Devotion to the Heart of Mary is but the consequence of the devotion due to the Heart of Jesus. It is a consequence of that boundless love of Jesus for his most holy Mother, which leads him to share with her all the riches and honors, so far as they can be communicated to a creature. The Church never disassociates the Mother with her Divine Son in the festivals which she celebrates in his honor. If she celebrates the mysteries of the Savior, from his Incarnation to his Ascension, she celebrates likewise all the mysteries of Mary, from her Conceptions to her Assumption. The feast of the Sacred Heart of Mary (Immaculate Heart of Mary) is, therefore, but the natural consequence of the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Let us love and honor these two Hearts, so intimately united; let us go to the Father through the Heart of Jesus; let us go to the Savior through the Heart of Mary. Let us render to God the Father, through the Heart of Jesus what we owe to his infinite justice and goodness, and let us render to God, the Son, through the Heart of Mary what we owe to his mercy, and all his benefits to us. We shall obtain everything from the Father and the Holy Ghost through the Heart of Jesus, and we shall obtain everything through the Heart of Mary.
It is customary with many pious persons to dedicate the first Saturdays of the month to the particular honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as the first Friday is devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Prayer in Honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
O Heart of Mary, Mother of God and our Mother; Heart most worthy of Love, in which the adorable Trinity is ever well-pleased, worthy of the veneration and love of all the angels and of all men; Heart most like to the Heart of Jesus, of which thou art the most perfect image; Heart, full of goodness, ever compassionate toward our miseries; deign to melt our icy hearts and grant that they may be wholly changed into the likeness of the Heart of Jesus, our Divine Savior. Pour into them the love of thy virtues, enkindle in them that divine fire with which thou, thyself, dost ever burn. In thee, let Holy Church find a safe shelter; protect her and be her dearest refuge, her tower of strength, impregnable against every assault of her enemies. Be thou the way which leads to Jesus, and the means, through which we receive all the graces needful for our salvation. Be our refuge in time of trouble, our solace in the midst of trial, our strength against temptation, our haven in persecution, our present help in every danger, and especially at the hour of death, when all hell shall let loose against us, its legion to snatch away our souls, at that dread moment, that hour so full or fear, whereon our eternity depends.
Ah, then most tender Virgin, make us to feel the sweetness of thy Motherly Heart, and the might of thine intercession with Jesus, and open to us a safe refuge in that very fountain of mercy, whence we may come to praise Him with thee in paradise, world without end. Amen.
Act of Reparation to be recited on the First Saturdays
Most holy Virgin and our Mother, we listen with grief to the complaints of thy Immaculate Heart surrounded with the thorns which ungrateful men place therein at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. Moved by the ardent desire of loving thee as our Mother and of promoting a true devotion to thy Immaculate Heart, we prostrate ourselves at thy feet to prove the sorrow we feel for the grievances that men cause thee, and to atone, by means of our prayers and sacrifices, for the offenses with which men return thy tender love.
Obtain for them and for us the pardon of so many sins. A word from thee will obtain grace and amendment for us all.
Hasten, O Lady, the conversion of sinners, that they may love Jesus and cease to offend the Lord, already so much offended, and will not fall into hell.
Turn thine eyes of mercy towards us, that henceforth we may love God with all our heart while on earth and enjoy Him forever in heaven. Amen
Litany of the Sacred Heart of Mary
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Heart of Mary, pray for us *
Heart of Mary, according to the Heart of God,*
Heart of Mary, united to the Heart of Jesus,*
Heart of Mary, organ of the Holy Ghost,*
Heart of Mary, sanctuary of the Divine Trinity,*
Heart of Mary, tabernacle of God incarnate,*
Heart of Mary immaculate from thy creation,*
Heart of Mary, full of grace,*
Heart of Mary, blessed among all hearts,*
Heart of Mary, throne of glory,*
Heart of Mary, abyss of humility,*
Heart of Mary, holocaust of divine love,*
Heart of Mary, fastened to the cross with Jesus crucified,*
Heart of Mary, comfort of the afflicted,*
Heart of Mary, refuge of sinners,*
Heart of Mary, hope of the agonizing,*
Heart of Mary, seat of mercy,*
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord,
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
V. Immaculate Mary, meek and humble of heart.
R. Make our heart according to the Heart of Jesus.
Let us pray:
Heart of Mary, refuge of sinners, pray for us.
