It’s hard to imagine that the
Blessed Mother has many more feasts than Jesus himself in the Liturgical
calendar. In one week between September 8 and 15, there are three celebrations
honoring Mary. September 8 is the Nativity of Mary, September 15 is the feast
of Our Lady of Sorrows, and today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Name of
Mary, a feast only recently introduced, even though this was made officially a
universal feast by BlessedPopeInnocent XI to
commemorate victory over the Turks
at the Battle of Vienna
The feast was only a local one at
its inception in 1513, when it was instituted in Cuenca, Spain. It was initially celebrated on
September 15th and later on the 17th. Pope Gregory XV extended the celebration to the Archdiocese of Toledo
in 1622. In 1671
the feast was extended to the whole of Spain. After the victory of the Christians, lead by
King John Sobieski III of Poland, over
the Turks in the Battle of
Vienna in 1683, the feast was extended to the whole Church by
Pope Innocent XI, and assigned to the Sunday after the Nativity of Mary. Before the battle King John
had placed his troops under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Even in the past 60 years, there
has been some controversy over the date of this festivity. In 1954, it was
re-instated at September 12, but was removed temporarily as many thought it was
duplication of the Nativity of Mary, but in 2001, the feast of the Holy Name of
Mary was once again set to be celebrated today.
Mary is Mariam in the Holy
Land. The Hebrew
variant of the name is Miriam.
The name may have originated from the Egyptian Meri-Amun, "beloved of the
God". It was incorporated in the Exodus narrative as Miriam, the name of
Moses' sister. It became common in ancient Israel, hence its appearance in the
gospel narrative as the name of Jesus'
mother and several other women. The name is very common among in Arab, Iranian and other Muslim cultures. However, Mary is frequently called by an innumerable number of names that denote a
connection with something special, Lourdes, Fatima, Joy, Peace, Angels,
Perpetual Help, Snows, Queen, as well as other Latin names like Ave Maria, Salve Regina, Ave Maris Stella, Stella Maris, besides many appellations listed in the Litany of Loreto.