Messenger of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 1876

Object Of This Devotion.

The object of the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is twofold, material and spiritual; the former secondary, the latter primary. The material object is the material heart of the Mother of the Word Incarnate. The spiritual object is her spiritual heart, that is to say, the ardent charity with which she was inflamed for God, as well as that which she bore towards men. There is neither distance, separation nor opposition between these two loves; it is precisely because she loves God that Mary loves us, and the more perfectly she loves God the greater her affection for us.

The love which Mary bears us is similar to that manifested towards us by her Divine Son when, while on earth, he sought sinners rather than the just; our condition as sinners, far from opposing an obstacle, is rather a claim upon her. In this point, as in all others, Mary walks faithfully in the footsteps of her Son and model, and if she loves the just with a love of complacency because of their virtues, the love of compassion and mercy which she feels for sinners is still greater, not because they are worthy of it, but because of their greater necessities. Finally the material heart of Mary, by means of which we should raise our thoughts to the spiritual, is ordinarily represented not only with New flames escaping from it, which figure her love, and crowned with flowers, emblems of her virtues, but also pierced with a sword, to call our attention to her sorrows.

The end proposed by devotion to the Immaculate Heart, is to urge us to a greater love towards Mary; for this object we are invited to consider her heart which is the most perfect master-piece which nature and grace combined have ever formed of a simple creature;--besides this, in our regard, it is the heart of the most tender of mothers who loves us far better than we love ourselves. In these two considerations is to be found her claim upon our love; can we refuse it? This general end contains several partial ones, some of which it will be well to indicate: such as gratitude towards Mary, confidence in her, lively compassion for her sufferings, and imitation of her virtues.

The love of Mary for us merits our gratitude. The efficacy of this love is shown in the blessings she heaps upon us. The graces we are constantly receiving are, it is true, the fruit of the merits of Jesus; but these graces He has deposited in the hands of Mary, constituting her the treasurer and dispenser thereof. She is the channel by which God's favors are conveyed to us. When we call to mind all that we owe to the loving heart of Mary, it will surely be sufficient to excite in us the liveliest feelings of gratitude towards her.

When we picture to ourselves an image of this Immaculate Heart, we are irresistibly moved to confidence in it. We can hardly fitly express the tender affection of Mary for all men, but especially for sinners; if therefore she loves us so much, why should we hesitate to put our trust in her? Does not the Church address her: "Spes nostra, Salve." She can and will obtain for us all that we need. If in the natural order we see mothers every day accomplishing so much for their offspring, what may not the heart of Mary in Heaven obtain, through her intercession with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, for us her children, especially when there is question of our eternal salvation, of snatching our souls from Hell, or opening to us the gates of Heaven?

The Holy Fathers and Doctors and the Liturgy of the church have assigned to Mary the title of Queen of Martyrs; let us not refuse her the tribute of our compassion. The martyrdom of Mary was more cruel than the torments of all the martyrs put together, for she suffered not in the flesh but in heart and in soul; it was also longer in duration; for from the moment of the prophecy of Simeon until her death, it had no respite. Moreover it exceeded all others in intensity, for her incommensurable love for her Son and for us was the executioner that tortured her; and this it was which caused her to experience something analogous to what our Lord Himself suffered. For this reason, in order to express the sorrows of Mary, we use the word compassion, which signifies suffering shared, endured in common, though in a lesser degree, with the King of Martyrs.

Can we remain insensible while contemplating the Heart of Mary pierced with a sword of sorrow? Shall we not compassionate, that is associate ourselves with the sufferings of the Mother of God, who is at the same time our Mother? But let not our sympathy remain sterile. We cannot, it is true, dry up the source of Mary's tears, but we can take from them something of their bitterness. Mary weeps over the outrage done to God by our sins and the misfortunes which sinners draw down upon themselves by their impenitence. Do we wish to comfort her? Let us be zealous in carefully avoiding the smallest faults ourselves; let us endeavor to save souls by our prayers, by our example and our sacrifices, and thus bring back to God and to happiness so many sinners whose disorders deprive Him of His glory and condemn them to frightful torments in the life to come. This is the kind of compassion which Mary expects from us and which alone is agreeable to her.

