What does the Immaculate Heart of Mary mean?
The Immaculate Heart of Mary signifies, first of all, the great purity and love of the heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary for God. This purity is manifested in her “Yes” to the Father at the Incarnation, Her love for, and cooperation with, the Incarnate Son in His redemptive mission, and her docility to the Holy Spirit, enabling her to remain free of the stain of personal sin throughout her life. Mary’s Immaculate Heart, therefore, points us to her profound interior life, where she experienced both joys and sorrows, yet remained faithful, as we, too, are called to do. In 2022, we celebrate the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on June 25.
IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
Why do we honor Mary’s Immaculate Heart?
St. John Paul II said, “From Mary we learn to love Christ, her Son and the Son of God…. Learn from her to be always faithful, to trust that God’s Word to you will be fulfilled, and that nothing is impossible with God.” When we honor the Immaculate Heart, we give ultimate honor to Jesus. As we honor the Mother, we honor the Son. In addition, the Blessed Virgin is our mother as well (see Revelation 12:17), and her mother’s heart is incomparable. St. Louis de Montfort said, “If you put all the love of all the mothers into one heart, it still would not equal the love of the heart of Mary for her children.”
What is the history of the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
The Immaculate Heart of Mary was honored to some degree prior to the 17th century, but St. John Eudes, a 17th-century French priest, popularized this devotion with his great love of the Blessed Mother.
First Friday Devotions The Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word lead the devotion of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
“Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.” – St. Maximilian Kolbe
You must never separate what God has so perfectly united. So closely are Jesus and Mary bound up with each other that whoever beholds Jesus sees Mary; whoever loves Jesus, loves Mary; whoever has devotion to Jesus, has devotion to Mary. – St. John Eudes
What is the First Saturday devotion?
Part of the Fátima message is that God is asking us to make reparation for the sins of the world. The Angel in 1916 taught the children prayers of reparation and asked them to do penance. The Blessed Virgin also called for prayers and acts of reparation, and, on July 13, 1917, she promised that she would return to request a special kind of reparation. She did this in 1929, appearing to Lucia, now a novice in a Spanish community. “Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.” This is a request that is ongoing, and one as needed today, if not more so, than in 1929. It is also one within the reach of every Catholic. And in fulfilling it, we please Our Lord, who like any son is pleased by others coming to the defense of his mother’s honor.
How do the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary relate to each other?
The Servant of God Lúcia de Jesus Rosa dos Santos, one of the Fátima visionaries, said, “The work of our redemption began at the moment when the Word descended from Heaven in order to assume a human body in the womb of Mary. From that moment, and for the next nine months, the Blood of Christ was the Blood of Mary, taken from Her Immaculate Heart; the Heart of Christ was beating in unison with the Heart of Mary.” Also, Jesus Himself appeared to Sr. Lucia, saying, “I want My Church to . . . put the devotion to this Immaculate Heart beside the devotion to My Sacred Heart.”
Why does Mary have a sword in her heart?
Most images of the Immaculate Heart show one or more swords piercing the Heart of Mary. Simeon told the Blessed Mother that “a sword will pierce through your own soul” (Luke 2:35). This indicates the sorrows that Mary would experience, particularly through Jesus’ Passion.
What are the seven sorrows of Mary?
1. The prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:25-35) 2. The flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15) 3. Loss of the Child Jesus for three days (Luke 2:41-50) 4. Mary meets Jesus on His way to Calvary (Luke 23:27-31; John 19:17) 5. Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (John 19:25-30) 6. The body of Jesus taken from the Cross (Psalm 130; Luke 23:50-54; John 19:31-37) 7. The burial of Jesus (Isaiah 53:8; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42; Mark 15:40-47)
Is Mary's Heart mentioned in the Bible?
Twice in St. Luke’s Gospel, we hear about Mary’s heart. After Jesus was born, Luke 2:19 says, “But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.” And then after Mary and St. Joseph found Jesus in the Temple after He was missing for three days, Luke 2:51 says, ‘[Jesus’] mother kept all these things in her heart.” Both of these references point to Mary’s interior life in which she meditated on the Mysteries surrounding her Son.