good deed done to the infirm man, by what means he hath been made
whole: Be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by
the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom
God hath raised from the dead, even by him this man standeth here
before you whole. This is the stone which was rejected by you the
builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there
salvation in any other. For there is no other Name under heaven
given to men, whereby we must be saved.
When we say the
Name "Jesus" (or "Iesus," "Iesu," etc.2)
with deep reverence, we are re-realizing the core Truth of the
holy Faith: "God Saves" -- and all gratitude and humility are summoned.
Say that Holy Name, ponder it, feel it in your mouth and in your heart!
"IESUS -- GOD SAVES!" When you pronounce it, know its meaning and
humble yourself before it; feel in your heart how you are addressing
and referring to Lord Christ. "IESUS -- SAVIOR!"
So holy is His Name that uttering it piously is an indulgenced act. So
revered is it that:
attitude of deep respect toward the Holy Name is exactly as it should
be according to Sacred Scripture:
He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of
the cross. For which cause God also hath exalted him, and hath given
him a Name which is above all names: That in the Name of Jesus every
knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the
It is "in His
Name" that the Gentiles shall hope (Matthew 12:21); "in the Name of
Jesus Christ" that the Apostles baptized (Acts 2:38), healed (Acts 3:6,
16), cast out demons (Acts 16:18), preached (Acts 9:27), and anointed
(James 5:14); it is "by the Name" of Jesus that signs and wonders were
seen (Acts 4:30).
It is in His Name that we should place our faith, do our works, and
say our prayers:
I John 3:23
And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the
Name of his Son Jesus Christ: and love one another, as He hath
given commandment unto us.
All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the
Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father
...Amen, amen I say to you: if you ask the Father any thing in
My Name, He will give it you. Hitherto you have not asked any thing
in My Name. Ask, and you shall receive; that
your joy may be full.
And it is by His
Name that we are protected from deception and the snares of the Evil
One. St. Vincent Ferrer, in a sermon on the end of the world, made on
the second Sunday of Advent, said,
If you do not
wish to be deceived, then place the whole of your faith and confidence
in the Name of Jesus Christ., and refuse to acknowledge any miracle
unless it is worked in that same Name; and so you will be strong
against seduction. David says : "Blessed is the man whose hope is in
the Name of the Lord; and who hath not regard to vanities and lying
follies." The Name of the Lord is Jesus. "And thou shalt call His name
Jesus". If you should receive any wound or hurt you should sign it
devoutly with the Sign of the Cross.
Antichrist arrogates to himself every other name of Christ,
but as many of the saints tell us, he flies from the Name of Jesus.
Therefore, for that reason, the Name of Jesus should receive the
greatest respect from all Christians. Moreover, all the Names of God,
according to Saint Thomas Aquinas, should be honored in a sevenfold
manner. Because the Name of God is great it is to be feared; because it
is holy it should be venerated; because it is sweet it should be
savored in meditation; it is strong to save; rich in mercy; efficacious
in impetration; and hidden in order to be discovered and known. He says
also that the Name of the Son of God is also the name of the Father in
a threefold way: for by it He is honored, invoked and manifested. He
also says that in all the names given is also signified the Name of
Jesus, which is the sign of salvation, and therefore exceedingly to be
devotion to the Holy Name is the fruit of the work of St. Bernardine of
Siena, A.D. 1380-1444, the Franciscan who reformed his Order and preached fiery sermons all
over Italy. An excerpt from one:
When a fire is
lit to clear a field, it burns off all the dry and useless weeds and
thorns. When the sun rises and darkness is dispelled, robbers,
night-prowlers and burglars hide away. So when Paul's voice was raised
to preach the Gospel to the nations, like a great clap of thunder in
the sky, his preaching was a blazing fire carrying all before it. It
was the sun rising in full glory. Infidelity was consumed by it, false
beliefs fled away, and the truth appeared like a great candle lighting
the whole world with its brilliant flame.
By word of mouth, by letters, by miracles, and by the example of his
own life, Saint Paul bore the Name of Jesus wherever he went. He
praised the Name of Jesus "at all times," but never more than when
"bearing witness to his faith."
Moreover, the Apostle did indeed carry this Name "before the Gentiles
and kings and the sons of Israel" as a light to enlighten all nations.
And this was his cry wherever he journeyed: "The night is passing away,
the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put
on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves honorably as in the
day." Paul himself showed forth the burning and shining-light set upon
a candlestick, everywhere proclaiming "Jesus, and Him crucified."
And so the Church, the Bride of Christ strengthened by his testimony,
rejoices with the psalmist, singing: "O God from my youth you have
taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds." The psalmist
exhorts her to do this, as he says: "Sing to the Lord, and bless His
Name, proclaim His salvation day after day." And this salvation is
Jesus, Her savior.
very popular sermons, he would hold up for veneration the monogram of
Christ's Name -- the letters "IHS" (or "JHS") -- surrounded by rays.
This ancient monogram is a Latinization of the Greek monograms for Iesous
Christos, "IH XP" and "IC XC," and it became even more popularized
after St. Bernardine encouraged a playing card maker in Bologna -- a
man whose business had been ruined because of the Saint's preaching
against inordinate gambling -- to make holy
depicting it instead of making his usual fare. St. Bernardine's
apostleship of the Holy Name was carried on by St. John Capistran, A.D.
1385-1456, and to them both is attributed the Litany of the Holy Name.
Because of the
influence of St. Bernardine's work, the Name "Jesus" was added to the
Hail Mary prayer, and the Feast of
the Holy Name was later added to the calendar (celebrated on the
1st Sunday of the year, or 2 January if this Sunday falls on the 1st,
6th, or 7th). The office of this Mass was written by Bernardine dei
Busti, and it makes use of the beautiful 12th century hymn, Iesu Dulcis Memoria which
speaks of His Name and was written by another who had devotion to it,
St. Bernard of Clairvaux (A.D. 1090-1153). The entire month of January
is devoted to the worship of the Holy Name and to Christ's Divine Childhood.
Honor the Holy Name of Our Lord, and use it with only the deepest
reverence. As St. John the Evangelist
described his vision of the end of time when writing from the island of
And He showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding
from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street
thereof, and on both sides of the river, was the tree of life, bearing
twelve fruits, yielding its fruits every month, and the leaves of the
tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no curse
any more; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His
servants shall serve Him. And they shall see His face: and His Name
shall be on their foreheads.
1 Eve, whose name means
"Mother of All Living," was named by Adam. Genesis 3:20 "And Adam
called the name of his wife Eve: because she was the mother of all the
"Iesus" is the nominative case of His Name, used when His Name is the
subject of a sentence (e.g., "Iesus saves," "Iesus wept," etc.). "Iesu"
is the vocative sense, used when addressing Him (it's also the
genitive, ablative, and dative forms of His Name). Early Latin had no
letter "J," hence the spelling. But "J" was introduced later, so in
Latin texts, you may see His Name spelled either with an "I" or a "J."
The custom of
bowing the head at the mention of His Name was formally written into
law at the Second Council of Lyons, A.D. 1274, convened by Pope Gregory
X: "Those who assemble in church should extol with an act of special
reverence that Name which is above every Name, than which no other
under Heaven has been given to people, in which believers must be
saved, the Name, that is, of Jesus Christ, Who will save His people
from their sins. Each should fulfil in himself that which is written
for all, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow; whenever that
glorious Name is recalled, especially during the sacred Mysteries of
the Mass, everyone should bow the knees of his heart, which he can do
even by a bow of his head."