The instinct of love is imitation; someone has called it a painter, who in all the figures which his pencil traces upon the canvas, reproduces unconsciously the features of the object which has captivated him. The imitation of Mary is inseparable from the love which we should bear her. It is true that there is a more perfect model proposed to us, no less than Christ Himself, Whom we should strive to resemble; but the superhuman sanctity of the Word Incarnate, although it excites our admiration, while considering it, at the same time is apt to intimidate our weakness or dampen our courage, when there is question of imitating it. In presenting to us Mary by the side of Jesus, God has had pity on us and has come to our assistance. In the person of Mary, a daughter of Adam like ourselves, God sets before us an accomplished model, but one more adapted to our weakness, at the same time that it is only a faithful copy, an exact imitation of Jesus.

Let us therefore courageously strive after the virtues which adorn the Heart of Mary; her purity, her humility, her patience, her recollection, her spirit of prayer,--let us endeavor like her, to be humble, obedient, faithful to grace, a friend of labor, of poverty, of silence; let us have, like her, a firm faith and an unbounded trust in Providence; a hope which nothing can shake, an ardent love of God and our neighbor, let us spare no effort to approach as near as possible to that high and sublime sanctity which, increasing each moment that she lived upon the earth, has established her today Queen of Heaven, as much by her merits as by her dignity of Mother of God. The motives which should attach us to devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary are, proportionably the same as those which recommend that towards the Sacred Heart of Jesus; namely, that our Lord Himself desires it, that it recommends itself by its solidity, its opportuneness, and the advantages to be derived from it.

The wish of our Lord that we should honor the heart of His mother was sufficiently manifested by the circumstances under which this devotion, already in existence, although for some time dormant, was suddenly revived among us. Nothing can be more solid or better founded than this devotion to the immaculate heart. The heart of Mary is the noblest part of the body of the most privileged of creatures, the queen of angels and of men. It is this heart which furnished the blood that flowed in the veins of Jesus and which became the ransom of the world; this heart is the organ of the purest, the greatest, the holiest soul, after that of Jesus, which ever has existed or ever can exist; it is the instrument of the greatest love which God has ever received from any creature, and from which He derives the most complete glory. It is the most august sanctuary inhabited by the Holy Spirit, and enriched with a profusion of His most perfect gifts. In a word, the heart of Mary most closely resembles that of Jesus, and is so agreeable to Him, that He prefers it, not only to any other one, but to all others collectively.

After all, devotion towards the Immaculate heart is but one method of acquitting ourselves of our duty to Mary. And why should we fear to go too far? Is our heart so precious that we might do too much in consecrating it to her? Tradition does not understand it so, nor did he who cried out: "De Maria nunquam satis! " God Himself has invited us to honor her by His example; the love which He has shown for Mary, and the glory with which He has surrounded her, have placed her in a position high above all other creatures. Shall we then be blamed for paying her reverence?

The heart of Mary brought us forth in sorrow at the foot of the cross of her Son; her heart is that of our Mother, and God Himself has recommended us not to forget the groaning of her from whom we have received our life; it is at the same time that of the Mother of our God, hence, devotion towards her, instead of diminishing the worship of God, is its complement and perfection, because it all refers to Him. Can God take it amiss that we are full of respect and veneration for her from whom He has received life? Would He not on the contrary have reason to complain if we showed only coldness and indifference for His Mother?

The opportuneness of this devotion is sufficiently apparent. When was this world ever so truly called the " Valley of tears " as now? Do we not see sorrow and distress on every side; eyes that weep and hearts broken by affliction? Is not our greatest need to be consoled and helped? And where shall we find this, if not in the heart of Mary? The world is full of such consolers as tried the patience of Job; they irritate the wounds of the soul instead of healing them. The heart of Mary is that of the model woman of whom the Scripture says: "When the woman is absent, the sick man sighs without assistance." Religion alone possesses the art of consoling, but no one to such a degree as she who is invoked as the "Consoler of the Afflicted."