(Indulgence 300 days)
O Heart most pure of the Blessed Virgin Mary, obtain for me from Jesus a pure and humble heart.
(1943 Raccolta--Indulgence 300 days)
Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation.
(1943 Raccolta--Indulgence 300 days)
Chaplet of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
V. O GOD, come to our assistance.
R. O LORD, make haste to help us.
V. Glory be to the FATHER, etc.
IMMACULATE Virgin, who, conceived without sin, didst direct every movement of thy pure heart to GOD, ever the object of thy love, and who wast ever most submissive to His will, obtain for me the grace to hate sin with my whole heart, and to learn of thee to live in perfect resignation to the will of GOD. PATER once, Ave seven times. Heart of Mary, pierced with grief, set my heart on fire with the love of GOD.II.
Mary, I wonder at thy deep humility when thy blessed heart was troubled at the gracious message brought thee by Gabriel the Archangel how that thou wast chosen to be Mother of the SON of GOD Most High and didst still proclaim thyself his humble handmaid; in great confusion at my pride, I ask thee for the grace of a contrite and humble heart, that, knowing my own misery, I may obtain that crown of glory promised to those who are truly humble of heart. PATER once, Ave seven times; Heart of Mary, etc.III.
Sweetest Heart or Mary, precious treasury, wherein the Blessed Virgin kept the words of JESUS whilst she thought on the high mysteries which she had heard from the lips of her Son, and whereby she learned to live for GOD alone; how does the coldness of my heart confound me! Dearest Mother, obtain for me grace so to meditate within my heart upon the holy law of GOD, that I may strive to follow thee in the fervent practice of every Christian virtue. PATER once, Ave seven times; Heart of Mary, etc.IV.
Glorious Queen of Martyrs, whose sacred heart was cruelly transfixed in the bitter Passion of thy Son by the sword foretold by the holy old man, Simeon, obtain for my heart true courage and a holy patience to bear well the troubles and adversities of this miserable life, and, by crucifying my flesh with its desires in following the mortification of the Cross, to show myself truly thy son. PATER once, Ave seven times; Heart of Mary, etc.V.
O Mary, Mystic Rose, whose loving heart, burning with the living fire of charity, accepted us for thy children at the foot of the Cross, whereby thou didst become our most tender Mother; make me feel the sweetness of thy maternal heart, and thy power with JESUS in all the perils of this mortal life, and especially in the terrible hour of death, that so my heart, united with thine own, may love JESUS now and throughout all ages. Amen. PATER once, Ave seven times; Heart of Mary, etc. Let us entreat the Most Sacred Heart of JESUS to inflame us with His holy love.(1943 Raccolta--Indulgence of 3 years)
O DIVINE Heart of JESUS, I consecrate myself to Thee, full of deep gratitude for the many blessings I have received, and daily receive, from Thy infinite charity. I thank Thee with my whole heart for having also vouchsafed to give me thine own Mother to be my Mother, consigning me to her in the person of the beloved Disciple. Grant unto me that my heart may ever burn with this love of Thee, and so may find in Thee its peace, its refuge and its happiness.
Prayer 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 favors 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 forever blessed. Amen.
O Lord Jesus Christ, in union with that divine intention with which Thou, whilst on earth didst give praise to God through Thy most sacred Heart, and still dost continue to give praise to Him in the Sacrament of the Eucharist everywhere, even unto the consummation of the world, I, wishing to imitate the most sacred Heart of the ever Immaculate Virgin Mary, most willingly offer to Thee during this whole day, not excepting the smallest part therefrom, all my intentions and thoughts, all my affections and desires, all my words and actions. Amen
Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
O Heart of Mary, Mother of God and our Mother; Heart most worthy of love, in which the adorable Trinity is ever well-pleased, worthy of the veneration and love of all the Angels and of all men; Heart most like to the Heart of Jesus, of which thou art the perfect image; Heart, full of goodness, ever compassionate toward our miseries; deign to melt our icy hearts and grant that they may be wholly changed into the likeness of the Heart of Jesus, our divine Saviour. Pour into them the love of thy virtues, enkindle in them that divine fire with which thou thyself dost ever burn. In thee let holy Church find a safe shelter; protect her and be her dearest refuge, her tower of strength, impregnable against every assault of her enemies.(An indulgence of 500 days--1807)
Be thou the way which leads to Jesus, and the channel, through which we receive all the graces needful for our salvation. Be our refuge in time of trouble, our solace in the midst of trial, our strength against temptation, our haven in persecution, our present help in every danger, and especially at the hour of death, when all hell shall let loose against us its legions to snatch away our souls, at that dread moment, that hour so full of fear, whereon our eternity depends. Ah, then, most tender Virgin, make us to feel the sweetness of thy motherly heart, and the might of thine intercession with Jesus, and open to us a safe refuge in that very fountain of mercy, whence we may come to praise Him with thee in paradise, world without end. Amen.
