The Church reveals to us the wonders of the Incarnate Word by singing the glories of His Holy Name. The name Jesus means Savior.
Persons who played prominent roles in the history of salvation received their names from God Himself. Adam means “man of the earth”; Eve means “mother of all the living”; Abraham means “father of many nations”; Peter means “the rock”. Even the Savior’s forerunner (John the Baptist) was given the name which God assigned to him. Therefore, according to divine precedent, the name of the Redeemer should not be of human choosing, but given by God Himself, for His Name should express His mission. We read in Sacred Scripture how the Archangel Gabriel revealed that Name to Mary: “You shall call His name Jesus.” (Luke 1:31) And to St. Joseph, the Angel did not merely reveal the Name but explained its meaning: “You shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) The Messiah should not only be the savior, but should be called Savior. This is why we must esteem His Name as sacred. Whenever we pronounce it, we ought to bow our heads; for the very Name reminds us of the greatest favor we have ever received – salvation.
Devotion to the Holy Name is deeply rooted in the Sacred Scriptures, especially in the Acts of the Apostles. It was promoted in a special manner by St. Bernard, St. Bernardine of Siena, St. John Capistrano and by the Franciscan Order. It was extended to the whole Church in 1727 during the pontificate of Innocent XIII.