Society of the Holy Name

Established in 1274 by Blessed John of Vercelli who commanded the superiors of the Dominican order to preach devotion to the Holy Name, in obedience to Pope Gregory's wishes. Two centuries later Didacus of Victoria wrote the rules and constitution of the Society, and Pope Pius IV raised it to a confraternity. Pope Pius V restricted canonical erection of the Holy Name Society to the Dominicans in 1571, and since then charters must be obtained from the Master General of the Dominican Order. The primary object of the Holy Name Society is to honor and reverence the Holy Name of God and of Jesus Christ; this is accomplished by directing the members to practises of piety, to frequent prayer and to group action in worship. The members promise to honor and reverence the Holy Name, to abstain from blasphemy, unclean speech, and perjury, and to receive Holy Communion at least quarterly in a body. The United States with its territories and dependencies and English-speaking Canada have thousands of societies and with millions of members. In many cities there are special branches for men of the same avocation, especially among police and firemen and post office employees. The organ of the Society is the Holy Name Journal.

New Catholic Dictionary

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