In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties,
think of Mary, call upon Mary.
Let not her name depart from your lips,
never suffer it to leave your heart.
And that you may more surely obtain
the assistance of her prayer,
neglect not to walk in her footsteps.
With her for guide, you shall never go astray;
while invoking her, you shall never lose heart;
so long as she is in your mind, you are safe from deception;
while she holds your hand, you cannot fall;
under her protection you have nothing to fear;
if she walks before you, you shall not grow weary;
if she shows you favor, you shall reach the goal.
-St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Today’s feast of the Holy Name of Mary invites us to ponder the power and sweetness of the name which God Himself chose to give His mother. Already a feast on the Spanish calendar, Pope Innocent XI extended it to the universal Church in the 1683, in thanksgiving for the victory won by Polish King John Sobieski over the Turks in Vienna that year on September 12. Had they been victorious, the entire Christian West might have been overcome.
Mary is our life, our sweetness, and our hope, as we pray in the Salve Regina, because through her cooperation with God, Christ has accomplished our salvation. Jesus certainly must have called on her for comfort and help during his childhood, and we can, too. Ask God today for the grace to call upon the sweet name of Mary with the same love and trust with which Our Lord called Himself called upon her holy name. Mary is the terror of demons – all of hell trembles at the mention of her name. Fr. Donald Calloway, during his incredible conversion experience, had a moment when the devil tempted him to despair with all the sins he had committed. He felt absolutely paralyzed in terror and darkness. But he had the grace to interiorly cry out for help “Mary”, and instantly, the evil one vanished, and his soul was filled with peace, hope, love. That is the power of even the name of the most loving Mother of God.
You can read more interesting facts about today’s feast here.