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Spreading Devotion to the Name of Jesus for 750 Years

Spreading Devotion to the Name of Jesus for 750 Years

Today, throughout the Church is the Memorial of the Holy Name of Jesus. This liturgical feast day dates back centuries and was removed from the calendar for a few decades and then reinstated by Pope St. JP II in 2002. This day has a special place in the heart of the Dominican Order, for it was almost 750 years ago that Pope Gregory X entrusted the promotion and preaching of the Holy Name of Jesus to the friars.


Shortly after the U.S. Civil War, the Dominican Province of St. Joseph was instrumental in spreading Holy Name Societies all over the country with first one established in 1868 at our own Church of St. Vincent Ferrer in New York City. From that humble beginning, the growth of and promotion of the Holy Name Societies would number in the thousands and eventually go on to become a powerful part of the devotional history of the Catholic Church in America.


Next year, 2024, will mark the 750th Anniversary, when at the Second Council of Lyons, Pope Gregory X entrusted to Blessed John of Vercelli, Sixth Master of the Dominican Order, that we are to spread devotion to the name of Jesus by our preaching and by forming groups to combat blasphemy and profanity. These groups and our preaching efforts over the centuries brought honor and glory to the name of Jesus and has built up virtue throughout the world.


Happy Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus!


Fr. John Maria Devaney, O.P.

Dominican Friars of the Province of Saint Joseph

January 3, 2023

Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P. "This sculpture of the Holy Name radiant in glory is in the church of Il Gesu in Rome."

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