Family Life Commission
Holy Name Society
History of the Holy Name Society
The Holy Name Society dates back to the Council of Lyons in the year 1274. The Albigensian Heresy was posing a serious challenge to the Medieval Church. This heresy was devastating society – it challenged the divinity of Christ, repudiated all of the sacraments of the Church and encouraged taking one’s life. Pope Gregory X convened a special council of Bishops in Lyons, France. The Council prescribed that the faithful should have a special devotion to the Holy Names of God and Jesus in reparation of the insults offered to it by the Albigensian blasphemers. The Dominican Order was asked to spread this devotion in a special letter to Blessed John of Vercelli, Master General of the Dominican Order. The Dominican’s fervently executed the pope’s command, preaching everywhere the power and glory of the Holy Name of Jesus.
Through the efforts of St. Bernardine of Siena and St. John Capistran to promote devotion to the most Holy Name of Jesus in the lay faithful, the Franciscan Order initiated Confraternities to the Holy Name of Jesus in the 16th century. Through the efforts of the Dominican Order, confraternities to the most Holy Name of God were instituted. The Church formally recognized the Confraternity of the most Holy Names of God in 1571 when Pope Pius V gave the Dominican Order sole jurisdiction over this society.
In 1727 Pope Benedict XIII confirmed various privileges on both the Society of God and the Society of the Name of Jesus. The two confraternities were essentially merged under the name Confraternity of the most Holy Names of God and Jesus by Pope Benedict XIII on 26th of May 1727 when he gave exclusive rights to both the Confraternity of the most Holy Name of God and the Confraternity of the most Holy Name of Jesus to the Orders of Friar Preachers – the Dominicans.
Today the only titles used for these Societies is the Society of the Holy Name or Holy Name Society. Be its origin what it may, there is no doubt that ultimately it is from God. By its fruits you shall know it. And the fruit of the Holy Name Society shows it receives its strength from the root that is Jesus Christ.
“All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the name
of the Lord Jesus Christ……” Col 3:17
Holy Name Society - Personal Call to Holiness
The Holy Name Society is committed to helping its members grow in holiness through devotion to the most Holy Name of Jesus. Members of this fraternity are called to be leaders, to cleanse themselves in the sacrament of penance, strengthen themselves with the most Holy Eucharist, nourish their souls on Sacred Scripture, increase their desire for divine love through prayer, and lead their families, friends, and coworkers to Christ Jesus by their acts of charity and piety.
If you are a Catholic over the age of 18, please consider joining the Holy Name Society – join your prayers with others so that the Most Holy Name of Jesus can be venerated – our prayers will be heard!
The Confraternity of the Most Holy Names of God and Jesus (Holy Name Society) promotes reverence for the Sacred Names of God and Jesus Christ, obedience and loyalty to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, and the personal sanctification and holiness of its members. Members are called to contribute to the evangelization mission of the Church and to make perpetual acts of reverence and love for our Lord and Savior. The apostolate of the society is to assist in parish ministries by performing the Corporal Works of Mercy: to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, give drink to the thirsty, shelter to the homeless, tend the sick, visit those in prison, and bury the dead; as well as the Spiritual Works of Mercy: to convert sinners, instruct the ignorant, counsel the wayward, comfort the sorrowing, bear adversity patiently, forgive offenses, and pray for the living and the dead.
Membership in the Holy Name Society
Membership in the Holy Name Society is open to all Catholics, lay faithful, clergy, and religious over the age of 18. They must be firm believers in all that the Catholic Church believes and teaches and put these teachings into practice in their daily lives. These beliefs of the Catholic faith are expressed in the Credo of the People of God.
How to Become a Member
Membership in the Holy Name Society is typically at the parish level. The parish Holy Name Society must be properly chartered with the Dominican Order. To become a Professed member of the Holy Name Society requires a public expression of faith by the candidate in a special induction ceremony. It is also possible to become a Novice member in the Confraternity.
Holy Name Pledge
Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ true God and true Man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus.
I believe O Jesus.
That Thou are the Christ.
The Son of the Living God.
I proclaim my love.
For the Vicar of Christ on Earth.
I believe all the sacred truths
Which the Holy Catholic Church
Believes and teaches.
I promise to give good example
By the regular practice
Of my faith.
In honor of His Divine Name
I pledge myself against perjury,
Blasphemy, profanity and obscene speech.
I pledge my loyalty
To the flag of my country.
And to the God given principles
Of freedom, justice and happiness.
For which it stands.
I pledge my support
To all lawful authority
Both civil and religious.
I dedicate myself
To the honor of the Sacred Name of Jesus Christ
And beg that He will keep me faithful
To these pledges
May God bless your resolutions; may His holy angels and saints assist you to keep them.
Laboring during your whole life for the glory and honor of the Holy Name of God,
may you merit to share in the glory of the apostles, martyrs and confessors,
who labored and died for the Name of Jesus Christ.