GROW IN YOUR DEVOTION TO THE TWO HEARTS
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Two of the most beloved devotions in the Church are the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Get the free Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart Prayer eBook using the form below.
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.”
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.
The Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word lead the devotion of reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
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.
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.”
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“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
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.
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)
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.
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To consecrate something is to set it apart for God. This “making sacred” identifies a person or a thing as dedicated to His service. This is shown in the Old Testament where persons and things (the firstborn, the priests, the offerings, etc.) are given over to God, and in the New Testament where Christ is the consecrated one sent from the Father (John 10:36), who consecrates Himself to the Father on our behalf (John 17:19), and through whom we ourselves are consecrated (1 Peter 2:9).
When we consecrate ourselves to the Immaculate Heart, we rededicate our self to God in imitation of Our Lady’s complete consecration at the Incarnation (Luke 1:38) and under the Cross (Luke 2:35; Jn 19: 25-27, and entrust our self to her for the fulfillment of our baptismal commitment. As Pope St. John Paul II said in his prayer consecrating the world to the Immaculate Heart on March 25, 1984,
. . . Before you, Mother of Christ, before your Immaculate Heart, I today, together with the whole Church, unite myself with our Redeemer in this His consecration for the world and for people, which only in His Divine Heart has the power to obtain pardon and to secure reparation.
O Mary, Virgin most powerful and Mother of mercy, Queen of Heaven and Refuge of sinners, we consecrate ourselves to thine Immaculate Heart.
We consecrate to thee our very being and our whole life; all that we have, all that we love, all that we are. To thee we give our bodies, our hearts and our souls; to thee we give our homes, our families, our country.
We desire that all that is in us and around us may belong to thee, and may share in the benefits of thy motherly benediction. And that this act of consecration may be truly efficacious and lasting, we renew this day at thy feet the promises of our Baptism and our first Holy Communion.
We pledge ourselves to profess courageously and at all times the truths of our holy Faith, and to live as befits Catholics who are duly submissive to all the directions of the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him.
We pledge ourselves to keep the commandments of God and His Church, in particular to keep holy the Lord's Day.
We likewise pledge ourselves to make the consoling practices of the Christian religion, and above all, Holy Communion, an integral part of our lives, in so far as we shall be able so to do.
Finally, we promise thee, O glorious Mother of God and loving Mother of men, to devote ourselves whole-heartedly to the service of thy blessed cult, in order to hasten and assure, through the sovereignty of thine Immaculate Heart, the coming of the kingdom of the Sacred Heart of thine adorable Son, in our own hearts and in those of all men, in our country and in all the world, as in heaven, so on earth. Amen.