Prayers of St. Alphonsus Liguori to the Blessed Mother
Prayer to Beg Graces through the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary
I humbly salute and praise thee, holy Mary, most merciful, pure, holy, and blessed Lady, powerful Queen of Angels, Patriarchs and Prophets, most glorious of Apostles, most courageous of Martyrs, wisest and most faithful of Confessors, purest of Virgins, true Mother of our God. Thou knowest my misery, my wounds, my weakness, poverty and nakedness; behold my desires and my groans are before thee, look on me and pity me. Thy servant Richard of St. Victor, says that as, according to the Scripture, Wheresoever the body shall be there shall the eagles also be gathered together, so wherever misery is found, thy mercy hastens to give help, nor canst thou know of wretchedness and not assist. Behold I, kneeling before thee, humbly call upon thee, O Refuge of the miserable, and implore of thy maternal heart, by the love which thou bearest to thy Divine Son, and by the charity with which thou didst accept us for thy clients and unworthy children, to obtain for me full forgiveness of all my sins and a true hatred of them, and worthy fruits of penance in this life, together with a generous mortification of all my senses and affections, and a complete victory over all temptation.An Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Mary
Obtain for me an increase of faith, a more trusting hope, a more perfect charity, an entire resignation to the Will of God, complete purity of intention, and an affectionate devotion to my crucified Jesus, to the most holy Sacrament, and to thee, my ever-blessed Mother: obtain also for me obedience to my superiors, affability and meekness to all, profound humility, patience in adversity, and finally the gift of perseverance, and of a happy and holy death. I beseech thee, most blessed Lady, to be with me at the hour of my death, and shelter me from the terrors of God's Justice, for thou art my beloved Mother and Queen, and I resolve, with thy help, to promote devotion to thee by every means in my power. Amen.
Holy and spotless Virgin, Daughter of the Heavenly Father, Mother of the Word Incarnate, Spouse of the Holy Ghost, Queen of Angels and of Saints, I acknowledge thee and choose thee for my Sovereign, my Mother, my Advocate with Jesus Christ, thy beloved Son: be thou honoured in Heaven, revered on earth, and feared in Hell. Most holy heart of Mary, inseparably united to that of Jesus, I offer thee my heart, and I consecrate it to thee, wishing that thy place in it may be next to that of Jesus, my God; thou shalt ever be the object of my veneration, love, and trust; I will daily offer thee my sincere homage, and will joyfully celebrate thy festivals; I will publish thy greatness and thy blessings, and will spare no pains to obtain for thee the homage which is so justly due to thee; I will endeavour to conform my sentiments to thine, and I will constantly study how I may imitate thy virtues, especially thy humility and purity.Another Short Act of Consecration
Deign, O most holy Virgin, to open thy heart to me, and receive me into it, among thy children and faithful servants: obtain for me grace to imitate thee, as thou didst imitate Jesus; help me in all my necessities; assist me in every danger; console me in affliction, and teach me to make a good use of the pleasures and sorrows of this life, but above all help me, most blessed Lady, in the hour of my death. Amen.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, and my Mother, I commend myself, body and soul, into thy holy keeping, this day, and every day of my life, and especially at the hour of my death: to thee I commit all my hopes and consolations, all my trials and sorrows, my life and my death, that, through thy holy merits and intercession, all my actions may be directed and disposed according to the most holy Will of thy Divine Son. Amen.Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Mary
To which an indulgence of 60 days, to be gained
once in a day, has been attached.
