Holy Name of Jesus

Holy Name of Jesus

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Holy Name of Jesus'
Start a new discussion about 'Holy Name of Jesus'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
For the feast day see Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus
Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus
The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus is celebrated by a number of Christian denominations, on varying dates.The feast has been celebrated in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints, at least at local levels, since the end of the fifteenth century...



In Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, the Holy Name of Jesus refers to the theological and devotional use of the name of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

. The reverence and affection with which Christians have regarded the Holy Name of Jesus goes back to the earliest days of Christianity
Early Christianity
Early Christianity is generally considered as Christianity before 325. The New Testament's Book of Acts and Epistle to the Galatians records that the first Christian community was centered in Jerusalem and its leaders included James, Peter and John....

.

The devotions and venerations also extend to the IHS christogram
Christogram
A Christogram is a monogram or combination of letters that forms an abbreviation for the name of Jesus Christ, traditionally used as a Christian symbol. Different types of Christograms are associated with the various traditions of Christianity, e.g...

 (a monogram
Monogram
A monogram is a motif made by overlapping or combining two or more letters or other graphemes to form one symbol. Monograms are often made by combining the initials of an individual or a company, used as recognizable symbols or logos. A series of uncombined initials is properly referred to as a...

 of the Holy Name), derived from the Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 word IHSOUS (ΙΗΣΟΥΣ) for Jesus, or referring to Iesus Hominum Salvator, Jesus savior of mankind) representing the Holy Name.

Devotions to the Holy Name of Jesus exist both in Eastern
Eastern Christianity
Eastern Christianity comprises the Christian traditions and churches that developed in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Northeastern Africa, India and parts of the Far East over several centuries of religious antiquity. The term is generally used in Western Christianity to...

 and Western Christianity. The feast day is celebrated either as the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus
Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus
The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus is celebrated by a number of Christian denominations, on varying dates.The feast has been celebrated in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints, at least at local levels, since the end of the fifteenth century...

 or as that of Circumcision of Jesus
Circumcision of Jesus
The Circumcision of Jesus is an event from the life of Jesus of Nazareth according to the Gospel of Luke, which states in verse 2:21 that Jesus was circumcised eight days after his birth...

, in various Christian churches.

The Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

 provides a specific meaning and intention for the name Jesus (as the one who "saves his people from sin") and indicates that it was selected by Heavenly guidance. For centuries, Christians have invoked the Holy Name, and have believed that there is intrinsic power in the name of Jesus.

Biblical references and theology


In the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

, in Luke 1:31 an angel tells Mary to name her child Jesus, and in Matthew 1:21 an angel tells Joseph to name the child. The Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

 places special emphasis on the origin of the names of Jesus, Matthew 1:21-23 discussing the two names Jesus and Emmanuel. The significance is underscored by the fact that Matthew pays more attention to the name of the child and its theological implications than the actual birth event itself.

In Matthew 1:21 the message of the angel in Joseph's first dream includes the origin of the name Jesus, and has salvific implications when the angel instructs Joseph: "you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins". It is the only place in the New Testament where "saves his people" appears with "sins".

Matthew 1:21 provides the beginnings of the Christology
Christology
Christology is the field of study within Christian theology which is primarily concerned with the nature and person of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament. Primary considerations include the relationship of Jesus' nature and person with the nature...

 of the name Jesus. At once it achieves the two goals of affirming Jesus as the savior and emphasizing that the name was not selected at random, but based on a Heavenly command. The name Emmanuel (meaning God is with us) is also given to Jesus in Matthew 1:23 ("they shall call his name Emmanuel"). Emmanuel does not appear elsewhere in the New Testament, but in the context of Matthew 28:20 ("I am with you always, even unto the end of the world") indicates that Jesus will be with the faithful to the end of the age.

Reverence for the Holy Name is emphasized by Saint Paul in Philippians 2:10 where he states: "That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth". In Romans 10:13 St. Paul reiterates the salvific nature of the Holy Name by stating that those who "call on the name of the Lord" will be saved.

The power of the name Jesus used in petitions is stressed in John 16:23 when Jesus states: "If you ask the Father anything in my name he will give it you." Many Christian prayers thus conclude with the words: "Through Our Lord Jesus Christ". Several episodes in the New Testament refer to the power of the invocation of the Holy Name. In Mark 9:38-39 demons are driven out by the power of the name Jesus, in Acts 2:38 baptisms take place and in Acts 3:6, Acts 4:7-11 and Acts 9:34 miracles are performed. Many Christians believe that as in Acts 16:18 the invocation of the name of Jesus provides protection by repelling evil.

There is widespread belief among Christians that the name Jesus is not merely a sequence of identifying symbols but includes intrinsic divine power, and that where the name of Jesus is spoken or displayed the power of Jesus can be called upon to obtain peace, sanctity and as protection against evil.

