The name Mary can be interpreted in several ways. Saint Bonaventure defined it in the light of spiritual combat.
The holy Virgin was called Mary, a name whose Hebrew form is miryam (beloved). But some biblical scholars have seen the Hebrew words mar (bitter) and yam (sea). Which would refer to the bitter sufferings of the Virgin Mary at the foot of the cross of her son Jesus and her many tears of pain . But for Saint Bonaventure , it rather referred to Mary’s role in the spiritual battle against demons, as he explains in his work Mirror of the Blessed Virgin :
This very holy name, this very sweet name, this very worthy name, it was with justice that it was given to a virgin so holy, so gentle and so worthy.Mary means sea of bitterness, star of the sea;it means illuminated or illuminating: it means finally sovereign queen.Mary, I say, is spiritually a sea of bitterness for demons, unofficially the star of the sea for men, eternally illuminating for angels, universally sovereign queen for all creatures.
He then continues to develop this point, explaining in detail the meaning of Mary’s name :
Mary means sea of bitterness, and this suits her perfectly in relation to the demon.But notice how she is a sea, how she is in bitterness, and how within her is at the same time a sea of bitterness.Mary is a sea by the abundance of grace in her;she is bitter because of the compassion she has for her son;and she is a sea of bitterness through the overwhelm of the devil.
This reflection of Saint Bonaventure, recalling the power of Mary over demons, was ratified by numerous exorcists. Father Gabriele Amorth confirmed this reality in his dialogues with the devil, when the devil told him: “I am more afraid when you say the name of the Madonna because I am more humiliated to be beaten by a simple creature , only through Him.”