This is the Spiritual Significance of Our Mother Mary’s Name – Every Catholic Must Know This

Mary, the Blessed Mother, received her name, a name of immense significance in ancient times, upon birth (celebrated liturgically on September 8). Chosen by her parents in alignment with God’s divine plan, “Mary” became an eternal invocation, carrying profound spiritual connections. The name “Mary” holds multiple interpretations rooted in its Hebrew form, miryam. Some scholars […]

Mary, the Blessed Mother, received her name, a name of immense significance in ancient times, upon birth (celebrated liturgically on September 8). Chosen by her parents in alignment with God’s divine plan, “Mary” became an eternal invocation, carrying profound spiritual connections.

The name “Mary” holds multiple interpretations rooted in its Hebrew form, miryam. Some scholars associate it with “mar” (bitter) and “yam” (sea), signifying Mary’s enduring sorrow and suffering, notably at the cross.

Another interpretation portrays Mary’s name as “drop of the sea,” with St. Jerome translating it to “stilla maris” in Latin, later evolving into “stella maris” (Star of the Sea). This epithet links to the ancient practice of mariners seeking guidance from stars, symbolizing Mary’s role in guiding sinners towards Eternal Shores.

Another rendering of “Miryam” highlights the Hebrew term “Mari,” translating to “mistress” or “lady,” presenting Mary as the “Lady of the Sea.”

St. Bonaventure synthesized these meanings, attributing each to its unique spiritual significance:

“This most holy, sweet, and worthy name befits the immensely holy, sweet, and worthy virgin. ‘Mary’ signifies a bitter sea, the star of the sea, the illuminated one or illuminatrix. Mary is interpreted as ‘Lady.’ To demons, Mary is a bitter sea; to humanity, she is the Star of the Sea; to Angels, she is the illuminatrix, and to all creatures, she is Lady.”

St. Thomas Aquinas echoed similar symbolism, associating Mary’s name with the Star of the Sea, guiding Christians towards glory through her maternal intercession, akin to how mariners find their way through the ocean with a guiding star.

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While the exact etymology is still debated among scholars, the Church has traditionally accepted these saintly interpretations and regards Mary as the “Star of the Sea,” to whom we all look up, and strive to follow during the tempest here below.

Below is an ancient hymn to Mary called Ave Maris Stella dating back to the 8th century — a perfect summation of Mary’s role according to the meaning of her name.

Hail bright star of ocean
God’s own Mother blest,
Ever sinless Virgin,
Gate of Heavenly rest.

Taking that sweet Ave,
Which from Gabriel came,
Peace confirm within us,
Changing Eva’s name.

Break the captive’s fetters,
Light on blindness pour;
All our ills expelling,
Every bliss implore.

Show thyself a Mother;
May the Word Divine,
Born for us thine Infant,
Hear our prayers through thine.

Virgin all excelling,
Mildest of the mild;
Freed from guilt, preserve us
Pure and undefiled.

Keep our life all spotless,
Make our way secure,
Till we find in Jesus,
Joy for evermore.

Through the highest Heaven
To the almighty Three,
Father, Son and Spirit
One same glory be. Amen.

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Welcome to PracticalFaiths.com Blog, a sacred space dedicated to deepening your understanding and connection with the Christian faith. Our mission is to illuminate the teachings of the Church, explore the profound realm of prayer, delve into the rich history of our faith, and marvel at the miracles attributed to angels, saints, and the boundless work of Jesus Christ.

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