Development of devotions



The reverence and affection with which Christians have regarded the Holy Name of Jesus goes back to the earliest days of Christianity, as shown in Acts 4:10 and Philippians 2:10. Devotion to and veneration of the IHS monogram, (derived from the Greek word IHSOUS (ΙΗΣΟΥΣ) for Jesus, or referring to Iesus Hominum Salvator, Jesus savior of mankind) also dates back to the early days of Christianity, where it was placed on altars and religious vestments, ornaments and other objects. The IHS monogram is also found on a gold coin from the eight century.

Medieval devotions to the Holy Name in England were promoted by Anselm of Canterbury
Anselm of Canterbury
Anselm of Canterbury , also called of Aosta for his birthplace, and of Bec for his home monastery, was a Benedictine monk, a philosopher, and a prelate of the church who held the office of Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109...

 early in the 12th century. In continental Europe, shortly after Anselm, the veneration of the Holy Name was strongly encouraged by Bernard of Clairvaux
Bernard of Clairvaux
Bernard of Clairvaux, O.Cist was a French abbot and the primary builder of the reforming Cistercian order.After the death of his mother, Bernard sought admission into the Cistercian order. Three years later, he was sent to found a new abbey at an isolated clearing in a glen known as the Val...

 in his sermons and writings. Bernard's writings such as the Sermon on the Canticles later influenced others such as Richard Rolle
Richard Rolle
Rolle is honored in the Church of England on January 20 and in the Episcopal Church together with Walter Hilton and Margery Kempe on September 28.-Works in print:*English Prose Treatises of Richard Rolle of Hampole, Edited by George Perry...

 who expressed similar views, e.g. that of the Holy Name acting as a "healing ointment" for the soul
Soul
A soul in certain spiritual, philosophical, and psychological traditions is the incorporeal essence of a person or living thing or object. Many philosophical and spiritual systems teach that humans have souls, and others teach that all living things and even inanimate objects have souls. The...

.
Official recognition for the Holy Name was provided by Pope Gregory X
Pope Gregory X
Pope Blessed Gregory X , born Tebaldo Visconti, was Pope from 1271 to 1276. He was elected by the papal election, 1268–1271, the longest papal election in the history of the Roman Catholic Church....

 at the Councl of Lyons in 1274. In the 14th century, Henry Suso
Henry Suso
Henry Suso was a German mystic, born at Überlingen on Lake Constance on March 21, c. 1300; he died at Ulm, January 25, 1366; declared Blessed in 1831 by Gregory XVI, who assigned his feast in the Dominican Order to March 2...

 in Germany and Richard Rolle
Richard Rolle
Rolle is honored in the Church of England on January 20 and in the Episcopal Church together with Walter Hilton and Margery Kempe on September 28.-Works in print:*English Prose Treatises of Richard Rolle of Hampole, Edited by George Perry...

 in England promoted devotions to the Name of Jesus. Rolle believed that the name Jesus has awesome intrinsic power, in a manner reminiscent of the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 reverence of the name Yahweh
Yahweh
Yahweh is the name of God in the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jews and Christians.The word Yahweh is a modern scholarly convention for the Hebrew , transcribed into Roman letters as YHWH and known as the Tetragrammaton, for which the original pronunciation is unknown...

. In Rolle's view the act of calling on the Holy Name purifies the soul and amounts to a reconstruction of the self as a contemplative. Rolle composed a number of lyrics about the Holy Name.

The tradition of devotion to and reverence for the Holy Name continued through the 14th and 15th centuries in England as the belief in its miraculous powers became widespread. Walter Hilton
Walter Hilton
Walter Hilton was an English Augustinian mystic.-Biography:Hilton was born ca. 1340-45; he was first recorded in January 1371 as a bachelor of law attached to the diocesan court of Ely, and again in 1375...

's classic work Scale of Perfection included a long passage on the Holy Name. In this period popular beliefs on the power of the Name of Jesus at times coincided with the belief in the power of the Holy Name of Mary
Holy Name of Mary
The Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, or simply the Holy Name of Mary, is a feast day in the Roman Catholic Church celebrated on 12 September to honour the name of Mary the mother of Jesus...

. The belief in the power of the Holy name had a strong visual component and the IHS monogram as well as Crucifixion scenes were widely used along with it.
In the 15th century, the Franciscan Bernardine of Siena actively promoted the devotion
to the Holy Name. At the end of his sermons he usually displayed the trigram IHS on a tablet in gold letters. Bernardine would then ask the audience to "adore the Redeemer of mankind". Given that this practice had an unorthodox air, he was brought before Pope Martin V
Pope Martin V
Pope Martin V , born Odo Colonna, was Pope from 1417 to 1431. His election effectively ended the Western Schism .-Biography:...

, who instead of rebuking Bernardine, encouraged the practice and joined a procession for it in Rome. The devotion to the Holy Name became so popular in Italy that the IHS trigram was often inscribed over the doorways of houses. The tablet used by Bernardine is now venerated at the basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli
Santa Maria in Aracoeli
The Basilica of St. Mary of the Altar of Heaven is a titular basilica in Rome, located on the highest summit of the Campidoglio. It is still the designated Church of the city council of Rome, which uses the ancient title of Senatus Populusque Romanus...

 in Rome.

