January - The Month of the Holy Name of Jesus

The month of January is traditionally dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus.  After the Blessed Virgin Mary conceived her Child by the Holy Spirit, the angel Gabriel appeared to St. Joseph and instructed him that the Child’s name should be called Jesus, meaning “God Saves”.  According to Jewish law, on the 8th day after his birth, a male child was circumcised, received his name, and became a full member of God’s covenant people.  According to the old Roman liturgical calendar, the Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus was celebrated on January 1st, eight days after Christmas, the same day that he was given his sacred name.  Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Mother of God on January 1st and honor the Holy Name of Jesus on January 3rd. For Catholics, Jesus’ sacred name is the object of a special devotion symbolized by the monogram “IHS”, (sometimes called a Christogram), which is the first three letters of the Greek spelling of Jesus’ name.

Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus

Lord, have mercy,            Lord, have mercy
Christ, have mercy,         Christ, have mercy
Lord, have mercy,            Lord, have mercy


God our Father in heaven,           have mercy on us

God the Son,                                    

Redeemer of the world,                              

God the Holy Spirit,                        

Holy Trinity, one God,                   

Jesus, Son of the living God,                      
Jesus, splendor of the Father,   

Jesus, brightness of everlasting light

Jesus, king of glory

Jesus, dawn of justice

Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary

Jesus, worthy of our love

Jesus, worthy of our wonder

Jesus, mighty God

Jesus, father of the world to come

Jesus, prince of peace

Jesus, all-powerful

Jesus, pattern of patience

Jesus, model of obedience

Jesus, gentle and humble of heart

Jesus, lover of chastity

Jesus, lover of us all

Jesus, God of peace

Jesus, author of life

Jesus, model of goodness

Jesus, seeker of souls

Jesus, our God

Jesus, our refuge

Jesus, father of the poor

Jesus, treasure of the faithful

Jesus, Good Shepherd

Jesus, the true light

Jesus, eternal wisdom

Jesus, infinite goodness

Jesus, our way and our life

Jesus, joy of angels

Jesus, king of patriarchs

Jesus, teacher of apostles

Jesus, master of evangelists

Jesus, courage of martyrs

Jesus, light of confessors

Jesus, purity of virgins

Jesus, crown of all saints


Lord, be merciful,            Jesus, save your people

From all evil

From every sin

From the snares of the devil

From your anger

From the spirit of infidelity

From everlasting death

From neglect of your Holy Spirit

By the mystery of your incarnation

By your birth

By your childhood

By your hidden life

By your public ministry

By your agony and crucifixion

By your abandonment

By your grief and sorrow

By your death and burial

By your rising to new life

By your return in glory to the Father

By your gift of the holy Eucharist

By your joy and glory


Christ, hear us,                                  Christ, hear us

Lord Jesus, hear our prayer         Lord Jesus, hear our prayer


Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,          have mercy on us

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,          have mercy on us

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,          have mercy on us


Let us pray.

Lord, may we who honor the holy name of Jesus enjoy his friendship in this life and be filled with eternal joy in the kingdom where he lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer Intention of the Holy Father for January, 2020

Young People and the Example of Mary

That young people, especially in Latin America, follow the example of Mary and respond to the call of the Lord to communicate the joy of the Gospel to the world.


Named for the Roman god Janus, who is represented with two faces looking in opposite directions.  Macrobius states that it was dedicated to him, because from its situation, it might be considered to be retrospective to the past and prospective to the opening year.

January 1 - New Year’s Day
January 6 - Twelfth Day, Epiphany

“Then came old January, wrapped well
In many weeds to keep the cold away
Yet - did he quake and quiver like to quell
And blewe his nayles to warm them if he may;
For they were numbed with holding all the day,
An hatchet keene, with which he felled wood
And from the trees did lop the needlesse spray.”

Faerie Queen, Edmund Spenser

“Janiveer Freeze the pot upon the fire.”
“If the grass do grow in Janiveer, it grows the worse for it all the year.”
“A wet January, a wet spring.”
“The blackest month of all the year is the month of Janiveer.”
"As the day lengthens, so the cold strengthens."

The leaves which in the autumn of the year
Fall auburn-tinted, leaving reft and bare
Their parent trees, in many a sheltered lair
Where winter waits and watches, cold, austere,
Will lie in drifts; and when the snowdrops cheer
The woodland shadows, still the leaves are there,
Though through the glades the balmy southern air
And birds and boughs proclaim that Spring is here.

Old Year Leaves, Mackenzie Bell

Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether the summer clothe the general earth
With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun thaw; whether the eve drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to quiet Moon.

Frost at Midnight, S.T. Coleridge