The Holy Name Society – A Confraternity Worth Looking Into
A friend sent me an article regarding the Holy Name and in that article was mentioned the Holy Name Society. This made me curious as I had never looked deeply into the society.
I have to say, I’m very impressed by their mission, so I’ve included below information I found on their website. I hope this is informative, for those who didn’t know about the Holy Name Society.
What is the Holy Name Society?
The Confraternity of the Most Holy Names of God and Jesus (Holy Name Society) promotes reverence for the Sacred Names of God and Jesus Christ, obedience and loyalty to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, and the personal sanctification and holiness of its members. Members are called to contribute to the evangelization mission of the Church and to make perpetual acts of reverence and love for our Lord and Savior. The apostolate of the society is to assist in parish ministries by performing the Corporal Works of Mercy: to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, give drink to the thirsty, shelter to the homeless, tend the sick, visit those in prison, and bury the dead; as well as the Spiritual Works of Mercy: to convert sinners, instruct the ignorant, counsel the wayward, comfort the sorrowing, bear adversity patiently, forgive offenses, and pray for the living and the dead.
The Origin of the Holy Name Society?
Devotion to the Holy Name falls loosely into three periods. The first phase is the very early Church and was cultivated by the Apostles and the early disciples. In this period devotion is to the Name of Christ, to the Name of Christ Jesus, to the Name of the Lord, and to the Name of Jesus.
The second phase is found in the early middle ages. Here devotion to the Holy Name was fixed specifically to the Name of Jesus. Pope Gregory X (1271 – 1276) and the Council of Lyons in 1274 initiated a call of the Universal Church to this special devotion. Through the works of Blessed John of Vercelli, the sixth Master General of the Order of St. Dominic, the Dominicans began preaching on the virtues of the Holy Name and built special altars where the lay faithful could venerate the Holy Name of Jesus.
The third phase was brought to life by St. Bernardine of Siena (1380 – 1444). St. Bernardine made the object of devotion the Monogram of the Holy Name. St. Bernardine painted a special wooden tablet with the Monogram of the Name of Jesus surrounded by rays of the sun. St. Bernardine and his contemporary St. John Capistran popularized this devotion and made it so widespread that the monogram of the name of Jesus, even today, stands at the side of the cross as a symbol of Christianity.
The Holy Name Society is spiritually rooted in the zealous devotions that began in the Dominican Order and flourished through the work of St. Bernardine and his Franciscan Brothers.
Spiritual Benefits of Membership
Every member of the Confraternity of the Most Holy Names of God and Jesus, while they are faithful to their obligations; shares in all of the blessings from the Masses, good works, preaching, teaching and the manual labor of the Dominican Order. This includes a share in the thirty-three Masses which each Dominican is bound to say every year for the souls of the departed brethren.
The following partial indulgences are particularly applicable to faithful members of the Holy Name Society who:
* In the performance of their duties and in bearing the trials of life, raise their mind with humble confidence to God, asking – if only mentally – some pious invocation. “Blessed be the name of God”, and similar invocations of devotion to the name of God would be applicable in this grant. (cf. The Decree in the Apostolate of the Laity, 4, “Whatever you do in word or work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through Him”).
* In a spirit of faith and mercy give of themselves or of their goods to serve brothers in need.
* In spirit of penance voluntarily deprive themselves of what is licit and pleasing to them.
* Recite the Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus.
* Wear the Holy Name emblem – properly blessed by any priest.
* The Sacred Penitentiary*, in response to the petition of the Dominican Order, granted a plenary indulgence to the members of the Most Holy Name of God and the Most Holy Name of Jesus, on the following occasions:
* The day of the member’s induction into the Confraternity
* Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ – Christmas Day (December 25)
* The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus (January 3)
* Resurrection of the Lord – Easter Sunday
* The Solemnity of Christ the King (Last Sunday in Ordinary Time – last Sunday prior to the start of the Season of Advent)
* The Annunciation of the Lord (March 25)
* The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15)
* The Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker (May 1)
I hope this post has stirred up some interest in the Holy Name Society.