Fr. Xavier Khan Vattayil is the founder-director of Sehion Retreat Centre, of Palakkad Diocese. Fr. Xavier who has earned name and fame as an outstanding preacher of the Word of the Lord, Retreat Leader, television orator and organizer, is conducting many retreats for priests, nuns and believers in India and abroad.
Chavara Bhavan is the ancestral home of St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara. This shrine is located in the idyllic village of Kainakary, which is completely surrounded by water. Therefore, the only way to reach Chavara Bhavan is by a boat. It is now a holy shrine and spiritual resort where thousands of devotees gather for prayer, receive favours and feel amply gratified. Here, a 250 year old historically important beacon of light is preserved intact in its original and primitive form.
St. Joseph’s Syro-Malabar Dayra Church, Mannanam, Kottayam, Kerala, India where the mortal remains of Mar Kuriakose Chavara are kept.
Photos of Statue of Saints – St. Mary’s Forane Church, Athirampuzha, Kottayam, Kerala, India. All these statues are taken out for procession carrying on shoulders during St. Sebastian’s Feast. The procession is a spiritual ablu for the devotees. Band set including school bands, flags, gold-brass-silver wooden crosses, allavattom, venchamaram, Thazahakkuda, theevetti and beaded ornate umbrellas etc make the procession very gorgeous and regal. Ettamidam extends the celebration for eight more days. the principal festal week in from 19th to 26th of January every year. The Festival comes to an end by February 1.
Photo courtesy Facebook – Athirampuzha Church
Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada (28 March 1515 – 4 October 1582), was a prominent Spanish mystic, Roman Catholic saint, Carmelite nun, an author of the Counter Reformation and theologian of contemplative life through mental prayer. She was a reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered to be a founder of the Discalced Carmelites along with John of the Cross. Source : Wikipedia
God has his own plan about the blessings and future of a child at the time of birth. The God who wish that child should be a great personality and blessed person also have a wish that child should have a good and meaningful name.
We can see in the Holy Bible that God has some demand that all persons whom God selected should have special and meaningful names. This demand prove from that for some people name have decided and given before their birth and for some others removed their old name and given new names.
In the books of Genesis Chapter 13 we can see that God called Abram from haron, the person whom he called first to make the covenant people for God. Abram listened God’s voice and passed through the path he showed.
Again in Genesis Chapter 17:4 God speak about the covenant with Abram. God blessed and changed name of the first leader whom he selected for his people.
5 No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations.
Again God blessing the wife of Abraham with a name he chosen.
15 God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.
We have not seen here that God giving names to persons who do not have names, but he changed the old names and given new names.
Why the Almighty God interfere in such matters? Whatever the name be, life should be good, isn’t it?
Is it a joke that the omniscient,almighty God doing like this? God had a demand that a blessed name is necessary for the life of the person whom he selected to be blessed.
Jacob Wrestles with an angel whole night near the stream of Jabbok. At the end Jacob asked only one thing “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” What blessing God gave him? A Good name.
Genesis 32:28 Then the man said, “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel,….
When Jacob asked for blessing, God gave him a new name. Again God affirm that name in Bethel.
Genesis 35:10 God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; no longer shall you be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.” So he was called Israel.
If God make a person blessed, then he will change his name also blessed.
Isaiah 65:15 ……but to his servants he will give a different name.
God bless not only people, but also countries by giving new name.
1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
until her vindication shines out like the dawn,
and her salvation like a burning torch.
2 The nations shall see your vindication,
and all the kings your glory;
and you shall be called by a new name
that the mouth of the Lord will give.
When we complete the life in this world and reach heaven, there also God has selected a name for us.
To everyone who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give a white stone, and on the white stone is written a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.
God giving very importance to names of his beloved people
We can see the importance of this when we read the scene that angel appear before Joseph, husband of Mary, and revealing the wish of God.
