On September 12, the Church celebrates the feast of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary to teach us how useful and advantageous it is for us to invoke her holy name in our needs. The name Mary by which we honor the Most Blessed Virgin means "Star of the Sea". It is, says Saint Bernard, very well given to her, because she is indeed a star which enlightens, guides, and leads us to a harbor in the stormy sea of this world.
The feast of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary was first observed in Cuenca, Spain in 1513. In 1683, Pope Innocent XI extended the celebration of the feast day to the universal Church, to be celebrated on September 12th, four days after the Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Mother. With the revisions of the Roman Missal in 1970 following the Vatican Council II, the feast day was removed from the universal calendar, although the Votive Mass remained. However, Pope John Paul II in the third edition of the Roman Missal, issued in 2003, re-instituted the feast day, technically as an “optional memorial.”
The name Mary is rooted in various ancient languages: in Hebrew Myriam; in Aramaic Maryam; in the Greek Old Testament, Mariam; and in Greek and Latin New Testament, Maria.
Saint Quotes on Mary's Name
"After the most sacred name of Jesus, the name of Mary is so rich in every good thing, that on earth and in heaven there is no other from which devout souls receive so much grace, hope, and sweetness."
~ St. Alphonsus Liguori
"The invocation of the sacred names of Jesus and Mary is a short prayer which is as sweet to the mind, and as powerful to protect those who use it against the enemies of their salvation, as it is easy to remember."
~ St. Thomas a Kempis
"In dangers, in perplexities, in doubtful cases, think of Mary, call on Mary; let her not leave thy lips; let her not depart from thy heart."
~ St. Bernard of Clairvaux
" However hardened and diffident a heart may be, the name of this most Blessed Virgin has such efficacy, that if it is only pronounced that heart will be wonderfully softened."
~ Blessed Raymond Jordano
"The name of Mary is the key of the gates of heaven." ~ Saint Ephrem