The heart of Mary will console us because it is capable of deep commiseration. The sources of pity are dried up in the heart by egotism, the germ of which was deposited in the soul by original sin, and developed by subsequent faults; innocence, on the contrary, preserves the treasures of the heart and is prepared to pour them out upon all unfortunate objects worthy of compassion. The heart of Mary being Immaculate from the beginning, is especially predisposed to be moved in our favor. The heart of Mary will console us, because it has suffered so much. Whoever has not wept himself cannot wipe away the tears of others. Who can bind up the wounds of his neighbor, who has not first healed them in himself? Mary knows sorrow by experience; from Bethlehem to Calvary, her life was one long agony, so that she is justly called the " Queen of Martyrs." She will not only console us, but she will finish her work by delivering us from the evils which surround us. We are stricken down because we have drawn upon ourselves the anger of God by our sins; we acknowledge ourselves guilty, but we do not dare to address ourselves to God directly, so much are we in awe of His justice. Who will obtain a reconciliation? Ah! let us turn to the "Refuge of Sinners," she will make our peace with God, her heart has not been, charged to uphold the interests of justice, but only to extend the domain of mercy. She is all-powerful with Jesus.

As to the advantages which this devotion will procure for us, it is true we have no special guarantees for them, but we do not complain of this, since we have something better than any promise, in the realization of all the blessings we could hope to obtain. Promises relate to something in the future; but they are superfluous when we are already in possession of the good desired. We know that this devotion to the Immaculate heart has been in the past, as it continues to be in the present, a means of obtaining the most signal favors from heaven. What more can we desire?

In embracing this devotion we acquire a new claim upon Mary, who has made manifest her wish that her heart should receive our homage. If we accept her invitation she is so benificent, so generous, that she will come to our assistance without waiting for us to ask her; if she sees us docile to her voice and animated with respect, love and confidence towards her heart, there will be no limit to her bounty. She will not allow herself to be outdone in generosity, but will repay us a hundred fold for what we do for her.

Let it not be forgotten that devotion to Mary, and consequently to her amiable heart, is a pledge of abundant blessings, is characteristic of the elect, is a token of predestination, according to the Doctors of the Church. In fine how happy for us if we could flatter ourselves that devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus had taken full and firm possession of our souls! To obtain this grace from Heaven there is no means more sure, more prompt and easy than recourse to the heart of Mary, which will conduct us infallibly to Jesus. These two hearts are never separated; he who finds one finds the other. Mary disposes of the Heart of Jesus, inclines it to whom she pleases, exercises over it the greatest influence.

Practices Of Devotion To The Heart Of Mary

This devotion should be both Interior and Exterior. Interior. We should endeavor to penetrate ourselves with such sentiments as the study of this heart is well calculated to inspire; such as respect for her unequalled dignity, love for her perfections, gratitude for the graces received through her intercession, unlimited confidence in her goodness and power, compassion for the sufferings which she has endured, and a desire to repair the many outrages which she receives.

Our exterior devotion should consist of certain acts, springing from the sentiments we have just pointed out; such as to wear an image of the heart of Mary, or to keep one in some convenient place, to which to turn our attention from time to time; to celebrate the feast of the Heart of Mary on the Sunday after the octave of the Assumption, the two feasts of the Dolors of Mary, one on the Friday after Passion Sunday, and the other the third Sunday in September; to prepare for these feasts by a Novena or Triduum; to perform some religions exercise during the Month of August, which the piety of some prompts them to devote to the honor of the Immaculate Heart; to recite occasionally an act of Consecration; to belong to some association, especially the Archconfraternity of Our Lady of Victory in Paris.

Means Of Acquiring This Devotion

Devotion to the Immaculate Heart is obtained by prayer, by study of the Immaculate Heart, and by the exercise of the exterior practices above mentioned.


