The Immaculate Heart of Mary

“Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary began as early as the twelfth century. During the seventeenth century in France, St John Eudes popularised this devotion along with that to the Sacred Heart. St Luke’s Gospel twice mentions that Mary ‘kept all these things in her heart’, pondering the word of God. Mary shows us how to listen to the words the Holy Spirit speaks to us in the depths of our hearts, and how to respond in faith.”                                                                                   -from Universalis

“In 1969, Pope Paul VI moved the celebration of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the Saturday, immediately after the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This means in practice that it is now held on the third Saturday after Pentecost.”  -Wikipedia 

 

As Catholics, we look at Mary as the first Christian because she was the first to know her Son.  There are many Marian feasts that are celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church which commemorate various aspects of our Blessed Mother’s life, apparitions, and miracles attributed to her intercession.  No matter what title you use when you pray to our Blessed Mother, they are all heard and responded to by her.  They all refer to the same person.  We do not worship Mary, we venerate her.  She is the closest being to God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Who better to add to our own prayers for our needs?

Immaculate Heart of Mary Novena Prayers

Immaculate Virgin, by the holy will of your Son my Lord Jesus Christ, you are my Mother in Heaven. Your Immaculate Heart is full of love, mercy, and compassion for sinners like me. I ask that you intercede for me today for…

(mention your prayer intentions)

I trust in your intercession before the throne of God for my needs. Please pray also that if my requests are not in accordance with the will of God, that I may be, like you, conformed to His will and not my own.

Hail Mary…

Immaculate Heart of Mary. Pray for us!

Amen.

Act of Consecration

– by Pope Pius XII

Most Holy Virgin Mary, tender Mother of men, to fulfill the desires of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the request of the Vicar of Your Son on earth, we consecrate ourselves and our families to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, O Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and we recommend to You, all the people of our country and all the world.

Please accept our consecration, dearest Mother, and use us as You wish to accomplish Your designs in the world.

O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and Queen of the World, rule over us, together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, Our King. Save us from the spreading flood of modern paganism; kindle in our hearts and homes the love of purity, the practice of a virtuous life, an ardent zeal for souls, and a desire to pray the Rosary more faithfully.

We come with confidence to You, O Throne of Grace and Mother of Fair Love. Inflame us with the same Divine Fire which has inflamed Your own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Make our hearts and homes Your shrine, and through us, make the Heart of Jesus, together with your rule, triumph in every heart and home.

Amen.

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Our Lady of Lourdes

 

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Yesterday was the anniversary of the first apparition of the Blessed Mother to Bernadette Soubirous in 1858.  Bernadette, 14 years old, was gathering firewood with her sister and a friend when a lady spoke to her in the cave of Massabielle.

Our Lady appeared to Bernadette a total of eighteen times between February 11 and July 16.  It is to Bernadette that Our Lady identified herself as the Immaculate Conception when she was asked who she was by Bernadette.   Just a few years prior to this message on December 8, 1854, Pius IX had raised the teaching about the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady to be dogma of faith with these words:

By the authority of Our Lord Jesus Christ, of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and our own authority, we declare, pronounce, and define: the doctrine which holds that the Most Blessed Virgin Mary was from the first moment of her conception, by the singular, grace and privilege of almighty God, and in view of the merits of Christ Jesus the Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin, is revealed by God and therefore, firmly and constantly to be believed by all the faithful. (The Christian Faith #709).

Our Lady gave heavenly confirmation of the dogma Pope Pius IX had given to the church.  The virtues of Christian poverty and humility that are seen in Bernadette are a model of how we are to live our lives.  Our Lady also said that the important thing is to be happy in the next life so we must accept our cross in this one.

Initially, the church doubted the young girl, but after the canonical investigation into these apparitions, the church declared them to be valid.  The title of Our Lady of Lourdes was given to these apparitions of the Blessed Mother.

Our Lady appeared with a rosary hanging from Her right arm, which is a significant sign of the importance of praying the rosary.   She asked to have a chapel built at the site of these apparitions which Bernadette reported to her priest.  During her ninth apparition, she told Bernadette to drink and bathe from the fountain.  Bernadette, confused by her request seeing no water anywhere began to scratch at the ground with her hands. As Bernadette uncovered the gravel, she noticed that the ground underneath was moist. She continued to dig, and a little pool began to form. She cupped her hands together, drank, and then washed her face in the muddy water. The following day, the pool was overflowing, and soon the trickle of water became a gushing stream.  As news of this spread through the town, the people began to go to the grotto to drink the water.  Many miracles have been attributed to its healing power both physically and spiritually.

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, the church Our Lady asked to be built,  is one of the major Catholic pilgrimage sites in the world.   Almost 5 million pilgrims from all over the world come every year to pray and to drink the miraculous water, believing they obtain from the Lord healing of the body and of the spirit.

How blessed we are to have had Our Lady come to earth to teach us what we need to attain heaven.  Her message of prayer, especially the rosary, penance, humility, mercy for sinners, and compassion for the sick is a roadmap for us.  The road may be bumpy at times.  We may take a wrong turn.  But we have a loving and forgiving God who will accept our repentance and allow us back on the right path.  If we follow Our Lady, she will lead us right to our Lord.

Bernadette Soubirous entered the convent of the Sisters of Charity in Nevers in 1866.  She contracted tuberculosis and died at the age of 35 in 1879.  After miracles attributed to her intercession, she was canonized a saint by Pope Pius XI on December 8, 1933, which is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Let us ask Our Lady of Lourdes to lead us this Lent so that we become closer to her Divine Son.  let us ask her to help us repent our sins which will console Jesus during his Passion.  Let us join together to ask Our Lady’s help for ourselves, our families, our country, and our world.  Her intercession is powerful.    I have always felt very close to Our Lady.  Not really having a patron saint, there is no St. Wanda, I adopted Mary as mine.  My middle name is Marie a form of Mary so it made perfect sense.  I truly believe that Our Lady took me under her mantle as my patron saint and has obtained many graces for me throughout my life.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.  Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in You.

God bless!

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