Devotion To The Immaculate Heart of Mary. Part 3.

Gradually, but steadily, the devotion to Mary’s Heart began to spread throughout the Church of God. In 1885, the Roman Congregation of Rites approved, but not without some modifications, the Office and Mass of the Most Pure Heart of Mary, originally composed by Saint John Eudes.

Before the religious reform of 1911, many dioceses and congregations celebrated that feast but on different days. In April, 1914, the Congregation of Rites definitely fixed the feast on the Saturday following the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. To our mind, this fact again clearly shows the inseparable union that ought to exist between these two devotions. Such is the expressed wish of the Sacred Heart Himself; such also is the desire of Our Blessed Lady and of the Church of Christ, our infallible guide upon earth.

In his encyclical letter of June, 1912, Pius X requested the faithful to dedicate in an especial manner the first Saturday of every month to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He wished that day to be a day of reparation to Mary’s Heart for the blasphemies and crimes committed against her Holy Name, and for those sins in particular against the glorious privilege of her Immaculate Conception. The first Saturday of. every month is, in the Pope’s intention, an exact parallel to the first Friday, a day of reparation and atonement to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord. To Mary’s Heart, as to that of Jesus, he asks us to return love for love; reparation for personal sins, and atonement for the sins of men. On that day, also, he has been gloriously pleased to grant a plenary indulgence to all those who recite special prayers in honour of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady, and pray for the Pope’s intentions. From the 12th century onwards, devotion to Mary’s Immaculate Heart has certainly made wonderful progress. And in our day two very desirable events have taken place—Papal sanction for a universal feast of the Heart of Mary and the consecration of the whole human race to that spotless Heart. The Sacred Heart of Jesus now reigns supreme in the Church, for to Him these two homages have been rendered.

In 1856, Pope Pius IX established a universal feast in His honour, to be held each year on the Friday following the octave of Corpus Christi. In 1899, moreover, Pope Leo XIII solemnly consecrated mankind to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The Immaculate Heart of Mary now also reigns, as Queen of God’s kingdom, in the Church militant on earth. “Oportet illam regnare.”

Various movements to establish the reign of the Heart of Mary in the Church, and repeated requests to the Holy See from her devout clients have not been wanting in the past. In 1906, in the Church of Notre Dame, the then Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Richard, consecrated repentant France to the Most Pure Heart of Mary, and put himself at the head of a movement to demand of the Pope the consecration of all the faithful to that same Heart. On the occasion of the Eucharistic Congress at Lourdes, held in July, 1914, a similar demand was submitted to His Holiness Pius X. But the hour of Providence forthe complete exaltation of Mary’s Immaculate Heart had not yet arrived. In answer to these fervent requests, the Holy Father judged it more suitable to reserve this final homage to Mary for some more favourable occasion. The Holy See has now procured for the Immaculate Heart of Mary this supreme glory, and may that final triumph of the church, foretold at the end of the 19th century, by a holy pilgrim, Charles Matte, soon arrive! “When a solemn feast in honour of the Most Pure Heart of Mary will be everywhere established, the hour of the Church’s triumph shall come.” Fiat, Fiat!

BUT Mary kept all these things pondering them in her Heart.” So little has been told us of the thoughts and words of our glorious Queen, that we prize every trace of her stay on earth, and dwell lovingly on what is preserved for us in the too brief record of the Gospels. Just as she had entered on her wonderful mission, just as she had shared the first joys and sorrows of the sacred human Heart of our God and Saviour, a revelation of her own most beautiful and holy heart allows us to penetrate into the secrets of that sanctuary during the long years to come.
The other worshippers at the manger, the other witnesses of those great mysteries (foretelling the greater mysteries to follow), went back into the busy world, where the supernatural impressions made on them might be more or less lost in the crowd of earthly cares and occupations. But the heart of the Mother treasured all “these things,” and her life henceforth was one unbroken contemplation of them, “pondering” them day by day, in deeper sympathy and deeper love.

And so, that pure, compassionate, devoted heart grew daily, holier, tenderer, more devoted still. Purer it could not be, for it was a stranger to the shadow of sin; but its holiness was heightened, its charity intensified, and its union with God perfected till all heaven gave praise to its Maker for the spiritual loveliness of the heart that was hidden in the humble cottage of Nazareth.

Not the least glorious of its gifts was the humility that saw nothing in itself that could attract the eyes of God, save the exceeding “lowliness of His Handmaid,” and not the least precious of its graces was the silence that guarded her constant meditation on the Life that was linked so closely to her own,.-the Sacred Heart Whose earthly rest and consolation were so often found in the sinless heart of His Mother.

Would that she might impart to us her sweet power of comforting that divine Heart, saddened by the ingratitude of His creatures. Would that she might mould her children’s hearts into some faint resemblance to hers-in purity, charity, patience, and self-sacrifice. Would that she might teach us what strength and wisdom and happiness we would find if we, like her, “kept all these things, pondering them” in our hearts. Not merely acknowledging the beauty and truth of the mysteries that surrounded the Incarnate Word, not merely glancing over them, or making them the subject of occasional prayer, but steeping our souls as Mary did, in the contemplation of Them, till we have learned to know our merciful Saviour so intimately that the thought is the dearest of our thoughts, the love of Him supreme in our hearts, as it was in the Immaculate Heart of Mary.


Hail Mary, Daughter of God the Father.
Hail Mary, Mother of God the Son.
Hail Mary, Spouse of God the Holy Ghost.
Hail Mary, Temple of the undivided Divinity.
Hail Mary, fair Lily of the resplendent and ever serene Trinity.
Hail Mary, bright Rose of Heavenly beauty.
Hail Mary, Virgin of Virgins, Virgin most faithful, of whom the King of Heaven was willing to be born and to be nourished with her milk.
Hail Mary, Queen of Martyrs, whose soul was pierced with the sword of sorrow. Hail Mary, Mistress of the world, to whom is given all power in heaven and on earth. Hail Mary, Queen of my Heart, my. Mother, my life, my sweetness and my dearest hope. Hail Mary, Mother most amiable.
Hail Mary, Mother most admirable.
Hail Mary, Mother of mercy.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed the fruit of thy Womb, Jesus. Blessed is thy spouse, Joseph.
Blessed is thy father Joachim.
Blessed is thy mother Anne.
Blessed is thy son John.
Blessed is thy angel Gabriel.
Blessed is the Eternal Father, who made choice of thee.
Blessed is the Son, who loved Thee.
Blessed is the Holy Ghost who espoused thee.
Blessed for ever are those who bless thee and love thee.
O Virgin Mary with thy loving child, bless us.

Nihil Obstat:
JOSEPH M. F. DANAHER, O.M.I, D. Ph., D.D., Provincialis,.
Nihil Obstat:
JACOBUS BROWNE, Censor Deputatus.
Imprimi Potest:
Episcopus Fernensis. Die 10 Februarii, 1936.