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WHAT A POWERFUL NAME!

Father Francis's picture
The Holy Name of Mary

Today we are celebrating the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the Catholic Church after the name of Jesus there is no name more loved and venerated and more powerful than the name of Mary.

In 1683, Vienna was besieged by an army of (over half a million) 550,000 Turkish invaders who had reached the city walls and threatened all of Europe. John Sobieski, the King of Poland, came to the assistance of Vienna with a smaller army on the octave of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. After serving Holy Mass and having received Holy Communion, he rose against the enemy by stating, "Let us march with confidence under the protection of Heaven and with the aid of the Most Holy Virgin." This he did and the Turks were struck with a sudden fear and fled in complete disarray.

Following this great victory in the same year Pope Innocent Xl ordered that the feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary be celebrated each year by the universal Church as a perpetual memorial of the victory of King John Sobieski of Poland against the Turks. The purpose of this feast was to remind the faithful to thank God for this victory and that they may gain many favours through invoking the Holy Name of Mary.

So powerful is the Most Holy Name of Mary, that it is said that the devils fear the Queen of heaven to such a degree, that on hearing her great name pronounced, they fly from those who seek her help as from a burning fire.

She is so powerful because no one loved Jesus as she did. Let us remind ourselves that it was she with intense love who gazed into the eyes of the infant Jesus, it was she who gazed into the eyes of Innocence Condemned on the Via Dolorosa, it was she who gazed into the eyes of her crucified dying Son as He entrusted her to His disciple John to become Mother of the Church, and therefore our Mother too.

Mary told a saint that when anyone says the two words 'Hail Mary' it always bring a smile to her face because it reminds her it was recited for the first time by the archangel Gabriel to announce the coming of her Son into our world and the beginning of our salvation. Let us today honour and many times invoke the Most Holy Name of Mary with great devotion so that we may demonstrate our love for our heavenly Mother and seek her constant protection. In pronouncing her name let us ask her to help release today many souls from purgatory.

Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.