Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary..

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.

Spiritual bonus

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.”

For reflection

“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

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