Holy Name of Jesus: The Franciscan Connection

On January 3, we observe the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, a devotion especially dear to Franciscans. 

“Jesus” means “the Lord saves”

Luke’s Gospel tells us: “After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb” (2:21). The name Jesus means “the Lord saves,” and it encapsulates Jesus’s very identity: the manifestation of God’s saving love in the world.

Popularizing devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus

Devotion to the name of Jesus has taken many forms in the history of Christianity, but it was the Franciscan Bernardine of Siena who in the 15th century especially popularized devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, carrying about a large monogram of the Holy Name (see main image) on his preaching tours.

The name Jesus in Christian art


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