Franciscan Thought: Hallowed Be Thy Name

Click here for Pensamiento Franciscano – Santificado Sea tu Nombre, the Spanish language version of this article.

What is in a name? Our name? God’s name? Our parents gave us names that meant something special to them.  Maybe we were named after a grandparent or one of our parents or their favorite historical person or their favorite saint.  No matter how we got our name, it has helped define who we are. Some of us like our nicknames better; something that described our personality as we developed one.  Some names sound very old & it seems funny to call a baby such a serious name but they grow into it.

Names go in and out of being popular with society and cultures and sometimes we hesitate liking someone because their name reminds us of someone unpleasant in our past. Using someone’s name is a sign of respect because they are somebody.

What are some the names we have for our God?

Old Testament: Elohim, El Shaddai, YHWH because Yahweh was too sacred to pronounce, “I am Who am”

New Testament: Abba, names for the Holy Spirit; names for Jesus: Son of Man, Son of God, Son of David, Jesus Christ of Nazareth

St. Francis sings in his Canticle of Creatures that God is so glorious that “no one is worthy to mention your name”.  And yet we do use God’s name in our formal prayers such as The Our Father, in our private prayers, before our meals.  Even when we don’t say it out loud, we thank God for sunsets & sunrises, flowers, trees, the ocean, new babies, happy events and on and on.

Psalm 8 says: O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name over all the earth?

If angels fall on bended knee when they hear God’s name, what do we do when we hear his name?


  1. When you pray, what name do you use for God?
  2. What do you think God calls you?
  3. What can I do to be more aware of the name of God & His presence in my life?

The Pastoral Council helps the Pastor foster an environment in our beautifully diverse Parish in which all are welcomed, the Gospel of Christ is lived through the lens of our shared Franciscan spirituality, and stewardship is practiced. Through planning, prayer, and discernment, the Pastoral Council endeavors to support the many good works of our parish ministries. Our Franciscan Thoughts are written by members of the Pastoral Council to deepen our understanding of what it means to live as members of a Franciscan parish. Questions? Comments? Please feel free to contact Yvonne Hanzen, Council President, at

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