John Calvin
John Calvin
John Calvin was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530...

 believed in reverence for the Holy Name and encouraged Christians to: "glorify His holy name with our whole life". Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

 encouraged "pure faith and confidence, and a cheerful meditation of and calling upon His holy Name".

A number of religious communities dedicated to the Holy Name Jesus have been formed since the Middle Ages, the Society of the Holy Name
Society of the Holy Name
The Society of the Holy Name, formally known as the Confraternity of the Most Holy Name of God and Jesus, is a Roman Catholic confraternity of the laity and is one of several which are under the care of the Dominican Order...

 being an example. In the 16th century, the Jesuits made the IHS monogram the emblem of their society, by adding a cross over the H and by showing three nails underneath it.

A number of Christian prayers refer to the Holy Name. The Jesus prayer
Jesus Prayer
The Jesus Prayer or "The Prayer" is a short, formulaic prayer esteemed and advocated within the Eastern Orthodox church:The prayer has been widely taught and discussed throughout the history of the Eastern Churches. It is often repeated continually as a part of personal ascetic practice, its use...

, which perhaps dates to the 4th century, is widely used in the Eastern Church. The Litany of the Holy Name
Litany of the Holy Name
The Litany of the Holy Name is a Roman Catholic prayer on the Holy Name of Jesus.It has been used in the Western Church since around the late 6th century. In the 15th century Saints Bernardine of Siena and John Capistrano promoted it and in the 16th century Pope Sixtus V granted indulgences for its...

 used in the Western Church dates to around the late 6th century.

Devotions to the Holy Name continued also in the Eastern Church into the 19th and 20th centuries. St. Theophan the Recluse
Theophan the Recluse
St. Theophan the Recluse, also known as "Theophan Zatvornik" or "Theophanes the Recluse" , is a well-known saint in the Russian Orthodox Church. He was born George Vasilievich Govorov, in the village of Chernavsk. His father was a Russian Orthodox priest. He was educated in the seminaries at...

 regarded the Jesus Prayer
Jesus Prayer
The Jesus Prayer or "The Prayer" is a short, formulaic prayer esteemed and advocated within the Eastern Orthodox church:The prayer has been widely taught and discussed throughout the history of the Eastern Churches. It is often repeated continually as a part of personal ascetic practice, its use...

 stronger than all other prayers by virtue of the power of the Holy Name and St. John of Kronstadt
John of Kronstadt
Saint John of Kronstadt was a Russian Orthodox archpriest and member of the synod of the Russian Orthodox Church. He was a striking and somewhat unconventional figure in his personality but was deeply pious and immensely energetic...

 stated: "The Name of the Lord is the Lord Himself".

Sacramentals



Sacramentals
Sacramentals
Sacramentals are material objects, things or actions set apart or blessed by the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Churches, the Anglican Churches, and Old Catholic Churches to manifest the respect due to the Sacraments, and so to excite good thoughts and to increase devotion, and through these...

 such as the Little Sachet
Little Sachet
The Little Sachet, or the Gospel of the Holy Name of Jesus, is a Roman Catholic devotion based on a sacramental that, according to tradition, was mystically revealed by Jesus Christ to a Discalced Carmelite nun, Sister Marie of St Peter and of the Holy Family, in 1847, in a monastery in Tours,...

 (associated with the Holy Name) are used by Roman Catholics. The Little Sachet bears the statement: "When Jesus was named — Satan was disarmed."

See also

  • Holy Face of Jesus
    Holy Face of Jesus
    The Holy Face of Jesus is a title for specific images which some Catholics believe to have been miraculously formed representations of the face of Jesus Christ...

  • Holy Name of Mary
    Holy Name of Mary
    The Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, or simply the Holy Name of Mary, is a feast day in the Roman Catholic Church celebrated on 12 September to honour the name of Mary the mother of Jesus...

  • I am (biblical term)
    I am (biblical term)
    The Greek term Ego eimi , which translates to I am, is used by Jesus in the Gospel of John on several occasions to refer to himself, seven times with specific titles. These usages have been the subject of significant Christological analysis....

  • Imiaslavie
    Imiaslavie
    Imiaslavie or Imiabozhie , also spelled imyaslavie and imyabozhie, and also referred to as onomatodoxy, is a dogmatic movement which was condemned by the Russian Orthodox Church, but that is still promoted by some affiliated with Gregory Lourie of the "Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church" , and by...

  • Jesus prayer
    Jesus Prayer
    The Jesus Prayer or "The Prayer" is a short, formulaic prayer esteemed and advocated within the Eastern Orthodox church:The prayer has been widely taught and discussed throughout the history of the Eastern Churches. It is often repeated continually as a part of personal ascetic practice, its use...

  • Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament
    Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament
    Two names and a variety of titles are used to refer to Jesus in the New Testament.In Christianity, the two names Jesus and Emmanuel that refer to Jesus in the New Testament have salvific attributes...


External links