The third Mystery of the Epiphany shows us the completion of the merciful designs of God upon the world, at the same time that it manifests to us, for the third time, the glory of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The Star has led the soul to faith; the sanctified Waters of the Jordan have conferred purity upon her; the Marriage-Feast unites her to her God. We have been considering during this Octave, the Bridegroom revealing himself to the Spouse; we have heard him calling her to come to him from the heights of Libanus; and now, after having enlightened and purified her, he invites her to the heavenly feast, where she is to receive the Wine of his divine love.
A Feast is prepared; it is a Marriage-Feast; and the Mother of Jesus is present at it, for it is just, that, having co-operated in the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word, she should take part in all that her Son does, and in all the favours lie bestows on his elect. But, in the midst of the Feast, the Wine fails. Wine is the symbol of Charity or Love, and Charity had failed on the earth; for the Gentiles had never tasted its sweetness; and as to the Synagogue, what had it produced but wild grapes? [Is. v. 2]. The True Vine is our Jesus, and he calls himself by that name [St. John, xv. l]. He alone could give that Wine which gladdeneth the heart of man [Ps. ciii. 15]; He alone could give us that Chalice which inebriateth [Ibid. xxii. 5], and of which the Royal Psalmist prophesied.
Mary said to Jesus: They have no wine. It is the office of the Mother of God to tell him of the wants of men, for she is also their Mother. But Jesus answers her in words, which are apparently harsh: Woman! what is it to me and to thee? My hour is not yet come. The meaning of these words is, that, in this great Mystery, he was about to act, not as the Son of Mary, but as the Son of God. Later on, the hour will come when, dying upon the Cross, he will do a work, in the presence of his Mother, and he will do it as Man, that is, according to that human nature which he has received from her. Mary at once understands the words of her Son, and she says to the waiters of the Feast, what. she is now ever saying to her children: Do whatsoever he shall say to you.
Now, there were six large waterpots of stone there, and they were empty. The world was then in its Sixth Age, as St. Augustine and other Holy Doctors tell us. During these six ages, the earth had been awaiting its Saviour, who was to instruct and redeem it. Jesus commands these waterpots to be filled with water; and yet, water does not suit the Feast of the Spouse. The figures and the prophecies of the ancient world were this water, and until the opening of the Seventh Age, when Christ, who is the Vine, was to be given to the world, no man had contracted an alliance with the Divine Word.
But, when the Emmanuel came, he had but to say, Now draw out, and the waterpots were seen to be filled with the wine of the New Covenant, the Wine which had been kept to the end. When he assumed our human nature - a nature weak and unstable as Water - he effected a change in it; he raised it up even to himself, by making us partakers of the divine nature [II. St. Peter, i. 4]; he gave us the power to love him, to be united to him, to form that one Body, of which he is the Head, that Church of which he is the Spouse, and which he loved from all eternity, and with such tender love, that he came down from heaven to celebrate his nuptials with her.
O the wonderful dignity of man! God has vouchsafed, says the Apostle, to show the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which had no claim to, nay, were unworthy of such an honour. Jesus bids the waiters fill them with water, and the water of Baptism purifies us; but, not satisfied with this, he fills these vessels, even to the brim, with that heavenly and new Wine, which was not to be drunk save in the kingdom of his Father [Rom. ix. 23]. Thus, divine Charity, which dwells in the Sacrament of Love, is communicated to us; and, that we might not be unworthy of the espousals with himself to which he called us, he raises us up even to himself. Let us, therefore, prepare our souls for this wonderful union, and, according to the advice of the Apostle, let us labour to present them to our Jesus with such purity as to resemble that chaste Virgin, who was presented to the spotless Lamb [II. Cor. xi. 2].
