Tag Archives: St Bernardine of Siena

Holy Name of Jesus

JesusMay the Most Holy Name of Jesus be praised and worshiped now and forever! By no other name are we saved!

Saint Bernadine of Siena preached:

“O glorious name, graceful name, lovely and excellent name! Through you crime slackens, enemies are conquered, the oppressed are liberated, those who suffer difficulties are strengthened and delighted! You, honor of believers, you, teacher of preachers, you, giver of strength to those who labor, you, supporter of the tired. Desires revive with the light and warmth of your fire, suffrages are asked for, contemplative souls are inebriated, and all those who triumph in the heavenly glory are glorified. And you, most sweet Jesus, make us reign with them through your most Holy Name.”

The Catechism teaches (430-435):

Jesus means in Hebrew: “God saves.” At the annunciation, the angel Gabriel gave him the name Jesus as his proper name, which expresses both his identity and his mission. Since God alone can forgive sins, it is God who, in Jesus his eternal Son made man, “will save his people from their sins”. In Jesus, God recapitulates all of his history of salvation on behalf of men.

In the history of salvation God was not content to deliver Israel “out of the house of bondage” by bringing them out of Egypt. He also saves them from their sin. Because sin is always an offence against God, only he can forgive it.  For this reason Israel, becoming more and more aware of the universality of sin, will no longer be able to seek salvation except by invoking the name of the Redeemer God.

The name “Jesus” signifies that the very name of God is present in the person of his Son, made man for the universal and definitive redemption from sins. It is the divine name that alone brings salvation, and henceforth all can invoke his name, for Jesus united himself to all men through his Incarnation, so that “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

The name of the Saviour God was invoked only once in the year by the high priest in atonement for the sins of Israel, after he had sprinkled the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies with the sacrificial blood. the mercy seat was the place of God’s presence. When St. Paul speaks of Jesus whom “God put forward as an expiation by his blood”, he means that in Christ’s humanity “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.”

Jesus’ Resurrection glorifies the name of the Saviour God, for from that time on it is the name of Jesus that fully manifests the supreme power of the “name which is above every name”. The evil spirits fear his name; in his name his disciples perform miracles, for the Father grants all they ask in this name.

The name of Jesus is at the heart of Christian prayer. All liturgical prayers conclude with the words “through our Lord Jesus Christ”. The Hail Mary reaches its high point in the words “blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.” the Eastern prayer of the heart, the Jesus Prayer, says: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Many Christians, such as St. Joan of Arc, have died with the one word “Jesus” on their lips.

Saint Bernardine of Siena

English: Saint Bernardino of Siena

The liturgical feast of Saint Bernardine of Siena (+1444), a Franciscan preacher known to be a well-received preacher. He’s also known to have been devoted to the Holy Name of Jesus and was the promoter of the Name in every place he went. You may notice the symbol “IHS” in architecture, vestments, hosts, artwork: this is due to work of Bernardine of Siena. Othes like the Jesuits also popularized the use of IHS. Today’s saint was a moral reformer which got him noticed by many.

As Bernardine lay dying, so the story goes, the friars were singing the Divine Office, and the line that his soul left his body was, “Father, I have shown forth your Name to men, and I am coming to you.”

At the Office of Readings today for Saint Bernardine we hear him preach holy name of Jesus, “the glory of preachers.”
Bernardine’s mission was to proclaim the name of Jesus so that it may be heard and followed. Adherence to the Name shed light in a darkened world. Scripture reveals that it is God who calls us into his marvelous light, a people who once lived in darkness, but now live in light of the Lord; hence by baptism we walk in the Lord.
The name of Jesus, we are exhorted, must be preached by a worthy instrument so that it may be heard. The worthiness of the preacher is critical, otherwise an unworthy preacher is a detraction from the holiness of God. It is a sin against the virtue against religion, that is, God’s honor. As the Lord once said: he is to carry my name because “truth was a like a great candle shining out the name of Jesus”
Our Christian life is meant to bless His holy name and to proclaim salvation who is Jesus, our Savior. Recall, salvation is not a state of mind, or a thing, but a person. Hence, we believe that Jesus is nothing less than our personal salvation: at the name of Jesus every knee, including in heaven, will bend.
The great saints and religious orders have all had a profound respect and devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. It is time to recover a deep respect for that which is held holy. It is hoped that as we prepare for death we, too, might have on our lips the Holy Name of Jesus.

