The Immaculate Heart of Mary
Devotion to the immaculate Heart of Mary is primarily based upon the Sacred Scriptures. In the New Testament, there are two references to the Heart of Mary in the Gospel according to St. Luke, "Mary treasured all these things and reflected on them in her heart. " (Lk 2: 19) and " His mother meanwhile kept all these things in her heart. "(Lk 2:51) In the Old Testament, the heart is seen as the symbol of the depths of the human soul, the center of its choices and commitments. For all mankind, it is a symbol of love. In the Book of Deuteronomy we are told, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your strength." (Dt. 6:5) When Our Lord Jesus Christ was asked by the scribes which was the first commandment, he answered them by quoting this verse to them.
(see Mk. 12:29-31)
It was the Heart of Mary which expressed her "yes" to God. .This was her response to the message sent through the angel at the Annunciation. By her loving consent, Mary first conceived Christ in her heart and then in her womb. Our Lord Jesus, Himself: when reminded by a woman in the crowd how blessed was the womb which gave birth to Him, responds, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it." (Lk. 11:28) Pope John Paul II , in his first encyclical, Redemptor Hominis, wrote "the mystery of Redemption was formed under the heart of the Virgin of Nazareth when she pronounced her 'fiat.'" (R.H. #22)
Historically, devotion to the Heart of Mary can be traced to the twelfth century with such writers as St. Anselm (d. 1109) and St. Bernard of Clairvaux (d. 1153) who is considered as one of the most influential writers in Marian devotion. St. Bernardine of Siena ( 1380- 1444) has been called the Doctor of the Heart of Mary due to his writings on Mary's heart. He wrote, "from her heart, as from a furnace of Divine Love, the Blessed Virgin spoke the words of the most ardent love." St. John Eudes (1601 -1680) helped by his writings to begin a renewal in this devotion. Both Pope Leo XIII and Pope St. Pius X called him, "the father, Doctor, and Apostle of the liturgical cult of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary." Even two decades before the first liturgical celebrations in honor of the Heart of Jesus, St. John Eudes and his followers observed February 8th as the feast of the Heart of Mary as early as 1643. Pope Pius VII (d. 1823) extended its celebration to any diocese or congregation requesting it.
Devotion to Mary's Heart has a greater flowering following the manifestation of the Miraculous Medal to St. Catherine Laboure in 1830 and the Appearances of' Our Lady in Fatima. From May 13 to October 13, 1917, our Blessed Mother Mary appeared to three children, Jacinta and Francisco Marto and their cousin Lucia DosSantos in Fatima, Portugal. On July 13 she told them: "to save poor sinners, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart." The entire Fatima message is one of prayer, penance and making sacrifices and reparation to God for the many offenses against Him. In 1942, the twenty-fifth anniversary of Fatima, Pope Pius XII consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. That same year, he assigned the feast day to August 22, the octave of the Assumption. On May 4, 1944, he extended the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the Universal Church. With the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council in 1969, the feast was given a more suitable place on the day following the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. That is the Saturday after the second Sunday after Pentecost.
The opening prayer for the liturgical celebration helps us focus on the important message of this feast day. "God prepared the heart of Mary as a fitting home to the Holy Spirit. May we, His chosen people, become temples of His glory. We ask Mary to help us- her spiritual children, so dear to her heart, to stay ever united in friendship with her Son and never separate ourselves by sin."
O Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Heavenly beauty and splendor of the Father,
You are the most valued Heavenly treasure.
New Eve, immaculate in soul, spirit and body,
Created of the godly seed by the Spirit of God,
You are the spiritual Mother of mankind.
Pure Virgin, full of grace then and now,
Your whole being was raised Heavenly in full glory,
To be elevated above all the hosts within the Kingdom of God.
O Heavenly Mother, Queen of Heaven and earth,
I recognize the glory of your highest title,
The Immaculate Heart of Mary!
Loving Mother, dispenser of endless blessings,
You who continuously intercedes on our behalf,
Please present my need before your loving Son Jesus.
metion your request
O Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I know that you are now presenting my need before Jesus,
For you have never turned away those in dire need.
Mother dearest, I await your favorable answer,
Submitting myself to the Divine will of the Lord,
For all glories are His forever and ever.
The Holy Father's Prayer Intentions for August 2017
That artists of our time, through their ingenuity, may help everyone discover the beauty of creation.
Renewal of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, I renew my consecration to you and to your Immaculate Heart. Please accept me, my dear Mother, and use me as you wish to accomplish your designs upon the world. I am all yours, my Mother, my Queen, and all that I have is yours.