St. Matthew, the Evangelist of the Humanity of our Lord, has received from the Holy Ghost the commission to announce to us the Mystery of Faith by the Star; St. Luke, the Evangelist of Jesus' Priesthood, has been selected, by the same Holy Spirit, to instruct us in the Mystery of the Baptism in the Jordan; but the Mystery of the Marriage-Feast was to be revealed to us by the Evangelist John, the Beloved Disciple. He suggests to the Church the object of this third Mystery, by this expression: This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and he MANIFESTED his glory [St. John, ii. 11]. At Bethlehem, the Gold of the Magi expressed the Divinity of the Babe; at the Jordan, the descent of the Holy Ghost and the voice of the Eternal Father proclaimed Jesus, (known to the people as a carpenter of Nazareth) to be the Son of God; at Cana, it is Jesus himself that acts, and he acts as God, for, says St. Augustine, He who changed the water into wine in the waterpots could be no other than the same who, every year, works the same miracle in the vine. Hence it was, that, from that day, as St. John tells us, his disciples believed in him [Ibid.], and the Apostolic College began to be formed.
We cannot, therefore, be surprised that the Church - filled, as she is, with holy enthusiasm at the Feast of her Jesus' glory, his Epiphany, and desirous to add fresh joy to the solemnity - should have chosen this Second Sunday after the Epiphany as the day on which to honour the Most Holy Name of JESUS. It is on the Wedding-Day that the Bride-groom gives his Name to his Bride, and it is the sign that, from that day forward, she belongs to him alone. The Church, therefore, would honour the Name of her Divine Spouse with un especial Feast, and no day could be more appropriate for it than this of the Marriage at Cana.
In the Old Covenant, the Name of God inspired fear and awe: nor was the honour of pronouncing it granted to all the children of Israel. We can understand this. God had not yet come down from heaven to live on earth, and converse with men; he had not yet taken upon himself our poor nature, and become Man like ourselves; the sweet Name expressive of love and tenderness, could not be applied to him.
But, when the fulness of time had come - when the mystery of love was about to
be revealed - then did heaven send down the Name of ‘Jesus’ to our earth, as a pledge of the speedy coming of him who was to bear
it. The archangel Gabriel said to Mary: Thou shalt call his Name JESUS. ‘Jesus’
means Saviour. How sweet will this Name not be to poor lost man! It seems to
link earth to heaven! No name is so amiable, none is so powerful. Every knee in
heaven, on earth, and in hell, bows in adoration at hearing this Name! and yet,
who can pronounce it, and not feel love spring up within his heart? But we need
such a saint as Bernard, to tell us of the power and sweetness of this blessed
Name. He thus speaks of it in one of his Sermons.
‘The Name of Jesus is Light, and Food, and Medicine. It is Light, when it is preached to us; it is Food, when we think upon it; it is the Medicine that soothes our pains when we invoke it. Let us say a word on each of these. Tell me, whence came there, into the whole world, so bright and sudden a light, if not from the preaching of the Name of Jesus? Was it not by the light of this Name that God called us unto his admirable Light? Wherewith being enlightened, and in this light, seeing the Light, we take these words of Paul as truly addressed to ourselves: Heretofore, you were darkness; but now, light in the Lord [Eph. v. 8].
‘Nor is the Name of Jesus Light only; it is also Food. Art thou not
strengthened, as often as thou thinkest of this Name? What is there that so
feeds the mind of him that meditates upon this Name? What is there that so
restores the wearied faculties, strengthens virtue, gives vigour to good and
holy habits, and fosters chastity? Every food of the soul is dry, that is not
steeped in this unction; it is insipid, if it be not seasoned with this salt. If
thou write, I relish not thy writing, unless I read there the Name of Jesus. If
thou teach me, or converse with me, I relish not thy words, unless I hear thee
say the Name of Jesus. JESUS is honey to the mouth, and music to the ear, and
gladness to the heart.
