Today we celebrate a new-ish feast of Mary on the American version of the Church Calendar. The feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary began in Spain in 1513 and in 1671 was extended to all of Spain and the Kingdom of Naples. In 1683, King John Sobieski, of Poland, brought an army to the outskirts of Vienna to stop the advance of Muslim armies loyal to Mohammed IV in Constantinople. After Sobieski entrusted himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary, he and his soldiers thoroughly defeated the Muslims. Pope Innocent XI subsequently extended this feast to the entire Church.
And so we reverence Mary’s Most Holy Name, as we do the Most Holy Name of Jesus. That’s why a humble bow of the head at the mention of their names is a pious practice.
Like Saint Paul in today’s first reading, the Blessed Virgin Mary’s whole life was about preaching the goodness of our God, as she saw it developed so clearly in the life of her Son. Everything she said and did always led to Jesus, because Jesus is the Incarnation of God’s love. Mary’s message was and is that we are called to partner with Jesus to make the Kingdom of God known in our own time and place.