20 But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Jesus is the first and last son for Joseph and Mary. But God did not give them the right to give name to that child. Annunciation of the birth of Jesus Christ itself God strengthening about the name. Before Joseph or Mary say anything, Angel saying ‘you will name him Jesus’. No other selection he allowed. Name has importance. Otherwise why should God demand like this?
God himself named John Baptist also
Luke 1:13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John.
God did not ask permission from Zechariah or Elizabeth or ask whether they have any suggestion for their son who will be born at their old age. But he demanded him that ‘you will name him John’.
59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. 60 But his mother said, “No; he is to be called John.” 61 They said to her, “None of your relatives has this name.” 62 Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. 63 He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And all of them were amazed. 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God.
God had given importance in names given to his beloved people and so he blessed them with good names.
Name is very important for our children also, to live as God’s children, get blessings and good future. Do not take it as easy.
Once priest asked to one child his name. He replied, “Bajio”. Immediately his mother said with feeling of shame that “this child is born during foot ball match period. I gave him the name of my best loving foot ball player.” During the period of April-May 2008 trending name in media was Obama – Candidate for American President. Many people named their child Obama. This is not a good practice to give name easily to our children with any name of place or player whom we like. God does not like this.
Saints are praying for you before God.
Give blessed names filled with God’s spirit to children during baptism. They should be known with that names. It is an obedience to church by giving name of Saints to children.
These days many families are interested to name their children with names of prophets and saints, like Daniel, Jeremiah, Joshua, Samuel, Sarah, Maria etc.
It is true that If a child is named with a name of a Saint, that Saint’s presence and blessings will be with that child and God will bless him. This is a promise from God.
CCC No. 2156 The sacrament of Baptism is conferred “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” In Baptism, the Lord’s name sanctifies man, and the Christian receives his name in the Church. This can be the name of a saint, that is, of a disciple who has lived a life of exemplary fidelity to the Lord. The patron saint provides a model of charity; we are assured of his intercession. The “baptismal name” can also express a Christian mystery or Christian virtue. “Parents, sponsors, and the pastor are to see that a name is not given which is foreign to Christian sentiment.”
Isaiah 43:1 But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
CCC No.2158 God calls each one by name. Everyone’s name is sacred. The name is the icon of the person. It demands respect as a sign of the dignity of the one who bears it.
John 10:3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
One day during a convention an innocent small child came and told to Fr. Francis Thottunkarayil that when Father was preaching on the stage that child saw St. Francis Xavier on the stage.
It is a noticeable experience of a family who came from America for staying retreat in Sehion Retreat Centre, Attappady, Palakkad, Kerala, India. He had no change or miracle for three days. Even after counselor prayed he could not feel any change and he was disappointed. A soul filled with sins. Counselor again prayed more powerful and he had a vision that Fr. Kuriakose Elias Chavara is standing near to this person and praying. Then Counselor asked this man what is the relation with Fr. Chavara. He replied his name is Kurien. Saint of our name will pray for us. Last day of the retreat he got many blessings and miracles.
It is noticed that during retreat when some people do not have any feeling or change, then if pray intercede with saint of their name, they get very strong blessings from God.
Persons, institutions, churches, establishments should name with name or prophets, saints, apostles and also should encourage others also to do so.
Jesus changed Simon to Peter, Saul to Paul. Good and blessed names are God’s arrangement. We should give attention to this. That is a blessing.
Genesis 5:29 he named him Noah, saying, “Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the toil of our hands.”
Genesis 3:20 The man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
Genesis 28:17-19 And he was afraid, and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”
18 So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel; but the name of the city was Luz at the first.
1 Samuel 7:12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah, and named it Ebenezer; for he said, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
Genesis 30:24 and she named him Joseph, saying, “May the Lord add to me another son!”
Exodus 17:15 And Moses built an altar and called it, The Lord is my banner.
Revelation 14:1 Then I looked, and there was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion! And with him were one hundred forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.
1 Samuel 1:20 In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I have asked him of the Lord.”
Inspiration and Courtesy – Malayalam Book written by Fr. Xavier Khan Vattayil, Sehion Retreat Centre, Attappady, Kerala State, India.