Immaculate Heart, a Perfect Conformity
with the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

O God of goodness, Who hast filled the holy and immaculate Heart of Mary with the same sentiments of mercy and tenderness for us, with which the Heart of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, and her Son, was always overflowing: grant that all who honour this virginal Heart may preserve until death a perfect conformity of sentiments and inclination with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, Who, with Thee and the Holy Ghost, lives and reigns. One God, forever and ever. Amen.


Prayer of St. Gertrude to the Sacred Heart of Mary

O Immaculate Heart of Mary, I have nothing in myself to offer thee that is worthy of thee; but what thanks ought I not to pay thee, for all the favours which thou hast obtained for me from the Heart of Jesus! What reparation ought I not to make thee for all my tepidity in thy service! I desire to return thee love for love; the only good that I possess is the sacred Heart of Jesus, which thou thyself hast given me. I offer thee this treasure of infinite price; I cannot do more, and thou dost not deserve less at my hands; but, receiving from me this gift most precious in thy sight, be pleased, I beseech thee, to accept my heart, which I here offer to thee, and I shall be for ever blessed. Amen.


An Aspiration to Mary's Immaculate Heart.

O Mary! thou art light in our doubts, consolation in our sorrows, and protection in our dangers! After thy only Son, thou art the certain hope of faithful souls! Hail, hope of the desponding, and refuge of the destitute, to whom thy Son has given such power that whatever thou willest is immediately done. --Blosius.


Indulgenced Aspirations to the
Immaculate Heart of Mary.

"Blessed be the Holy and Immaculute Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary"
(Three hundred days each time. )

" Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us "
(One hundred days each time.)

" Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, pray for us"
(One hundred days each time.)

"Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation"
(Three hundred days each time, Plenary once a month.)


The Heart of Mary is our Home.

Ps. xvii. 10: "He bowed the heavens and came down."--
"The Lord bowed the heavens as a vessel, which He
emptied into the heart of Mary."--Cardinal Hugo.

Mother of God, we hail thy Heart,
Throughed in the azure skies;
While far and wide within its charm
The whole creation lies.
O sinless Heart, all hail!
God's dear delight, all hail!
Our home, our home is deep in thee,
Eternally, eternally,

Mother of God, from out thy Heart
Our Saviour fashioned His;
The fountains of the Precious Blood
Rose in thy depths of bliss.
O sinless Heart, all hail!
God's dear delight, all hail!
Our home, our home is deep in thee,
Eternally, eternally.

Mother of God, when near thy Heart
The unborn Saviour lay,
He taught it how to burn with love
For sinners gone astray.
O sinless Heart, all hail!
God's dear delight, all hail!
Our home, our home is deep in thee,
Eternally, eternally.

Mother of God, He broke thy Heart
That it might wider be,
That in the vastness of its love
There might be room for me.
O sinless Heart, all hail!
God's dear delight, all hail!
Our home, our home is deep in thee,
Eternally, eternally.

Mother of God, thy Heart hath heights
On which God loves to dwell;
And yet the lowliest child on earth
Is welcome there as well.
O sinless Heart, all hall!
God's dear delight, all hail!
Our home, our home is deep in thee,
Eternally, eternally.

"Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us. --One hundred days' indulgence each time.


A Prayer to Mary, Queen of Heaven and our Advocate. *

" Mary is that woman by whom hell is overcome,
the devil trodden upon, man saved."--St. Anselm.

Queen of Heaven, the ocean star,
Guide of the wand'rer here below!
Thrown on life's surge we claim thy care,
Save us from peril and from woe.
Mother of Christ, Star of the Sea,
Pray for the wanderer, pray for me.

O gentle, chaste, and spotless Maid,
We sinners make our prayers through thee;
Remind thy Son that He has paid
The price of our iniquity.
Virgin most pure, Star of the Sea,
Pray for the sinner, pray for me.

Sojourners in this vale of tears,
To thee, blest advocate, we cry;
Pity our sorrows, calm our fears,
And soothe with hope our misery.
Refuge in grief, Star of the Sea,
Pray for the mourner, pray for me.

And while to Him Who reigns above,
In Godhead One, in Persons Three,
The source of life, of grace, of love,
Homage we pay on bended knee;
Do thou, bright Queen, Star of the Sea,
Pray for thy children, pray for me.


