Catholic Devotion for January The Month of THE MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS
“Oh Most Sacred Name, Name of peace, Balsam of life, which is the centre of all the sighs, of the most fervent lovers of Jesus. The Sign of those who truly love Jesus is to bear Jesus imprinted in the heart and to name often and with devotion, the Most Holy Name of Jesus.”
St Leonard of Port Maurice (1676-1751)
Very early on, Christians came to understand, that the very Name of Jesus had great power, and the recitation of His Name, was itself, a prayer. This short prayer is a combination of that early Christian practice and the prayer offered by the publican in the parable of the pharisee and the publican (Luke 18:9-14). It is perhaps the most popular prayer among Eastern Christians, both Orthodox and Catholic.
The Word of God: “Jesus also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.” – Luke 18:9-14
And so we say the Jesus Prayer:
“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
The Second Council of Lyons in 1274 decreed that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow; whenever that glorious name is recalled, especially during the Sacred Mysteries of the Mass, everyone should bow the knees of his heart, which he can do even by a bow of his head.”
It may very well be that the custom of bowing the head at the name of Jesus has passed out of general use, as have other laudable customs, in recent times but, that does not prevent us personally, from continuing to live it and passing on to our children this ancient custom.
At the mention of the Most Holy Name, BOW YOUR HEAD and in private prayer, make an ACT of REPARATION, at the misuse of the MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS.
Thought for the Day – 1 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The New Year
“During these days, it is customary to exchange, verbally or in writing, good wishes for the New Year. But these poor greetings are often nothing more than conventional phrases. Men lack the power to transmute such good wishes into reality. God alone is the source of every material and spiritual good, therefore, He alone can ensure that these benevolent expressions are translated into deeds of Christian renovation. Since we are at the beginning of a new year, it is especially important for us to ask God more fervently and insistently, to bless the resolutions which are making for ourselves and the good wishes, which we are showering on our friends.
These wishes have no meaning and these resolutions have no force, if they are not accompanied by fervent and persevering prayer!”
Quote/s of the Day – 1 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – The Octave Day of the Nativity of Jesus and the Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord,
May We Confess Your Name to the End By St Cyprian of Carthage (200-258) Bishop and Martyr Father of the Church
Good God, may we confess Your Name to the end. May we emerge unmarked and glorious from the traps and darkness of this world. As You have bound us together by charity and peace and as together we have persevered under persecution, so may we also rejoice together in Your heavenly kingdom. Amen
“Sacrilegious tongues blaspheme the God who preserves their existence! … you should be damned forever and, instead of thanking Him for His goodness, you, at the very time that He bestows His favours upon you, YOU blaspheme His Holy Name!”
St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
One Minute Reflection – 1 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – – The Octave Day of the Nativity of Jesus and the Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord, Readings: Titus 2:11-15; Luke 2:21.
“At that time, after eight days were accomplished that the Child should be circumcised. His Name was called Jesus, which was called by the Angel before He was conceived in the womb.” – Luke 2:21
REFLECTION – “In the Old Law (Gen 22;12), it was required that every male child should, on the eighth day after his birth, be circumcised and thus admitted among God’s chosen people. The rite of circumcision in the Old Law, corresponded to the Sacrament of Baptism in the New Law and was the means of remitting original sin. Our Lord, although free from every sin, submitted to this rit,e in order to show, that He was a true Son of Abraham, to manifest respect and obedience to the established law and to prove that He had a real human body. At the time of circumcision, a name was given to the child. Our Lord was called Jesus, which signified His office as Saviour.On this Feast of the Circumcision, therefore, it is most appropriate that we should meditate on the first petition of the Lord’s prayer, “hallowed be thy name.” I. The first petition of the Lord’s Prayer. 1. In the opening words of the Lord’s Prayer we ask that God’s Name may be honoured, which shows that God’s glory should be our chief desire. 2. This petition does not mean, that God’s essential glory or perfection should be increased, nor that the honour given Him on earth, should be equal to that shown Him in heaven. II. The objects of this petition. We ask: 1. That we may praise God with our hearts and lips; 2. That those in error may be brought to recognise and revere His Church; 3. That sinners may be converted to His service; 4. That men may learn to refer all blessings to Him as to their Author and Source. CONCLUSION. Our conduct should be in conformity with this petition, I. Catholics must not cause the Name of God or of His Church to be profaned by their own evil words and, actions. 2. On the contrary, by clean speech and good example, Catholics ought to excite others to exalt the Name of God, to respect the Faith of Christ and to honour His Church. 3. Good resolutions for the New Year.” Excerrpt Catechism of the Council of Trent, (Part IV – Hallowed be Thy Name).
