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Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, The 

Liturgical celebration of Jesus' circumcision began in the Gallican Church. The Council of Tours (567) called for Jan. 1 to be observed as a fast day to counter pagan celebrations of the beginning of the new year. This day was also traditionally associated with devotion to the Virgin Mary. Celebration of the Feast of the Name of Jesus dates from the end of the middle ages. In the fifteenth century, the Franciscans Bernardino of Siena (1380-1444) and Giovanni Capistrano (1386-1456) encouraged devotion to the name of Jesus. This celebration was officially granted to the Franciscans in 1530 for observance on Jan. 14. In 1721 Innocent XIII called for the whole Roman Catholic Church to observe the feast on the Second Sunday after Epiphany. This feast was introduced into England in 1489 and celebrated on Aug. 7. It was included as a black letter day in the Elizabethan Calendar of the church year in 1561. 

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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