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Special Devotion to Holy Name of Jesus

St. Alphonsus De Liguori

The name of Jesus is a divine name, announced to Mary on the part of God by St. Gabriel: and thou shalt call His name Jesus.[1] For that reason it was called a name above all names.[2] And it was called a name in which salvation is found; whereby we must be saved.[3]

This great name is likened by the Holy Spirit unto oil: Thy name is as oil poured out.[4] For this reason, says St. Bernard, that as oil is light, food, and medicine; so the name of Jesus is light to the mind, food to the heart, and medicine to the soul.

It is light to the mind. By this name the world was converted from the darkness of idolatry to the light of faith. We who have been born in these regions, where before the coming of Christ all our ancestors were Gentiles, should all have been in the same condition had not the Messiahs come to enlighten us. How thankful ought we not, then, be to Jesus Christ for the gift of faith! And what would have become of us if we had been born in the midst of heretics and schismatics? He who believes not is lost: He that believeth not shall be condemned.[5] And thus probably we also should have been lost.

The name of Jesus is also food that nourishes our hearts; yes, because this name reminds us of what Jesus has done to save us. Hence this name consoles us in tribulation, gives us strength to walk along the way of salvation, supplies us with courage in difficulties, and inflames us to love our Redeemer, when we remember what he has suffered for our salvation.

Lastly, this name is medicine to the soul, because it renders it strong against the temptations of our enemies. The devils tremble and fly at the invocation of the holy name, according to the words of the Apostle: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.[6] He who in temptation calls upon Jesus shall not fall; and he who constantly invokes him shall not fall, and shall be saved: Praising, I will call upon the Lord; and I shall be saved from my enemies.[7] And who was ever lost, who when he was tempted invoked Jesus? He alone is lost who does not invoke his aid, or who, whilst the temptation continues, ceases to invoke him.

Affections and Prayers

Oh, that I had always called upon thee, my Jesus; for then I should never have been conquered by the devil! I have miserably lost Thy grace, because in temptation I have neglected to call Thee to my assistance. But now I hope for all things through Thy holy name: I can do all things in Him who comforts me.[8] Write, therefore, O my Savior, write upon my poor heart Thy most powerful name of Jesus, so that, by having it always in my heart by loving Thee, I may have it always on my lips by invoking Thee, in all the temptations that hell prepares for me, in order to induce me to become again its slave, and to separate myself from Thee. In Thy name I shall find every good. If I am afflicted, it will console me when I think how much more afflicted Thou hast been than I am, and all for the love of me; if I am disheartened on account of my sins, it will give me courage when I remember that Thou camest into the world to save sinners; if I am tempted, Thy holy name will give me strength, when I consider that Thou can help me more than hell can cast me down; finally, if I feel cold in Thy love, it will give me fervor, by reminding me of the love that Thou bearest me.

I love Thee, my Jesus! Thou art, and I trust Thou wilt always be, my only Love. To Thee do I give all my heart, O my Jesus! Thee alone will I love! Thee will I invoke as often as I possibly can. I will die with Thy name upon my lips; a name of hope, a name of salvation, a name of love. O Mary, if thou lovest me, this is the grace I beg of thee to obtain for me, - the grace constantly to invoke thy name and that of the Son; obtain for me that these most sweet names may be the breath of my soul, and that I may always repeat them during my life, in order to repeat them at my death with my last breath. Jesus and Mary, help me; Jesus and Mary, I love you; Jesus and Mary, I recommend my soul to you.


[1] "Et vocabis nomen ejus Jesum." – Luke, i. 31.

[2] "Nomen quod est super omne." – Phil. ii. 9.

[3] "In quo oporteat nos salvos fieri." Acts, iv. 12.

[4] "Oleum effusum, nomen tuum." Cant. i. 2.

[5] "Qui non crediderit, condemnabitur." – Mark, xvi, 16

[6] "In nomine Jesu, omne genu flectatur coelestium, terrestrium, et infernorum." – Phil. ii. 10.

[7] "Laudans invaocabo Dominum, et ab inimicis meis salvus ero." – PS. xvii. 4.

[8] "Omnia possum in eo qui me confortat." Phil. iv. 13.


Taken from the Ascetical Works, Vol. IV., The Incarnation. Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ; or The Mysteries of the Faith. by Saint Alphonsus De Liguori, Doctor of the Church, Bishop of Agatha, and founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.

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