‘It is also Medicine. Is any one among you sad? Let but Jesus come into his heart, and the mouth echo him, saying Jesus! and lo! the light of that Name disperses every cloud, and brings sunshine back again. Have any of you committed sin? and is despair driving you into the snare of death? Invoke the Name of life, and life will come back to the soul. Was there ever a man, that, hearing this saving Name, could keep up that common fault of hardness of heart, or drowsiness of sluggishness, or rancour of soul, or languor of sloth? If any one, perchance, felt that the fountain of his tears was dry, did it not gush forth more plentifully than ever, and flow more sweetly than ever, as soon as he invoked the Name of Jesus? If any of us were ever in danger, and our heart beat with fear, did not this Name of power bring us confidence and courage the moment we pronounced it? When we were tossed to and fro by perplexing doubts, did not the evidence of what was right burst on us as we called upon the Name of light? When we were discouraged, and well nigh crushed, by adversity, did not our heart take courage, when our tongue uttered the Name of help? All this is most true; for all these miseries are the sicknesses and faintings of our soul, and the Name of Jesus is our Medicine.
‘But, let us see how all this comes to pass. Call upon me in the day of trouble, says the Lord; I will deliver thee, and thou shall glorify me [Ps. xlix 15]. There is nothing which so restrains the impulse of anger, calms the swelling of pride, heals the wound of envy, represses the insatiability of luxury, smothers the flame of lust, quenches the thirst of avarice, and dispels the fever of uncleanliness - as the Name of Jesus. For when I pronounce this Name, I bring before my mind the Man, who, by excellence, is meek and humble of heart, benign, sober, chaste, merciful, and filled with everything that is good and holy, nay, who is the very God Almighty - whose example heals me, and whose assistance strengthens me. I say all this, when I say Jesus. Here have I my model, for he is Man; and my help, for he is God; the one provides me with precious drugs, the other gives them efficacy; and from the two I make a potion such as no physician knows how to make.
‘Here is the electuary, my soul, hid in the casket of this Name Jesus; believe me, it is wholesome, and good for every ailment thou canst possibly have. Ever have it with thee, in thy bosom and in thy hand; so that all thy affections and actions may be directed to JESUS.’ [Fifteenth Sermon on the canticle of Canticles.]
This is the sweet and powerful Name, which was given to our Emmanuel, on the day of his Circumcision. But, as that day was the Octave of Christmas, and was already sacred to the Maternity of Mary, the present Sunday, the Second after the Epiphany, was chosen for celebrating the mystery of the Name of the Lamb. The first promoter of the Feast was St Bernardine of Siena, who lived in the fifteenth century. This holy man established the practice of representing the Holy Name of Jesus surrounded with rays, and formed into a monogram of its three first letters, IHS [The Name was, anciently, often written Ihesus; hence, in its contracted form alluded to, the letter H would be given: the E following was virtually included in the aspirate. Translator.] The custom spread rapidly through Italy, and was zealously propagated by the great St John of Capestrano, who, like St Bernardine of Siena, was of the Order of Friars Minor. The Holy See gave its formal approbation to this manner of honouring the Name of our Saviour, and, in the early part of the sixteenth century, Pope Clement VI, after long entreaties, granted to the whole Franciscan Order the privilege of keeping a special Feast in honour of the Most Holy Name of Jesus.
Rome extended the same favour to various Churches; and, at length, the Feast was inserted in the universal Calendar. It was in the year 1721, at the request of Charles VI, Emperor of Germany, that Pope Innocent XII decreed that the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus should be kept throughout the whole Church; he also chose the Second Sunday after the Epiphany as the day. We have already explained how appropriately their respective mysteries have been thus blended into the one solemnity.
The Church begins her chants by proclaiming the glory of the Name of her Spouse. Heaven, earth, and hell! bow ye down at the sound of this adorable Name, for the Son of Man, who bears this Name, is also the Son of God.
In Nomine Jesu omne genuflectatur, coelestium, terrestrium et infernorum; et
omnis lingua confiteatur, quia Dominus Jesus Christus in gloria est Dei Patris.
Ps. Domine, Dominus noster, quam admirabile est Nomen tuum in universa terra V. Gloria Patri. In Nomine Jesu.
At the Name of Jesus, let every knee bend in heaven, on earth, and under the
earth; and every tongue confess, that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of
God the Father.
