The Most Holy Name of Jesus

Just as God gave names of significance to Adam, Eve, Abraham, Peter, and John the Baptist, He chose a sacred name for his only Son.

God sent an angel to both Joseph and Mary, telling them to give their son the name “Jesus” which means “God saves”. Not only would Jesus be the Savior but He would be called Savior.

Sacred Scripture emphasizes the dignity and reverence for this name by which we are saved and which is exalted above every other name.

Saints from different Catholic religious orders have had deep devotion to the name of Jesus, encouraging Catholics to say the name of Jesus with respect and to bow their heads with reverence when they hear it.

Carelessly or irreverently using Jesus’ name is discouraged, especially when it involves profanity or blasphemy.

Pronounced “Yeshua” in biblical times, invoking the name of Jesus is a prayer in itself and the Jesus Prayer is a popular devotion among Catholics and Eastern Christian Churches.

In Greek, the language of the New Testament, the first three letters of Jesus’ name are Iota, Eta and Sigma – IHS. This monogram can be found marking Catholic churches, vestments, sacred vessels used at Mass, and Holy Communion hosts.

The Catholic Church dedicates the month of January to the Holy Name of Jesus and celebrates the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus as an optional memorial on January 3.

A name with power:

Names are precious:

“She will bear a son and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name Him Emmanuel,” which means “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named Him Jesus.

Matthew 1: 21-25

The name above all names:

A powerful representation of who He is:

Taking the name of Jesus as our own:

From the start, the name Jesus belonged to the One who was called thus on the eighth day after his birth. In a certain sense, on coming into the world He brought with Him this name which admirably expresses the essence and mission of the Incarnate Word. He came into the world to save humanity. Therefore when He was given this name, who He was and what was to be his mission were revealed at the same time. Many in Israel were called by this name, but he bore it uniquely, totally fulfilling its meaning: Jesus of Nazareth, Saviour of the world.

Pope John Paul II, Homily, 1 January 1997

Jesus’ name in Greek letters:

A symbol for the Name of Jesus:

The invocation of the Holy Name of Jesus is the simplest way of praying always. When the Holy Name is repeated often by a humbly attentive heart, the prayer is not lost by heaping up empty phrases, but holds fast to the word and “brings forth fruit with patience.” This prayer is possible “at all times” because it is not one occupation among others but the only occupation: that of loving God, which animates and transfigures every action in Christ Jesus.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2668

Praying the Jesus Prayer:

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