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Sunday 26 March |
Saint of the Day: St. Marie-Alphonsine Danil Ghattas
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And today we celebrate...Saint of the Day

The Commemoration of the Most Holy Name of Mary

“Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary”


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The meaning of the celebration

+ The liturgical commemoration of the name of Mary dates to 1513 when it was first celebrated in Spain.

+ The celebration of the Most Holy Name of Mary was extended to the Universal Church after King John III Sobieski of Poland defeated the forces of the Ottoman Empire as they were preparing to invade Vienna, Austria. Before the battle, he entrusted himself and his troops to the Blessed Virgin.

+ This celebration of the Mother of God is a compliment to the celebration of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (January 3). Pope Saint John Paul II re-inserted both celebrations into the Universal Calendar of the Church in 2002.

+ This celebration reminds us of Mary’s special role as an intercessor for all people of faith. The entrance antiphon for the Mass for today’s commemoration declares:

Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary, by the Lord God Most High,
above all women on the earth;
for he has so exalted your name,
that your praise shall be undying on our lips.

+ While many religious communities have special devotion to the Mother of God, the Commemoration of the Most Holy Name of Mary is celebrated as the patron feast of the Society of Mary (the Marianists) and the Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

For prayer and reflection

Like the shepherds of Bethlehem, we remain with our gaze focused on her and on the Child she holds in her arms. And in this way, by showing us Jesus, the Saviour of the world, she, the mother, blesses us.”—Pope Francis

Spiritual bonus

On this day we also remember Saint Eanswith (or Eanswythe). The daughter of King Eadbald of Kent, she is credited with founding Folkestone Priory, one of the first convents in England. Saint Eanswith died around the year 640.


Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that, for all who celebrate the glorious Name
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
she may obtain your merciful favor.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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