The Holy Name of Mary
The true greatness of the Holy Name of Mary is its instrumentality in our salvation. “Just as the salvation of the world began with the Hail Mary,” explains Saint Louis de Montfort, “so the salvation of each invidual is bound up with it.” For just as the utterance of this Name “brought to a dry and barren world the Fruit of Life,” so, too, will reverently pronouncing the Holy Name of Mary in prayer “cause the Word of God to take root in the soul and bring forth Jesus, the Fruit of Life…The Hail Mary is a heavenly dew which waters the earth of our soul and makes it bear its fruit in due season.”
We recognize our need for salvation in the everyday experiences of our powerlessness and helplessness.
We require something that enables us to escape from our own inability. In our yearning for salvation, we are looking for complete fulfillment and satisfaction, for total meaning, for the answer to the ultimate questions that plague us. God chooses to give us that answer through a Virgin whom we can call by name.
William of Saint-Thierry asks, “O Lord, what else is your salvation but receiving from you the gift of loving you or being loved by you?” When we say the Name of Mary in faith, we receive the unsurpassable gift of being loved by God. Blessed Henry Suso exults, “When I pronounce the Name of Mary, I feel myself inflamed with such love and joy, that between the tears and happiness with which I pronounce this beautiful name, I feel as though my heart might leave my breast!”
Pope Benedict XVI points to this love as the hallmark of salvation: “When someone has the experience of a great love in his life, this is a moment of redemption which gives a new meaning to his life…Salvation consists, not in being immersed in namelessness, but rather in the satisfaction in seeing God’s face that will be granted to us.” The Holy Name of Mary rescues us from the abyss of namelessness.