“The name of Jesus, is in fact, the great foundation of the faith
that turns people into children of God."
- St. Bernardine of Siena
As a young child, instilled in St. Bernardine of Siena was a deep veneration of the Holy Name of Jesus, a devotion that grew and solidified as he read the epistles of St. Paul, which taught Him that only in the Name of Jesus could man be saved.
St. Bernardine carried this devotion into his religious life, as the Holy Name became the topic of his preaching ministry. At the end of his sermons, he would take a tablet with the Divine Name painted on it, invite all beg God's mercy upon them through the Holy Name of Jesus, and then he would bless then with the inscribed tablet.
Many miracles were reported during St. Bernardine's time through the prayerful invocation of the Holy Name of Jesus. He encouraged people to place the IHS monogram over city gates, home doorways, even engraved into churches. As some considered this veneration superstitious, Pope Martin V in 1427 approved veneration to the Holy Name and asked that the cross be included in the monogram IHS. Largely due to St. Bernadine’s preaching, the name “Jesus” was added to the Hail Mary: “Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.”
Later, the IHS Christogram was viewed as an acronym for the Latin Iesus Hominum Salvator, meaning “Jesus Savior of Mankind."
Halfway, now, through January, let us renew our fervor in pronouncing the Holy Name of Jesus with reverence, awe, and devotion. As St. Paul encourages us in his epistles, let us bow our heads at His Holy Name, and "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:10)
You can read more about St. Bernardine of Siena and his devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus here.