Ps. O Lord, our Lord, how wonderful is thy name over the whole earth. V. Glory. At the Name.
In the Collect, the Church, which, during her exile, finds consolation in the Name of her divine Spouse, prays that she may see his blessed face in heaven.
|Deus, qui unigenitum Filium tuum constituisti humani generis Salvatorem, et Jesum vocari jussisti: concede propitius, ut cujus sanctum Nomen veneramur in terris, ejus quoque aspectu perfruamur in coelis. Per eumdem.||O God, who didst appoint thy Only-Begotten Son the Saviour of mankind, and commandedst that his name should be called Jesus: mercifully grant, that we who venerate this holy Name on earth, may also enjoy his sight in heaven. Through the same, etc.|
Commemoration of the 2nd Sunday after the Epiphany
|Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui coelestia simul et terrena moderaris: supplicationes populi tui clementer exaudi, et pacem tuam nostris concede temporibus. Per Dominum.||O Almighty and Eternal God, supreme ruler both of heaven and earth; mercifully give ear to the prayers of thy people, and grant us peace in our time. Through, etc.|
Lectio Actuum Apostolorum.
| Lesson from the Acts of the Apostles.
Oh! how true is this, dear Jesus! no other Name but thine could give us salvation, and thy Name means Saviour. Be thou praised for having taken such a Name! Be thou praised for having saved us! Thou art of heaven heavenly, and yet thou takest a Name of earth, and one which our mortal lips can say.
The holy Church then commences a second canticle in praise of this divine Name, which is blessed by all nations, for it is the name of him who redeemed them all.
Salvos fac nos, Domine Deus noster; et congrega nos de nationibus: ut confiteamur Nomini sancto
tuo, et gloriemur in laude tua.
V. Tu, Domine, Pater noster, et Redemptor noster; a saeculo nomen tuum.
Save us, O Lord, our God and gather us from amidst the nations: that we may give
thanks to thy holy Name, and may glory in thy praise.
V. Thou, Lord, art our Father and Redeemer; thy Name is from eternity.
After Septuagesima, the following Tract is sung, instead of the Alleluia.
Domine, Deus virtutum, converte nos; et ostende faciem tuam et salvi erimus:
sonet vox tua in auribus meis.
Convert us to thee, O Lord God of hosts; and show thy face, and we shall be
let thy voice sound in my ears.
V. For sweet is thy voice, and very beautiful is thy countenance.
V. Thy Name, O Jesus, is as oil poured out; therefore have virgins loved thee.
Sequentia sancti Evangelii
Sequel of the holy Gospel
according to Luke.
It is during the first shedding of thy Blood, by the Circumcision, that thou didst receive this Name of Jesus, dear Lord! and it was fitting that it should be so, for this Name signifies Saviour, and we could not be saved but by thy Blood. Our immortal life is to be purchased at the price of thy Death! This truth is expressed to us by thy Name, O Jesus! Saviour! Thou art the Vine, and thou invitest us to drink of thy delicious Wine; but the heavenly Fruit must be first unsparingly pressed in the wine-press of thy Eternal Father’s justice; we cannot drink of its juice, until it shall have been torn from the branch and bruised for our sakes. May thy sacred Name ever remind us of this sublime Mystery, and may the remembrance keep us from sin, and make us always faithful.
During the Offertory, the holy Church resumes her chants in honour of the Holy Name; she celebrates the mercies, which are reserved for all them that call on this Name.
