By Christina Hermoso
September 12, is the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary, in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of the Messiah, and the mother of all mankind.
Holy masses, novenas, and special prayers will be offered in several churches and Marian shrines across the country today in observance of the feast. Devotees will lead Marian processions and the recitation of the Holy Rosary.
Church officials are encouraging the faithful to reflect on the prayer of known Marian devotee St. Bernard: “Look at the star of the sea, call upon Mary, in danger, in distress, in doubt, think of Mary. Call upon Mary. May her name never be far from your lips, or far from your heart. If you follow her, you will not stray, if you pray to her, you will not despair, if you turn your thoughts to her, you will not err. If she holds you, you will not fall, if she protects you, you will not fear, if she is your guide, you will not tire, and if she is gracious to you, you will surely reach your destination.”
Instituted in Cuenca, Spain in the year 1513, Pope Innocent XI made the observance a universal feast in commemoration of the victory of the Christians over the Turks at the Battle of Vienna (Austria), which was attributed to the powerful intercession of the Holy Mother.