The Holy Name of Jesus

News: Commentary
by Church Militant  •  •  January 4, 2024   

A journey through faith and history

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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. 

"The Annunciation," by Leonardo da Vinci (c. 1472–1476)

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." 

Prominence & Power of the Holy Name

The Holy Name, revered and cherished, resonates through Catholic prayers, hymns and sacraments

Biblical figures like St. Peter and St. Paul have wielded this name with authority, demonstrating its ability to heal, transform and confront adversity.

Believers turn to Jesus' name as a spiritual fortress.

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." 

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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

Artistic Expressions & Church Practices

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.

The name Jesus, originating from the Hebrew 'Yeshua,' means 'God saves.'

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.

Historical Evolution & Devotion

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.

Meaning of the Holy Name

The name Jesus, originating from the Hebrew "Yeshua," means "God saves." This meaning embodies the essence of Catholic doctrine, which is good news of forgiveness, renewal and salvation

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. 

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