12th September : The Holy Name Of Mary

The Holy Name Of Mary

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MARY!  a name so lofty, in the regal majesty of its sound and meaning–Mary, Maria, Miriam!  It is a name as familiar to us as the name of our Mother, as the bells of the church, as the peaks of the mountains which send their friendly greetings to the valleys below.  MARY!  a thousand times we have prayed, sung, wept this name, in good and evil days.  Millions of women are called by that name and it weaves a golden thread around even the plainest woman.  MARY!  holding on to this name, grope the way through the darkness of life and death.  It is the rosy dawn heralding the rising sun, JESUS, in the Gospels as well as in the hearts of men.

A beautiful wreath of interpretation has grown around this name; the name MARY is supposed to stem from the word, “yam”–sea; “mar”, “mir”, “mor”–bitter sea, mistress of the sea, or the best known, “star of the sea”.  Others find profound meaning by tracing Mary to “moras”, –hope; “mar” the bitter one; “maron” the exalted one, “moren”, the rising one, “marsh”, the enlightener, “mor”, myrrh.  All these are ingenious but are not etymologically tenable.  In all probability, the name MARY goes back to the Egyptian language.  The sister of Moses and Aaron, born in Egypt like her brothers, is the only woman mentioned in the Old Testament with this name.  It can be derived from the Egyptian root, “mir”, love, and “jam”, jahu”, Yahu, Yahwe, God’ so that Mirjam means “God-loving” or beloved of God”.  In Mary’s time it was more common to derive the name from maron, the Exalted One, corresponding to our Madonna, Notre Dame, Our Blessed Mother or Our Blessed Lady.

“The name of Mary”, says St. Anthony of Padua, “is sweeter to the lips than the honeycomb, more delightful to the ear than a sweet song, more entrancing to the heart than the purest joy”.

“Surely”, says St. Bernard, “the Mother of God could not have been given a name more appropriate, nor one more impressive of her high dignity.  Mary is in fact the beautiful and brilliant star which shines upon the vast and stormy sea of the world.”

How we should honor this holy name; we should always invoke God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, through this name.  Tenderly must Jesus have spoken the name of His Mother.  How His Sacred Heart was moved when He was called the Son of Mary.

“Mary, how sweetly falls thy name

On my enraptured ear;

Oft do I say in holy love

Thy name when none are near.

Sing oh, my lips, and loudly proclaim,

Oh Mary, my Mother, how sweet is thy name.

Sweet as the warbling of a bird,

Sweet as a mother’s voice;

So sweet to me is thy dear name;

It makes my soul rejoice.

Bright as the moonbeam’s shine,

So bright in my mind’s eye is seen

Thy loveliness divine!

“MARY–a beautiful name in Heaven!

MARY–Through whom God does leaven

Human suffering with spiritual birth;

MARY–name of Queen and Mother;

MARY–name of penitent and saint;

MARY–whose life gave to another

consoling courage with ne’er a complaint.

MARY–name of many a loved one;

MARY–through Jesus, our Brother;

MARY–we seek when day is done,

Our beloved and loving dear Mother.”

Never cease to plead with her Son through His Mother’s holy name; ever call on God the Father for pity and help in the name of His perfectly created, Mary!  Pray to the Holy Spirit in the name of His beloved to strengthen, guide and bless us.  MARY!  MARY!  MARY!

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