|Confitebor tibi, Domine Deus meus, in toto corde meo; et glorificabo Nomen tuum in aeternum. Quoniam tu, Domine, suavis et mitis es, multae misericordiae omnibus invocantibus te. Alleluia.||I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify thy name for ever; because, O Lord, thou art good and gracious, and full of mercy towards all that call upon thee. Alleluia.|
|Benedictio tua, clementissime Deus, qua omnis viget creatura, sanctificet, quaesumus, hoc sacrificium nostrum, quod ad gloriam Nominis Filii tui Domini nostri Jesu Christi offerimus tibi: ut majestati tuae placere possit ad laudem, et nobis proficere ad salutem. Per eumdem.||May thy blessing, O most merciful God, by which every creature is enlivened and subsists, sanctify this our sacrifice, which we offer thee in honour of the name of thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: that it may be acceptable to the praise of thy majesty, and available to our salvation. Through the same, etc.|
Commemoration of the 2nd Sunday after the Epiphany.
|Oblata, Domine, munera sanctifica: nosque a peccatorum nostrorum maculis emunda. Per Dominum.||Sanctify, O Lord, our offerings, and cleanse us from the stains of our sins. Through, etc.|
The Faithful having received the heavenly food - the Body and Blood of their Saviour, Jesus - the Church, filled with gratitude towards her Lord, invites all nations to glorify the Name of him who made and redeemed them.
|Omnes gentes quascumque fecisti venient, et adorabunt coram te, Domine, et glorificabunt Nomen tuum: quoniam magnus es tu, et faciens mirabilia; tu es Deus solus. Alleluia.||All the nations thou hast made shall come and adore before thee, O Lord, and they shall glorify thy name, for thou art great and dost wonderful things: thou art God alone. Alleluia.|
The holy Church has now but one more prayer to make: it is, that the names of her children may be written, under the glorious Name of ‘Jesus,’ in the book of eternal predestination, which is, as it were, the deed of the contract made with us by our Saviour. This happiness will assuredly be ours, if we are but wise enough to profit by all that this sweet Name offers us, and to make our life conformable to the lessons it teaches us.
|Omnipotens, aeterne Deus, qui creasti et redemisti nos: respice propitius vota nostra, et sacrificium salutaris hostiae, quod in honorem Nominis Filii tui Domini nostri Jesu Christi, majestati tuae obtulimus, placido et benigno vultu suscipere digneris; ut gratia tua nobis infusa, sub glorioso Nomine Jesu, aeternae praedestinationis titulo, gaudeamus nomina nostra scripta esse in coelis. Per eumdem.||O Almighty and Eternal God, who didst both create and redeem us, mercifully hear our prayers, and vouchsafe, with a pleasing and kind countenance, to receive the sacrifice of this victim of our salvation, which we have offered to thy divine Majesty, in honour of the Name of thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ; that thy grace being poured upon us, through the glorious Name of Jesus as a pledge of our eternal predestination, we may rejoice that our names are written in heaven. Through the same, etc.|
Commemoration of the 2nd Sunday after the Epiphany.
|Augeatur in nobis, quaesumus Domine, tuae virtutis operatio: ut divinis vegetati sacramentis, ad eorum promissa capienda tuo munere praeparemur. Per Dominum.||May the efficacy of thy power, O Lord, be increased in us, that being fed with thy divine sacraments, we may, through thy bounty, be prepared to receive what they promise. Through etc.|
Instead of the ordinary Gospel of St. John, the Church reads, at the end of this Mass, the passage where the same Evangelist recounts to us the mystery of the Marriage-Feast at Cana.
Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem.
Sequel of the holy Gospel
according to John.
|ANT. Omnis qui invocaverit Nomen Domini salvus erit.||ANT. Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord, shall be saved.|
Psalm: Dixit Dominus.
|ANT. Sanctum et terribile Nomen ejus: initium sapientiae timor Domini.||ANT. Holy and terrible is his Name: the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.|
|ANT. Ego autem in Domino gaudebo, et exsultabo in Deo Jesu meo.||ANT. But I will rejoice the Lord, and I will joy God my Jesus.|
Psalm: Beatus vir.
|ANT. A solis ortu usque ad occasum, laudabile Nomen Domini.||ANT. From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the Name of the Lord is worthy of praise.|
Psalm: Laudate pueri.
|ANT. Sacrificabo hostiam laudis, et Nomen Domini invocabo.||ANT. I will sacrifice the sacrifice of praise, and I will call upon the Name of the Lord.|
|Credidi, propter quod locutus sum: * ego autem humiliatus sum
Ego dixi in excessu meo: * Omnis homo mendax.
