Wednesday, September 12, 2018
What does the name of Mary mean? (Holy Name of Mary)
I did a little research on this today.
There is quite a lot written about this – not surprising,
since it is the name of the loveliest and most beloved woman in history,
the greatest woman in history,
the woman who changed history completely!
What may be surprising, however, is how widely the debate ranges.
One theory is that it comes from a word meaning “bitter” –
but why would Anna and Joachim give their gift from God such a name?
Another theory is that it means “drop of the ocean,”
which is a dazzling thought; and through a copyist error,
this turned into Stella Maris, which means “Star of the sea.”
This mistake happened early, so we have reams
of poems and tributes to our Lady as the Star of the Sea
and churches under this title.
As a result, I feel almost a cad to call it into question!
In any case, I am not saying there’s anything wrong
with referring to the mother of the Lord as Stella Maris.
I like it; you like it, and I feel very confident Jesus does too!
Then I discovered this.
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia,
the name may come from the word Mara, meaning “well fed one.”
How odd! But the article went on to say that people of that time
would “consider the idea of being well nourished
as synonymous with beauty and bodily perfection, so that …
Mary means therefore The beautiful or The perfect one.”
“The beautiful or the perfect one” – how fitting,
as she is the one predestined by God to be full of grace,
without stain of sin!
The ark of the new covenant! The seat of divine wisdom!