To Jesus Through Mary
Lest there should be any misconception about the place of devotion to Mary in Catholic piety, we honor in a special way the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of Jesus, i.e., the person of Mary in her eminent sanctity and glorification by God, because it is the wish of her Son - as Our Lady revealed in her second apparition at Fatima. Jesus knows well that true devotion to His Mother leads souls to Him. As Pope Paul VI wrote in his encyclical celebrating the centenary of the apparitions at Lourdes:
"Everything in Mary leads us toward her Son, our only Savior, by whose foreseen merits she was preserved immaculate and full of grace; everything in Mary lifts up our hearts to the praise of the Holy Trinity."
And as Our Lady assured Lucy,
June 13, 1917:
"I will never abandon you, my child. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God."
The Church sees Mary, then, not as the goal, but as the guide, who always leads souls who honor her with true devotion - to her Son, especially to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. When we pray to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for help in time of need, she in turn points to the Tabernacle, to Him who is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life," and has a way of conveying to us what she said to the steward at Cana: "Do whatever he tells you." (Jn.2:5)
Novena Prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
O Most Blessed Mother, heart of love, heart of mercy, ever listening, caring, consoling, hear our prayer. As your children, we implore your intercession with Jesus your Son. Receive with understanding and compassion the petitions we place before you today, especially ...(special intention).
We are comforted in knowing your heart is ever open to those who ask for your prayer. We trust to your gentle care and intercession, those whom we love and who are sick or lonely or hurting. Help all of us, Holy Mother, to bear our burdens in this life until we may share eternal life and peace with God forever.
Prayer To The Most Pure Heart Of Mary
O HEART most pure of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
obtain for me from Jesus a pure and humble heart.
SWEET HEART OF MARY, be my salvation.
BLESSED VIRGIN, who didst keep in thy heart the
precious treasure of the words of Jesus thy Son and,
pondering over the sublime mysteries therein contained,
couldst only live for God, how I am confounded by the
coldness of my heart! Ah, dear Mother, obtain for me the
grace of meditating always on the holy law of God and of
seeking to follow thine example in the fervent practice
of all the Christian virtues.
SWEET HEART OF MARY, be my salvation.
Our Father once and Hail Mary seven times.
Daily Offering to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and suffering of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout
the world. I offer them for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, reparation for sins, the reunion of all Christians; I offer them for the
intentions of our Bishops and of all Apostles of Prayer and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month.
Saints of the Month
08/01 St. Alphonsus Liguori
Founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.
08/02 St. Eusebius of Vercelli
Eusebius became the first bishop of Vercelli in 340AD.
08/03 St. Lydia Purpuraria
Lydia was the first Christian convert in Europe.
08/04 St. John Vianney
John Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.
08/05 St. Mary Major Basilica
First raised at the order of Pope Liberius in the mid-fourth century.
08/06 The Transfiguration
At His Transfiguration Christ showed His disciples the splendor of his beauty.
08/07 St. Sixtus II, Pope & Martyr
Was one of the first victims of the persecution under the Emperor Valerian.
08/08 St. Dominic
The saintly and learned founder of the Order of Preachers.
08/09 St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross "Edith Stein"
Learn from Saint Thérèse to depend on God alone.
08/10 St. Lawrence
Generous patron of the Church’s poor. Read more...
08/11 St. Clare
One of the first followers of Saint Francis of Assisi.
08/12 St. Jane Frances de Chantal
Was wife, mother, nun and founder of a religious community. .
08/13 St. Pontian, Pope and Martyr
Was made pope July 21, 230, and reigned until 235.
08/14 St. Maximilian Kolbe
Saw religious indifference as the deadliest poison of the day.
08/15 Assumption of Virgin Mary
The oldest feast day of Our Lady.
08/16 St. Stephen of Hungary
Abolished pagan customs & established system of tithes.
08/17 St. Clare of Monte Falco
Seek the Cross of Christ, take heart...you find the suffering Lord.”
08/18 St. Helena
"Seek the Cross of Christ, take heart...you find the suffering Lord.”
08/19 St. John Eudes
Founded the Congregation of Jesus and Mary.
08/20 St. Bernard
St. Bernard wrote The Memorare in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
08/21 St. Pius X
Became Pius X at 68, one of the 20th century’s greatest popes.
08/22 Queenship - Blessed Virgin
In the eyes of her Son she takes precedence over everyone else.
08/23 St. Rose of Lima
So pretty that she was called “Rose". Read more...
08/24 St. Bartholomew
A man "in whom there was no guile".
08/25 St. Louis
Louis “took the cross” for a Crusade when he was 30.
08/26 St. Teresa of Jesus Jornet Ibars The Foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor.
08/27 St. Monica
A priest consoled her, "it is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish."
08/28 St. Augustine
Called Doctor of Grace, is one of the greatest of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church.
08/29 St. John the Baptist Beheading.
St. John the Baptist was a cousin of Jesus.
08/30 Bl. Alfrerdo Iledepbonso Schuster
"All I can leave you is an invitation to holiness...."
08/31 St. Aidan of Lindisfarne
Credited with restoring Christianity to Northumbria.