PRAYER – Almighty God and Father of our Lord Jeus Christ, may Your Name be hallowed on earth as it is in Heaven. May we bow our heads and revere and honour the Holy Name and teach others to do the same. We offer our hearts and penances in reparation to You for the blasphemies suffered each moment of each day and we resolve to do all in our power to amend this evil. We make our prayer, through Your Son, Jesus our Saviour in union with the Holy Spirit, God now and for all eternity, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 1 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord
“His name was called Jesus, which was called by the angel, before He was conceived in the womb” — Luke 2:21
To Christ Crucified Traditional Irish Prayer Trans. Brendan Devlin
May the sweet Name of Jesus Be written deeply on my heart and mind. Through the power of His Passion, Through the force of His Prayer, Through the shedding of His Blood, Through the sweetness of His Sweetness, Through His cruel Death on the Cross, for the sake of us all. O Lord Jesus Christ, be the Saviour of our souls. O Mary, Mother of Jesus and Jesus, be with me, the bond of love, binding us together and never be loosed. Amen
Saint of the Day – 1 January – Saint Joseph Mary Tomasi CR (1649-1713) Cardinal, of the Order of Clerics Regular Theatine, renowned Liturgical Scholar, Writer, Polyglot. Known as “a Second St CharlesBorromeo,“ the Prince of the Roman Liturgists” and of “Liturgists” and of “Liturgical Doctor.” Born on 12 September 1649 at Licata, archdiocese of Agrigento, Sicily, Italy, as Giuseppe Maria Tomasi and died on 1 January 1713 at home next to the Church of San Lorenzo in Panisperna, Rome, Italy of natural causes. Patronage – Liturgy. Also known as – Giuseppe Maria Tomasi di Lampedusa, Giuseppe Maria Tomasi, Giuseppe Maria Tommasi, Josef Maria Tomasi, Joseph Marie Carus, Joseph Mary Tommasi. Additional Memorial – 3 January (Theatines).
The very eminent Servant of God Joseph Mary Tomasi, Cardinal, whom Pope Pius VII decorated with the honours of the Blessed in 1803 and whom today the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II ascribes solemnly in the book of the Saints, was born at Licata, in Sicily, the Diocese of Agrigento, on 12 September 1649, the first son of Julius Tomasi and Rosalie Traina, the Prince of Lampedusa and the Duke of Palma di Montechiaro.
His own life was oriented toward God from his first years. Formed and educated in the noble paternal home, where they did not lack riches nor virtue, he gave proofs of a spirit, very open to study and to piety. His parents cared greatly for this and for his own Christian formation and his instruction in the classical and modern languages, above all, in the Spanish language because, he was destined by the family, for the Court of Madrid, as he was bound to inherit from his own father, for his own noble titles, that of “Grande of Spain“.
But his own spirit aspired, even from youth, to be small in the Kingdom of God and to serve not the kings of the earth but the King of Heaven. He cultivated his pious desire in his heart, until he obtained the consent of his father, to follow his vocation to the religious life.
After having renounced, by means of a notarial document, the Principate, which belonged to him through heredity and his very rich patrimony, he was admitted into the Order of the Clerics Regular Theatine, founded by St Cajetan of Thien in 1524. He made his religious profession in the Theatine house of St Joseph, at Palermo, on 25 March 1666.
In the new state of life, which he had embraced to follow the call of Christ, he was able to dedicate himself to piety and study. The Sacred Liturgy had been his attraction from childhood; even as a child he wanted to wear, everyday, the clothes of the Liturgical colour of the day. Gregorian chant had blossomed soon on his lips, which exulted with joy singing the Liturgical psalms. The sacred languages of Latin and Greek, as if by an innate disposition, he knew well and appreciated from his adolescence.
He completed his studies of philosophy in Messina, Ferrara, Bologna and Modena, forced to the transfers for reasons of health. He studied Theology instead at Rome, in the House of St Andrea della Valle.
In Rome, after having received the subdiaconate and the diaconate, on the Saturday of Advent, on 23 December 1673, he was Ordained a Priest in the Lateran Basilica, at the hands of Msgr Joachim De Angelis, Archbishop of Urbino, Vice-Regent of the Cardinal Vicar Gaspar Carpegna. Two days later, on the night of the Nativity, he celebrated his first Mass, in the Church of St Silvestro al Quirinale, at that time, the residence of the General House of the Theatine Fathers. The Priestly Anointing seems to have incardinated Father Tomasi to Rome and to give him Roman citizenship. Here, from his Priestly Ordination and in the same house of St Silvestro al Quirnale, for almost forty years, he dedicated himself, with intense productivity, to piety and to assiduous studies. To his knowledge of Latin and Greek, acquired from adolescence, he added that of Hebrew, Syriac, Chaldean and Arabic.