Quid retribuam Domino, * pro omnibus, qua retribuit mihi?
Calicem salutaris accipiam: * et Nomen Domini invocabo.
Vota mea Domino reddam coram omni populo ejus: * pretiosa in conspectu Domini mors sanctorum ejus.
O Domine, quia ego servus tuus: * ego servus tuus et filius ancilla tua.
Dirupisti vincula mea: * tibi sacrificabo hostiam laudis, et Nomen Domini invocabo.
Vota mea Domino reddam in conspectu omnis populi ejus: * in atriis domus Domini, in medio tui Jerusalem.
I have believed, therefore have I spoken: but I have been humbled exceedingly.
I said in my excess: Every man is a liar.
What shall I render to the Lord, for all the things that he hath rendered to me
I will take the chalice of salvation: and I will call upon the Name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord before all his people:
precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
O Lord, for I am thy servant: I am thy servant, and the son of thy handmaid.
Thou hast broken my bonds: I will sacrifice to thee the sacrifice of praise, and I will call upon the Name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord in the sight of all his people, in the courts of the house of the Lord, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem.
|Fratres, Christus humiliavit semetipsum, factus obediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis: propter quod et Deus exaltavit illum, et donavit illi Nomen quod est super omne nomen: ut in Nomine Jesu omne genu flectatur.||Brethren, Christ humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross; for which cause, God also hath exalted him, and hath given him a Name, which is above all names: that in the Name of Jesus every knee should bow.|
In the Monastic Breviary, it is preceded by this Responsory.
R. Br. Adjutorium nostrum in Nomine Domini, * Alleluia, alleluia. Adjutorium. V. Qui fecit coelum et terram. * Alleluia. Gloria Patri. Adjutorium.
|Jesu, dulcis memoria,
Dans vera cordi gaudia:
Sed super mel et omnia,
Ejus dulcis praesentia.
Nil canitur suavius,
Jesu, spes poenitentibus,
Nec lingua valet dicere,
Sis Jesu nostrum gaudium,
V. Sit Nomen Domini benedictum, Alleluia.
JESUS! how sweet the remembrance of that name, which gives true joy to the
heart! But, the sweet presence of him who bears that Name is sweeter than honey
and every pleasure.
No song is so sweet, no word is so sweet, no thought is so sweet as - Jesus, the Son of God!
Dear Jesus! thou hope of penitent hearts! how merciful thou art to them that ask for thee! how good to them that seek thee! but, oh! what art thou to them that find thee!
No tongue can tell, no pen can describe, what it is to love Jesus. He that has felt it, can alone believe the bliss.
Jesus! be thou our joy, as thou wilt, one day, be our reward. May our glory for
eternal ages be in thee.
V. Blessed be the Name of the Lord, Alleluia.
ANT. (1 Vp.). Fecit mihi magna qui potens est, et sanctum nomen ejus, alleluia.
ANT. (2 Vp.). Vocabis Nomen ejus Jesum; ipse enim salvum faciet populum suum a peccatis eorum. Alleluia.
ANT. (1 Vp.). For he that is mighty has done great things to me, and holy is his
ANT. (2 Vp.). Thou shalt call his Name Jesus; for he shall save his people from their sins. Alleluia.
Deus qui unigenitum Filium tuum constituisti humani generis Salvatorem, et Jesum vocari jussisti: concede propitius, ut, cujus sanctum Nomen veneramur in terris, ejus quoque aspectu perfruamur in coelis. Per eumdem.
LET US PRAY
Commemoration of the 2nd Sunday after the Epiphany.
|ANT. Deficiente vino, jussit Jesus impleri hydrias aqua,
quae in vinum conversa est. Alleluia.
V. Dirigatur, Domine, oratio mea.
|ANT. The wine failing, Jesus commanded that the waterpots
should be filled with water, and it was changed into wine. Alleluia.