Saint Bernardine of Siena

St Bernardine of Siena.jpgMay my mouth speak the praise of the Lord, and may all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever, alleluia.

Heavenly Father, You gave Saint Bernardine the priest an extraordinary love for the holy name of Jesus. By his merits and prayers grant that the spirit of love for You may ever inflame us.
Read a bit on Bernardine here.

Saint John of Capistrano

St John Capistrano.jpgThey sang, O Lord, Your holy name and praised in unison Your conquering hand.

God, our Father, You raised up in Saint John to strengthen the faithful in a time of stress. Establish us in Your safe protection and keep Your Church in lasting peace.
Poor Saint John gets associated with the migration of the swallows. How unfortunate to have your life and life’s project get linked with the fowl. There is always a back story. He studied law, a civil servant, was married but the marriage was annulled with the wife’s permission because as it was never consummated, a priest, a very effective preacher, healer and reformer and ecclesial servant. A disciple of Saint Bernardine of Siena and therefore had a devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus and promoted it. See the Wiki article on Saint John and Catholic encyclopedia article on him is here. A Franciscan hagiographical piece on the saint is noted here. Reading all this I’d say the birds didn’t reveal the saint’s importance.

Saint Bernardine of Siena

St BernardineNo other name under heaven has been given to men by which we can be saved.

Father, You gave Saint Bernardine a special love for the holy name of Jesus. By the help of his prayers, may we always be alive with the spirit of your love.

Many people think the IHS symbol originated with and belongs exclusively with the Society of Jesus. The typical Jesuit use of IHS is slightly different from the one used by Bernardine in that the 3 nails are included in the Jesuit monogram. Historically the IHS is an ancient symbol and it was popularized by today’s Saint Bernardine of Siena, the Apostle of Italy or alternatively called the Apostle of the Holy Name.

As a monograph for the name of Jesus Christ it became more popular after the 12th century. We know that Saint Bernard of Clairvaux had a devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus as well as other notable other churchmen and women. Let’s remember that Bernardine suffered great opposition at the hands of the Church for his use devotion and propagation of the Name of Jesus because it was seen as idolatry. By 1530, the Church approved of the Mass text for the feast of the Triumph of the Holy Name of Jesus, celebrated today on January 3, restored to the Roman Missal by Pope John Paul II in 2002. Moreover, there is a long tradition of celebrating the second Sunday of each month as Holy Name Sunday (we did so growing up at St. Stanislaus Church, New Haven, CT).

I would like to recommend membership in The Holy Name Society

One Saint Bernardine’s famous homilies:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe name of Jesus is the glory of preachers, because the shining splendor of that name causes his word to be proclaimed and heard. And how do you think such an immense, sudden and dazzling light of faith came into the world, if not because Jesus was preached? Was it not through the brilliance and sweet savor of this name that God called us into his marvelous light? When we have been enlightened, and in that same light behold the light of heaven, rightly may the apostle Paul say to us: Once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light.

So this name must be proclaimed, that it may shine out and never be suppressed. But it must not be preached by someone with sullied mind or unclean lips, but stored up and poured out from a chosen vessel. That is why our Lord said of Saint Paul: He is a chosen instrument of mine, the vessel of my choice, to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel. In this chosen vessel there was to be a drink more pleasing than earth ever knew, offered to all mankind for a price they could pay, so that they would be drawn to taste of it. Poured into other chosen vessels, it would grow and radiate splendor. For our Lord said: He is to carry my name.

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: “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.”

From a sermon by Saint Bernardine of Siena
Sermo 49, De glorioso Nomine Iesu Christi, cap 2: Opera omnia, 4. 505-506

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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