Urged by his particular love for the ancient documents of the Church and for the sound ecclesiastical traditions, he considered that a good part of his own religious perfection, lay in dedicating himself, with the spirit of faith, to the publication of rare Liturgical books and of the ancient texts of the Sacred Liturgy and so bringing to light, many ancient Sacred writings which until then had been hidden in the libraries.
In fact, thanks to his wide knowledge of sacred matters, he edited many volumes dealing with Scriptural Patristic and principally Liturgical subjects. With these last, it is sufficient to mention: Codices Sacramentorum nongentis annis vetustiores (edited in 1680); the critical edition of the Salterio in its double Roman and Gallican version; the Antifonari and Responsoriali of the Roman Church prepared by St Gregory the Great (edited in 1686); the critical edition of the Sacra Biblia according to the codes from the fifth century to the eleventh century (published in 1688).
On account of his vast scholarship and his excellent and well-known virtues, Father Joseph Mary Tomasi was subject to such fame and esteem that everyone sought and felt honoured by his acquaintance and knowledge and his friendship. The Queen of Sweden, Christina Alexandra, wanted him among the members whom she honoured among her own circle of scholars; the Roman Academy of Arcadia counted him among its own more illustrious members; the learned Rabbi of the Synagogue of Rome, Moses Cave, who was converted to Catholicism while he taught Father Tomasi Hebrew, considered him his friend and father in the faith.
But the greater the praises which the persons of that time attributed to him, the more he tried to remain hidden, even to the point of publishing because of his humility, some of his own works under a pseudonym.
Besides being in relationship with important persons and scholars of his own intellectual breadth, he dedicated himself, no less, to the formation of the simple faithful. For these he composed: Vera norma di glorificare Iddio e di far Orazione secondo la dottrina delle divine Scritture e dei Santi Padri and also a Breve istruzione del modo di assistere fruttuosamente al Santo sacrificio della Messa, as well as a condensed version of the Psalms selected and prepared for facilitating the prayer of the Christian.
Named General Consultor of his Order by his confreres, out of humility he quickly renounced the appointment, alleging the many other occupations for the appointments which he had already in the Roman Curia, among which were those of Consultor of the Sacred Congregations of Rites and of Indulgences, as well as that of Qualificator of the Holy Office.
His many publications on liturgical subjects, in which piety was united with scholarship, motivated the titles which some of his contemporaries gave to him, those of “the Prince of the Roman Liturgists” and of “Liturgists” and of “Liturgical Doctor“.
In truth, not a few of the norms, established by the authority of the Roman Pontiffs … and today praiseworthily in use in the Church, were already proposed and ardently desired by Father Tomasi, among which it is sufficient to recall: the present-day form of the Liturgy of the Hours for the prayer of the Divine Office; the distinction and use of the Missal and of the Lectionary in the celebration of the Eucharist; various norms contained in the Pontifical and in the Roman Ritual; the use of the vernacular language, which he himself recommended only for private devotions and in the prayers made in common by the faithful; all intended to promote a more intimate and personal participation of the People of God at the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy.
All his labours and solicitudes, in research and in his studies, were not able, in the slightest amount, to distract Father Tomasi from aiming, constantly and with all his strength, at the attainment of that evangelical perfection to which God had called him from his infancy.
To all, he was an example of profound humility, of the spirit of mortification and of sacrifice, of faithful observance, of meekness, poverty, piety and filial devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He helped the poor; he gave relief to the sick, both at home and in the hospital of St John Lateran. In this way, wisdom and charity were united and harmonised in him.
Pope Clement XI, who knew him personally and admired his eminent virtues and the widespread fame of his doctrine, named him Cardinal, with the title of Sts Silvestro e Martino ai Monti, in the Consistory of 18 May 1712. He accepted the Cardinalate only through the expressed mandate of the Pope. Placed in this sublime grade, as a lamp on a lampstand, he illuminated the Roman Church to such a point, with the splendour of his virtues, that many venerated him as another St Charles Borromeo, whom he himself had proposed to imitate.
He joined to the cardinalatial dignity all those virtues which distinguished him as a Theatine religious; he changed none of his previous rule of life. For his court and for the service of his home, he chose, for motives of humility, the poor, the weak, the lame and persons with various physical handicaps. In his titular church of Sts Silvestro e Martino ai Monti he not only participated, with the clergy of his family, in the Liturgical celebrations of the Carmelite Fathers but also dedicated himself to teaching the Catechism of Christian doctrine to children and to the other faithful.