Heart of Mary, Mother of God, and our Mother, heart deserving of all love, and most pleasing to the blessed Trinity, worthy of the affection and veneration of Angels and of men, heart most resembling the Heart of Jesus, of Which thou art the most perfect image, heart full of goodness and compassion for our wretchedness, we beseech thee to soften our icy hearts, and help us to turn completely to our Divine Saviour. Inspire us with a love of thy virtues, and inflame us with the holy fire with which thou burnest; embrace and guard the holy Church, and be ever her sweet asylum, and her impregnable fortress against the attacks of her enemies; be thou our guide to Jesus, and the channel by which we may receive all the graces necessary for our salvation; be our help in our necessities, our comfort in affliction, our support in temptation, our refuge in persecution, our aid in every danger, but especially in the struggles of our last moments, when Hell will be let loose against us, to snatch our souls. In that fearful moment on which our Eternity depends, then, O most blessed Virgin, let us experience the goodness of thy maternal heart, and the greatness of thy power with the Heart of Jesus, by opening to us a secure refuge in that Source of all mercy, that so we may bless Him with thee in Heaven for ever and ever. Amen.An Act of Atonement to the Sacred Heart of Mary
O Mary, Mother of my Saviour, chosen before all ages to crush the head of the infernal serpent, how can there have been men capable of insulting thy name, thy images, and thy glorious privileges, and even of abolishing all devotion to thee! How can there ever have been hearts so unnatural as to despise and hate thee, who so fully deservest the utmost respect, and the most tender affection of angels and of men! Prostrate at thy feet my august Queen, I grieve for such insults, which have afflicted thy heart; and to this heart therefore I offer my atonement. Accept, O Mary, this act of reparation; I wish to feel for thee all the respect, love, and gratitude, which are so justly due to thee; I offer thee my homage, my praise, and my grief, regretting that I cannot by these sentiments make reparation for the contempt, hatred, and blasphemies of thy enemies. AmenPrayer of Reparation to the Blessed Virgin Mary
How do I grieve, O holy and spotless Virgin, when I reflect on the insults thou hast received, and still receivest every day from the malice and ingratitude of men! Thou hast been outraged by heretics, and insulted by bad Catholics: how could any heart have been so hard and impious? Alas! even some Catholics are cold and indifferent towards thee, and do not in the least endeavour to show thee their love and gratitude, neglecting to honour or invoke thee, or to deserve thy protection. I myself have many times afflicted thee, most holy Virgin, by offending thy Divine Son, Whom thou lovest a thousand times more than thyself: my sins have pierced thy heart with a two-edged sword! What return have I made, what gratitude have I shown for all thy goodness to me, my beloved Mother? How have I tried to imitate thee, or what zeal have I felt for thy service?
Mother of mercy, I should not dare to lift up my eyes to thee, if thou wert not the Refuge of sinners: oppressed by the weight of my crimes I cast myself at thy feet, to implore thy pardon for my ingratitude, and for that of all mankind, Mother of sorrows, who wert appointed our Mother on Mount Calvary, I implore thee to forget our past conduct, which I most earnestly wish to atone for, as far as possible. I offer thee my homage and praise, and I profess aloud my conviction that thy glory exceeds that of all creatures; with the Church I revere thy immaculate conception and thy glorious assumption; I believe that thy power and thy perfection are such as suit thy dignity of Mother of God; I joyfully acknowledge thee for my mother, my Advocate, and my Refuge; and as long as I live I will be among the most devoted of thy children, and will endeavour to win souls to thy love. Most holy Mother be pleased to accept my desires; bless and protect them, that so, by copying thy virtues, I may deserve to see thee in Heaven for all Eternity. Amen.
The Pure Heart of Mary
by Rev. Arthur Ryan, 1877
"Cor mundum crea in me Deus."--PS. 90.
The Church, dear brethren, places before us to-day, as the object of our devotion on this feast, the Heart of Mary in what may be called its characteristic virtue--its purity. Purity has been called "Mary's virtue," not because she had it in fuller measure or in greater brightness than the other virtues contained in the absolute fulness of her grace, but because it best suits our view of the Virgin Mother, and because it has been ever held the special grace and charm of womanhood. But this is not the feast of Mary's Purity (that is kept on another day), but of Mary's most pure heart: that is, it is the feast of that wondrous union and interdependence, in the character of our Holy and Immaculate Mother, of purity and love. It will instruct us to-day, and also help us to honour our Lady in the spirit of her feast, if we reflect for a few moments on this union. We shall find that Mary's purity of heart came from the love of her heart, and the sorrow perfecting that love; and we shall learn that in love and in sorrow are to be found the surest foundation and the lasting protection of our own purity of heart.