V. Let my prayer, O Lord, be directed.
Let us Pray.
The two Hymns which follow, and which are used by the Church for the Matins and Lauds of the Feast, are by the same writer as the Hymn of Vespers, Jesu dulcis memoria. They were for a long time attributed to St Bernard; but Manuscripts have been found, which prove beyond a doubt, that they were composed by a holy Abbess of the Order of St Benedict, who lived in the fourteenth century.
|Jesu, Rex admirabilis,
Et triumphator nobilis,
Quando cor nostrum visitas,
Jesu, dulcedo cordium,
Jesum omnes agnoscite;
Te nostra, Jesu, vox sonnet,
O Jesus! admirable King!
noble Conqueror! ineffable
Sweetness! most lovely Jesus!
When thou visitest the heart, then does truth shine upon her, the vanity of the world grows contemptible, and charity burns within.
O Jesus! Sweetness of the heart! Fount of life! Light of the soul! Thou surpassest every joy, and every desire.
Acknowledge this Jesus, all ye people! Pray for his love, seek him with all eagerness, and, as ye seek him, burn with love of him.
May our tongue
proclaim thee, O Jesu! may our lives reflect thy virtues! may our hearts love thee, both now and
Jesu decus Angelicum,
In aure dulce canticum,
In ore mel mirificum,
In corde nectar coelicum.
Qui te gustant esuriunt;
O Jesu, mi dulcissime,
Mane nobiscum, Domine,
Jesu, flos Matris virginis,
My Jesus, thou glory of the Angels! Thou art sweet music to the ear, sweetest
honey to the mouth, heavenly nectar to the heart!
They that taste thee, still hunger after thee; they that drink, still thirst to drink; they know not what to desire save the Jesus whom they love.
O Jesus! my sweetest Jesus I hope of this panting heart! these tears of love, this cry of my innermost soul, both ask thee to be mine.
Abide with us, O Lord! and illumine us with light; drive darkness from our souls, and fill the world with thy sweetness.
To thee, O Jesus! thou Flower of thy Virgin-Mother, thou love of our delighted
nature! be praise, and the honour of thy Name, and the kingdom of eternal bliss.
The following Sequence is the composition of the devout Bernardine de Bustis, a Franciscan, who also composed, during the pontificate of Sixtus IV, an Office and a Mass of the Holy Name of Jesus.
Dulcis Jesus Nazarenus,
Judaorum Rex amoenus,
Pius, pulcher, floridus.
Pro salute sua gentis
Dulce Nomen et cognomen,
Mulcet reos, sanat eos;
Hujus Regis sub vexillo
Nomen Jesu meditatum
Hoc est Nomen recolendum,
Hoc est Nomen salutare,
Hoc nos decet honorare,
Ignatius hoc docuit,
Ut quid majora cupimus
Nomen suum fecit tale,
Habent hoc natura jura:
Jesu Nomen omne bonum
In hoc lucet splendor Patris,
Ergo si quis velit scire
Jesu, pulcher in decore,
Jesus est Rex gloriosus,
Jesus fortis, animosus,
Jesus pie viscerosus,
Jesus! fama gloriosus,
Summe celsus in honore,
In sciendo omne sapit,
Pia nobis Nomen gratum,
Hoc reatum peccatorum
Sweet Jesus of Nazareth! dear King of the Jews! the good, the beautiful, the
flower like Jesus!
He suffers death and torments for the salvation of his people:
Sweet Name and epithet! It is the Name surpassing all names.
Under this King’s standard, thou livest in peace, for thine enemies fly before thee.
Think upon the Name of Jesus, and it will break up thine enemies’ plans, conquer them, and put them to flight.
This is the Name deserving of all honour, at which the wicked spirits ever tremble.
This is the Name of salvation, and the wonderful consolation which comforts the sorrowful.
It behoves us to honour this Name, put it in the treasury of our heart, think on it, love it, but love it bravely.