But such a light of good example and of virtues shone for a short time. Not having completed eight months as a Cardinal, he was struck by a violent pneumonia after he took part, as a member of the Papal Chapel, at the Vigil of the Nativity in the Vatican Basilica. He died a saintly death on 1 January 1713, aged 64 years, in his apartment at the Passarini Palace on the Via Panisperna.
The first panegyric for Cardinal Tomasi was pronounced by the same Pope Clement XI, in the Consistory celebrated one month after his passing. “We cannot disguise“, the Pope said, “the intimate sorrow which the death of eminent and most pious Cardinal Tomasi has provided Us. … He was an authentic model of the most holy and ancient discipline and We already expect much from his virtues and his doctrine”.
The fame of his sanctity, which during life, accompanied Cardinal Tomasi became even greater, immediately after his death. Because of this, only five months from his pious entry into eternity, on the desire of Pope Clement XI, the canonical Ordinary Informative Process for his Beatification began. After having overcome vicissitudes and difficulties of various kinds, after two miracles attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Cardinal Tomasi were approved, Pope Pius VII proclaimed him Blessed on 29 September 1803.
A new miracle, attributed to the intercession of Blessed Joseph M. Tomasi, was approved, with the Decree of 6 July 1985, by the Holy Father John Paul 11, for his Canonisation.
The relics of his body, transferred in 1971 from the Basilica of his title of Sts Silvestro e Martini ai Monti, are presently exposed for the veneration of the faithful in the Basilica of St Andrea della Valle of the Theatine Fathers, in Rome. His feast is celebrated on 3 January by his Order.
The Feast was celebrated in the East before it was in the West but by the 5th Century it was celebrated in France and Spain on the Sunday before Christmas. In Rome, even before the 7th Century, 1 January was used as a celebration of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the 13th and 14th Centuries, the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ had come to replace the Marian Feast on 1 January. The celebration of the Feast of the Circumcision on 1 January was expanded to the entire Catholic Church in 1570 when Pope Pius V promulgated the Missal. In 1914, the Feast of the “Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary” was established in Portugal, occurring on 11 October. In 1931, this Feast was extended to the entire Catholic Church by Pope Pius XI and maintained on 11 October. Following the Second Vatican Council in 1974, Pope Paul VI removed the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ from the Liturgical Calendar and replaced it with the Feast of the “Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.” In the Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, Catholics continue to celebrate this Feast day with the old name “The Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary” on 11 October, and 1 January is the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord and the Feast of the Circumcision. The feast is a celebration of Mary’s motherhood of Jesus. The title “Mother of God” is a western derivation from the Greek: Theotokos, the God-bearer. The term was adopted at the First Council of Ephesus as a way to assert the Divinity of Christ, from which it follows, that what is predicated of Christ is predicated of God. So, if Mary is the Mother of Jesus, she is the Mother of God. Therefore, the title “Mother of God” which celebrates her under this title, are at once both Mariological and Christological.
Titular Feast of the Society of Jesus – But now celebrated on 3 January, the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus
Bl Adalbero of Liege St Baglan of Wales St Basil of Aix Bl Bonannus of Roio St Brogan St Buonfiglio Monaldi Bl Catherine de Solaguti St Clarus of Vallis Regia St Clarus of Vienne St Colman mac Rónán St Colman Muillin of Derrykeighan St Concordius of Arles St Connat St Cuan St Demet of Plozévet St Elvan St Eugendus of Condat St Euphrosyne of Alexandria St Fanchea of Rossory St Felix of Bourges St Frodobert of Troyes
St Gisela of Rosstreppe St Gregory Nazianzen the Elder Bl Hugolinus of Gualdo Cattaneo Bl Jean-Baptiste Lego Bl Jean of Saint-Just-en-Chaussée St Joseph Mary Tomasi CR (1649-1713) Cardinal, of the Order of Clerics Regular Theatine St Justin of Chieti Bl Lojze Grozde St Maelrhys St Magnus the Martyr Bl Marian Konopinski St Mydwyn
St Odilo of Stavelot St Peter of Atroa St Peter of Temissis Bl René Lego St Sciath of Ardskeagh St Severino Gallo St Telemachus St Thaumastus of Mainz St Theodotus St Tyfrydog Bl Valentin Paquay St Vincent Strambi St William of Dijon St Zedislava Berka St Zygmunt Gorazdowski — Breton Missionaries to Britain Martyred Soldiers of Rome: Thirty soldiers martyred in Rome as a group during the persecutions of Diocletian. We don’t even known their names. They were martyred c 304 at Rome, Italy.
Martyrs of Africa – 8 saints: Eight Christians martyred together in Africa, date unknown. The only details we have are four of their names – Argyrus, Felix, Narcissus and Victor.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Andrés Gómez Sáez
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