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As January unfolds, the Catholic world turns its attention to the Holy Name of Jesus, a name to which this month is dedicated.
This tradition, deeply rooted in Catholic history, reflects the profound reverence and love for the name given by the angel Gabriel to Our Lady: "Jesus."
In Philippians 2:9, St. Paul wrote, "Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name."
In Acts 3:6, Peter, through the Holy Name, commanded, "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."
Thus, in the New Testament and throughout Church history, the name of Jesus has always been synonymous with great power, miraculous change and divine intervention.
Believers turn to Jesus' name as a spiritual fortress, a refuge epitomizing the depth of faith placed in its utterance.
The veneration of the Holy Name has inspired countless artistic expressions within the Catholic faith. From Renaissance masterpieces to modern hymns, each work celebrates Jesus' profound impact on human creativity, depicting His life, death, resurrection and ascension into Heaven.
In the Church's liturgy, the Holy Name is integral. It is invoked in sacraments, blessings and prayers, encapsulating the Church's assurance of salvation in Jesus. The Feast of the Holy Name, celebrated on Jan. 3, commemorates this enduring legacy.
The devotion to the Holy Name gained momentum with St. Bernardine of Siena in the 15th century. Bernardine's passionate advocacy transformed reverence for the Holy Name into a widespread movement within the Catholic Church.
His practice of displaying the trigram IHS, representing Jesus' name, became a symbol of devotion, adopted by many and even incorporated into religious art and architecture.
Saints and theologians, like St. Bernardine and St. Thomas More, have echoed the importance of the Holy Name throughout history, offering personal testimonies to its power. Their stories, alongside countless miracles attributed to the Holy Name, offer a testament to its infinite power and enduring influence.
The Holy Name of Jesus, a blend of simplicity and profundity, continues to echo through time. God continues to save as the power and sweetness of Jesus' Holy Name remain available perpetually to every believer.