The meaning of the celebration
+ The focus of this feast is the contemplative life of the Immaculate Virgin and her consuming maternal love for her Son and for all Christians.
+ Devotion to the Heart of Mary can be glimpsed in the writings of Medieval writers, including Saint Anselm of Canterbury, Saint Gertrude the Great, and Saint Mechtilde, but it was Saint John Eudes who promoted this devotion in a public way and helped establish a feast in honor of the Heart of Mary.
+ In 1805, Pope Pius VII allowed the feast to be celebrated universally and in reforms of the liturgical calendar of 1969 the feast was moved to the day following the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
+ Under her title of the “Immaculate Heart,” Mary is honored as the patron saint of Ecuador.
In 1870, Blessed Pope Pius IX approved the “Green Scapular,” which is also known as the “Badge of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” Based on the private revelations of Sister Justine Bisqueyburu, a French Daughter of Charity, the scapular invites the faithful to invoke Mary’s intercession each day with the prayer, “Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.”
“Imitate her, O faithful soul. Enter into the deep recesses of your heart so that you may be purified spiritually and cleansed from your sins. God places more value on good will in all we do than on the works themselves.”—Saint Lawrence Justinian
To learn about religious communities devoted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, visit:
The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Tucson, AZ): www.sistersoftheimmaculateheartofmary.com/
The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Wichita, KS): http://sistersihmofwichita.org/
The Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Monroe, MI): https://ihmsisters.org/
The Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Scranton, PA): http://www.sistersofihm.org/
The Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Immaculata, PA): http://ihmimmaculata.org/
O God, who prepared a fit dwelling place for the Holy Spirit
in the Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
graciously grant that through her intercession
we may be a worthy temple of your glory.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.