January - 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, 2021

Human Fraternity

May the Lord give us the grace to live in full fellowship with our brothers and sisters of other religions, praying for one another, open to all.


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