This month is all about the Virgin Mary and some of her close friends.
August is the month devoted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and is filled with beautiful feast days dedicated to Our Lady and to great saints who learned from her example in the way they shaped their own lives.
Marking the days of this month with wonderful ways to celebrate and honor Our Blessed Mother and the very inspiring saints of August will make our summer so much more satisfying. Let’s mark our calendars now!
August 6: Make a new resolution on the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord
“He took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.”(Lk 9:28-29)
The “Sons of Thunder,” James and John, along with Peter, were blessed to be able to witness the way Jesus’s face and clothing changed; the way he spoke with Old Testament prophets; the way the Father Himself said, referring to Jesus: “Listen to Him.”
This is a beautiful feast day for us to ask God to transfigure us in whatever ways He knows we need. As we pray for that intention today, let’s also try something we usually reserve for the dawn of January: making a list of resolutions! What do we need to change that would feed our souls: fasting more and eating less? Giving to the poor more and shopping less? Offering praise of others more and complaining less? We’ve got this!
August 10: Give to the poor and “offer it up” with St. Lawrence
A less-famous saint than some, St. Lawrence is a wonderful one to get to know better, and adopt as one of our patrons. St. Lawrence was asked to show the “treasures” of the Church to the evil prefect of Rome. In response, St. Lawrence brought the poor and sick people of Rome, whose suffering, borne as a sacrifice to God, is an authentic treasure. After teaching this lesson he was martyred, and died joyfully for the Lord.
In honor of this inspirational saint, let’s donate to a charitable cause today and offer up any discomfort or difficulty we experience for love of Jesus, salvation of souls, and reparation of sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
August 15: Feast and watch the clouds on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
This is the day we celebrate the Blessed Virgin Mary’s assumption into Heaven. Across many cultures, it’s a day for traditional blessings of garden herbs and full-blooming fruits grown all summer long. A parish priest can be asked to do a traditional blessing of herbs and fruits before or after Assumption Day Mass. These fruits and herbs then become blessed sacramentals, which can be eaten or dried and saved for times of sickness and challenge throughout the year.
After Mass on Sunday the 15th, enjoy your celebration of the Assumption with a wonderful feast that includes fruits and herbs, as is tradition. Bonus points if any of those fruits or herbs come from your own garden! Enjoy an Assumption Day meal featuring Rosemary and Thyme Chicken (here’s a great recipe); a fresh Caprese salad (tomatoes, mozzarella and basil with olive oil and balsamic, and a platter of fresh fruit for dessert.
You can also make a sheet cake, cover it with white icing, and have the kids help decorate it with marshmallows to represent the clouds of the Assumption.
And, weather permitting, why not involve the children (and feel young at heart!) by gazing upwards at the sky today … no matter the weather … and seeing what the clouds look like. You’ll leave the cares of the earth behind for a little while as you discuss the various types of clouds you see, share which cloud is your favorite, and imagine what it must have been like for Mary on the Assumption, as she rose into heaven.
August 22: Give your heart to God as you celebrate Our Lady’s heart
August 22 is not only the feast of the Queenship of Mary, but is also the traditional feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which is where the August devotion to Mary’s Immaculate Heart comes from. The Queenship of Mary reminds us that we should honor our Blessed Mother’s royalty through being loving servants to her even as we are her children.
A wonderful way to serve and love the Immaculate Heart of Mary more deeply is by doing a Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus — especially one that also promotes devotion to Mary. This one, available online, sends free daily emails for each day of the Consecration, complete with prayers, reflections, beautiful Catholic works of art, music, and even a daily podcast directly to your inbox. These guided daily devotions take so little time (9 to 14 minutes total) but will be time well spent. They can aid and inspire us to better prepare our hearts for Jesus and honor His Mother’s Immaculate Heart. August is a perfect time to begin.
August 28th: Have a great conversation with St. Augustine
St. Augustine is famous for many things, like experiencing a profound conversion after a life of vice, penning the ultimate spiritual autobiography, The Confessions, and becoming one of the greatest thinkers in history.
Augustine also had a beautiful bond with his mother, St. Monica, who famously agonized over and prayed for her “son of many tears” to convert. Not only did he attribute his eventual conversion to her prayers, but he loved talking about God with his mother. They had rich spiritual discussions together.
There was one time in particular, not long before St. Monica’s death, when the two discussed at length the great rewards of heaven and how the pleasures of this life are nothing when compared to eternal joy.
With whom do you most enjoy talking about the deeper things in life, and about faith? Why not send a message to or call that person today; or better yet, sit down with them and over a cup of tea or coffee … talk about higher things than the weather, politics, or “what’s new.” Discuss your latest spiritual insights or thoughts together. It will be food for your soul! Don’t know where to start? Read the days Scripture readings together and discuss your favorite verses, or do a web search for quotes by your favorite saints. Try to involve shared food or drink … and remember, some of the best and most meaningful conversations happen in the kitchen!
May the saints of August and the Immaculate Heart of Mary protect and bless you and your family!