This feast was established for the whole Catholic Church in 1721 by Pope Innocent XIII. If there is a Sunday in the interval between January 1 and January 6, this Sunday is the feast of the Holy Name. Jesus is a name which is substantially the same in sound in all the languages of the world. In the early ages of the Church, when Catholics were so persecuted and lived in the catacombs, the beautiful abbreviation of the Holy Name for those who used it was IHS. These are the first three letters of the name of Jesus when written in Greek: IHSOUS. This symbol Catholics still retain.
No Catholic should ever, under any circumstances, profane the Holy Name of Jesus, or allow anyone to do so in his presence. The Holy Name of Jesus is written 968 times in the New Testament. Four outstanding apostles of the Holy Name of Jesus have been: Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (August 20), who begged that the Holy Name of Jesus be lovingly kept in everyone’s heart and reverently uttered on everyone’s lips; Saint Bernardine of Siena (May 20), who carried the Holy Name of Jesus on a banner through the streets of Rome and everywhere he went; Saint John of Capistrano (March 28), who won a battle against the Turks in 1456 by commanding his soldiers to repeat the Holy Name of Jesus with adoration and reverence while they were fighting an army that greatly outnumbered them; and Saint Ignatius of Loyola (July 31), the founder of the Society of Jesus, which has its titular feast on January 1, the day on which Mary’s Divine Child received His Holy Name.