Hide us O Mary In thy Heart

Prov. viii. 35: "He that shall find me shall find life
and shall have salvation from the Lord."

Oh how the heart of Mary burns!
Untired, unchanged in love it turns,
With ceaseless breathings of desire,
Towards Jesus' Heart, its sacred fire.

O Mary, be this Heart our stay
Till death shall call our souls away;
From this frail dust, whene'er we part,
Hide us O Mary in thy heart!

The chains of love which Jesus threw
Round His own Heart bound Mary's too;
Living by love, both breathe the same
Unchanged, unconquerable flame.

O Mary, be this Heart our stay
Till death shall call our souls away;
From this frail dust, whene'er we part,
Hide us O Mary in thy heart!

Heart of the best of mothers, hear
The voice of thy poor suppliant's prayer
Grant to our hearts, O Heart divine,
Some portion of that love of thine!

O Mary, be this Heart our stay
Till death shall call our souls away;
From this frail dust, whene'er we part,
Hide us O Mary in thy heart!

Through that pure Heart, where thou dost dwell,
That Heart that loves thy Son so well,
May all their meed of homage send
To thee for ages without end.

O Mary, be this Heart our stay
Till death shall call our souls away;
From this frail dust, whene'er we part,
Hide us O Mary in thy heart!

"Sweet Heart of Mary be my salvation."
(Three hundred days indulgence each time. Plenary once a month.)

Various Salutations and Benedictions
to the Honour of Our Blessed Lady

l. Hail, Mary, daughter of God the Father.

2. Hail, Mary, mother of God the Son.

S. Hail, Mary, spouse of God the Holy Ghost.

4. Hail, Mary, temple of the Divinity.

5. Hail, Mary, beautiful lily of the most resplendent Trinity.

6. Hail, Mary, sweet rose to all the celestial court.

7. Hail, Mary, virgin of virgins, powerful virgin, full of sweetness and humility, of whom the king of heaven would be born, and of whose milk He would be nourished.

8. Hail, Mary, queen of martyrs, whose soul was pierced with the sword of sorrow.

9. Hail, Mary, lady and mistress of the world, to whom all power has been given, both in heaven and earth.

10. Hail, Mary, queen of my heart, my mother, my life, my sweetness, and my love.

11. Hail, Mary, most amiable mother.

12. Hail, Mary, most admirable mother, full of grace, our Lord is with thee.

1. Blessed art thou amongst women.

2. Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

3. Blessed be thy spouse, St. Joseph.

4. Blessed be thy father, St. Joachim.

5. Blessed be thy mother, St. Ann.

6. Blessed be thy son, St. John.

7. Blessed be thy angel, St. Gabriel.

8. Blessed be the Eternal Father, who has chosen thee.

9. Blessed be thy Son, who has loved thee.

10. Blessed be the Holy Ghost, who has espoused thee.

11. O most happy Virgin, let all that love thee bless thee.

12. Bless us, O holy Virgin, together with thy Son. Amen

An Act of filial Reverence to Mary

Pope Leo XII. granted, in perpetuity, to all the faithful who should recite the three following prayers, together with three " Hail Marys," to ask the Blessed Virgin's assistance in the practice of Christian virtues, and especially the holy virtue of purity : 1. An indulgence of 100 days each time they are said. 2. A plenary indulgence, once a month, on reciting them every day, with the usual conditions. These indulgences are applicable to the souls in purgatory.


I venerate thee with all my heart, O most holy Virgin, as the Daughter of the Father of heaven; and I consecrate to thee my soul, with all its powers. Hail, Mary!


I venerate thee with all my heart, O most holy Virgin, as the Mother of the only Son of God; and I consecrate to thee my body, with all its senses. Hail, Mary!


I venerate thee with all my heart, O most holy Virgin, as the beloved Spouse of the Holy Ghost; and I consecrate to thee my heart, with all its affections: obtain for me of the Holy Trinity the graces necessary for my salvation. Hail, Mary!