Ignatius taught men this Name; when he suffered martyrdom he had it on his lips, and when his heart was opened, there was found written on it this heavenly word Jesus.
What could we wish for better than this, to have Jesus as a bosom-friend? He is lovely above all measure, and desires to love us.
He loves most ardently, he loves most constantly, he loves most faithfully, and seeks how to assist his friends.
He made his own Name, and he made it such as that all should love it above all names, and before all names, and more intimately than all other names.
This is nature’s law: that we study our best to love him who loves us, and cordially do all we can to please him.
The Name of Jesus includes all good things; its sound is sweet; it merits for us a throne in the kingdom; it gladdens our hearing.
The brightness of the Father shines in it; the beauty of the Mother beams through it; the honour of the Father is reflected in it; the glory of the Brethren comes from it.
Would any one, therefore, know, how it is that the Name of Jesus so wonderfully causes the good to desire him whose Name it is?
It is that Jesus is beautiful in comeliness, infinitely good in worth, meek, gentle, and sweetly prone to mercy.
Jesus is the King of glory; Jesus is beautiful in appearance; Jesus is graceful in speech, and admirable in his works.
Jesus is strong, and valiant; Jesus is a vigorous combatant; Jesus is generous in his gifts, and loves to give.
Jesus is tenderly compassionate; Jesus is the enlightened guide; Jesus is the de light of all who know him, and most sweet is his company.
Jesus is glorified throughout the world; Jesus brings the fruit of blessings to all; Jesus is the source of every virtue, and takes the tenderest care of those that are his.
There is none equal to him in honour, there is none like him in affection, and all the earth praises him.
He knows all things, and holds all things in his omnipresent providence; his love wins him the hearts of his creatures and keeps them fastened to himself.
All hail, then, to this Name so loved - Sweet Jesus! May it be so fixed within our hearts, that no power may take it from us!
May it bring us the forgiveness of our sins; may it inspire us to hymn God’s praise; may it lead us to the possession of our blissful throne in heaven. Amen,
We cannot refuse to our readers the following Hymn from the ancient Missals of Germany, notwithstanding its being, in several of the ideas and expressions, a repetition of the one just given.
Nomen jure sublimatum,
In excelsis adoratum,
Nomen summae gloriae:
Et in terris nunciatum
Haec octavo die natum,
In hoc lucet Trinitatis
Hoc est Nomen salutare,
Hoc est melos praedicatum,
Ecce Nomen gratiosum,
Nomen pulchrum in decore,
Ergo Pastor animarum,
O Reformator cunctarum
|Jesus, Name so justly honoured, adored in heaven, and expressive of infinite
glory! It was revealed to Gabriel, and announced on earth to the Mother of
She, on the eighth day, when her Son had been circumcised according to the Jewish ceremony, she called him Jesus. The blessed Name was preached to the whole world, and saves them that believe.
The glory of the divine Trinity and Unity blazes forth in this Name; it gladdens heaven; the brightness of the Father shines in it; the beauty of the Mother beams through it; the glory of the Brethren comes from it.
This is the Name of salvation, and the wonderful consolation which comforts the sorrowful. It behoves us ever to honour, and bless, and praise, with joyful hearts, this dear Name.
It is music when preached to us; it is sweet honey when invoked by us; it defends us from temptation. It is joy to us when we think on it, and the wicked spirits are seized with strange fear when they hear us say it.
This is the Name that is full of grace, and fruit, and virtue, above all names. It makes known to men the gracious, the beautiful, the loving face of God.
It is fair in beauty, it is surpassingly good in worth, its inner relish is most sweet; it is most powerful in energy, most high in honour, and gives a happy delight.
Do thou, therefore, good Jesus! Shepherd and Light un failing of our souls! defend us, and, for thy dear Name’s sake, let not the dismal chaos of darkness ingulf us.
O thou the Reformer of all nations, that destroyest death by thy Life!
O Restorer of the loss sustained by the An gels, give thyself unto us.