The Most Holy Name of Jesus and the Dominicans

January 3, 2023

Today, January 3rd, is the Memorial of The Most Holy Name of Jesus throughout the Catholic Church. However, for the past 750 years the Dominican Order has been entrusted with promoting the Holy Name of Jesus since Pope Gregory X gave a special mandate to Blessed John of Vercelli, the sixth Master of the Order, at the Second Council of Lyons in 1274. From that time forward the Order of Preachers has established Confraternities of the Holy Name of Jesus, more commonly called Holy Name Societies, through out the world. The Province of St. Joseph in the late 1860’s established the first American Holy Name Society at our parish of St. Vincent Ferrer in New York City. From those humble beginnings, Holy Name Societies sprang up all over the United States continuing the twofold mission: “The primary object of the society is to beget due love and reverence for the Holy Name of God and Jesus Christ. The secondary object is to suppress blasphemy, perjury, oaths of any character that are forbidden, profanity, unlawful swearing improper language, and, as far as the members can, to prevent those vices in others (Pius IV, 13 April 1564).” This mission is needed in our day as much as in ages past. If you are interested in starting a Holy Name Society in your parish please contact Fr. John Maria Devaney, OP, Promoter of the Holy Name of Jesus for the Province of St. Joseph at If you would like more information on the good work National Association of the Holy Name Society click here.

“Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
that is above every name,
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”
St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians 2:9-11

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