We say anything is pure or clean when there is nothing of a lower or coarser nature mixed with it or resting on it. In this way we speak of a pure spirit as one not made for union with a material body; pure water, again, that is not mixed with any foreign matter that will dull its brightness. Remark that purity does not mean coldness or stiffness. If snow is the emblem of purity, it is because of its heaven-born whiteness and stainlessness--not because of its coldness. Once let the clay and soilure of earth be mixed with the drift, and though it has not ceased to be cold it has ceased to be pure. The icicle which the poet has made the emblem of chastity is no fitting emblem either in its coldness or sharpness--but (if it be a fit emblem at all) in its transparent clearness. To-day, however, we see the true emblem of purity, better than snow or ice, however spotless; for we see a human heart, warm with the warmest human love, throbbing and yearning as with the love of all hearts in one, and yet, nay by very reason of its vehement love, the home and emblem of purity--the most loving of the loving, and the purest of the pure.
For think, brethren, how could it be otherwise. Loving Jesus as Mary did, how could her love know that mixture of other love which alone could make her love impure? What drop of tainted earthly love could find room in the crystal vessel of her heart, full to the very brim of the heavenly love of Jesus? Her warm, womanly heart, so gentle and tender, so fitted and attuned to the finest pulsations of love--made by the Eternal God to be, next to the Heart of Jesus, the most perfect instrument of love, that heart had found complete and perfect rest in the love of God--in the love of its Jesus, and what more could it hold? Love filled that inner house, occupied every chamber and stood at the door, so that no other love could enter. Thus was Mary's love the cause and the guard of Mary's purity--enough of itself to be the full account of Mary's stainlessness.
But yet another cause we seem to see. I say "seem," brethren, for in a perfect work, such as Mary's heart is, we find that the virtues are not separable in themselves or in their causes, as they are in works less perfect. In fact, the unity of God's holiness, in Whom all perfections are as one, seems thus reflected in His most perfect creatures. It is, then, only as of another phase of Mary's love that I would speak of Mary's sorrow. She sorrowed because she loved, and for her love; and the purity that was founded in that love takes, in our eyes, its lustre and refinement from that sorrow. The Holy Scriptures speak, as men have in every land and literature spoken, of sorrow typified by fire. Prophet and poet are one in telling of the fire of affliction, the furnace of pain; and when the passing woes of earth shall find their awful and eternal home in Hell, they shall dwell there as in a pool of fire. But it is in the purifying qualities of sorrow that has been found the fitness of its comparison with fire. Not to mention many passages in the Old Testament, St. Peter speaks of the soul made sorrowful in divers temptations like the precious gold which is tried by the fire: and St. John commends gold fire-tried, and in the next verse explains this by the words: "Such as I love I rebuke and chastise." You know that gold, though so precious, is seldom (if ever) found pure. It has to be made pure by the process of fire: the dross is thus taken from it, and nothing but the bright ore remains.
So is it with the human heart. Precious as is that heart and dear to God, it is yet mixed up with much that is of earth--with sin and the effects of sin. Jesus Christ Himself has told us of the defilements of the heart of man. "From the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies. These are the things that defile a man." Such an admixture of what is impure makes the purifying of the heart a necessity: and the fire that loosens this dross, and makes the heart an offering acceptable to God, is the fire of sorrow--sorrow as it is sent us by our loving Father in the chastisement of His love--sorrow as it meets us at the hands of our fellow-men--sorrow as we embrace it ourselves and choose it freely as our lot in the generosity of Penance. The example of this sorrow, if not the example of its work, we behold in the pure and sorrowing heart of Mary. She needed not that fire for herself. No smallest atom of earthly defilement was on that pure heart for the furnace of pain to burn away. Love had done all, and left sorrow nothing to do. But, brethren, for your sakes and mine Mary plunged her heart down into that fire, deeper than any heart has ever gone, save only the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Man of Sorrows.
And shall we refuse to enter our fiery furnace? Shall we refuse to purchase our purity at the price of our pain? Ah no! Our love will make that pain bearable, and will make its work less.
To love and to suffer--be this our lot with the loving, suffering hearts of Jesus and Mary--if only by that love and by that sorrow we may come to something of that purity!
"Who, then, shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or persecution, or the sword? For in all these things we overcome because of Him that hath loved us. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."