The Immaculate Heart of Mary
Immaculate Heart of Mary
The liturgical cultus of the Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, concerning which we find remote traces in the commentaries of the Fathers on the Spouse in the Canticle of Canticles and for which many holy men and women of the middle ages and of more recent days have prepared the way, was approved for the first time by the Apostolic See at the beginning of the 19th century when Pope Pius VII instituted the Feast of the Most Pure Heart of Mary to be celebrated with filial love and devotion on the Sunday after the Octave of the Assumption by all those dioceses and religious communities which had asked for this permission.
In the middle of that same century, at the command of Pius IX and through the work of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, the Feast of the Most Pure Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which year by year was being celebrated more popularly throughout the Catholic world, was given its own proper Office and Mass.
Moreover by this liturgical cultus the Church gives the honor that is due to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary since under the symbol of her Heart we venerate the excellent and singular sanctity of the soul of the Mother of God, but more specifically her most ardent love for God and for Jesus,. her Son, as also her maternal tenderness toward men who have been redeemed by the Divine Blood.
As time went on there developed in the souls of both pastors and the faithful an eager desire--the very one hoped for--that the Feast of the Most Pure Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary should be made a Feast of the universal Church.
Thereupon Pope Pius XII, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception [December 8], in the year 1942, having been moved to pity at the most grievous afflictions under which the Christian peoples lie crushed because of this inhuman war, dedicated forever to the Immaculate Heart of our Blessed Virgin and Mother the Church and the world, which Pope Leo XIII had already dedicated to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
In order that the memory of this Consecration be preserved Pope Pius XII decreed that the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with its own proper Office and Mass, be extended to the universal Church and be celebrated each year on August 22nd in place of the Octave Day of the Assumption of the same Blessed Virgin Mary; furthermore, he decreed that this Feast should be elevated to the rank of a double of the second class: and all this, in order that, with the help of the Blessed Mother of God, peace might be given to all nations and liberty to the Church of Christ, and also that sinners once freed from the guilt of their sins, and all the faithful, might be made strong in the love of purity and in the exercise of the virtues.
In obedience to the commands of our Most Holy Father, the undersigned Charles Cardinal Salotti, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, presented the proper Office and Mass of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary to His Holiness in an Audience granted on December 10, 1943.
His Holiness approved both, and commanded that they should be used by the universal Church on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart Of the Blessed Virgin Mary [August 22nd].
Brief of Charles
Cardinal Salotti [b. ? - d. at Rome, Italy
on Friday, October 24, 1947]
Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Rites
(From AAS, XXXVII 1945), 50-51.)
Charles Cardinal Salotti Prefect;
A. Carinei, Secretary;
Thursday, May 4,
The Vatican, Rome, Italy
Devotion to the
Immaculate Heart of Mary
The Immaculate Heart Of Mary
Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
The second part [of the Secret of Our Lady of Fatima] refers to the Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. As I have already written in the second account, Our Lady told me on June 13th, 1917, that she would never forsake me, and that Her Immaculate Heart would be my refuge and the way that would lead me to God.
The Immaculate Heart will be Your Refuge
As She spoke these words, She opened Her hands, and from them streamed a light that penetrated to our inmost hearts. I think that on that day, I think the main purpose of this light was to infuse within us a special knowledge and love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, just as on the other two occasions it was intended to do, as it seems to me, with regard to God and the mystery to the most Holy Trinity. From that day onwards, our hearts were filled with a more ardent love for the Immaculate Heart of Mary. From time to time, Jacinta said to me: “The Lady said that Her Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God. Don't you love that? Her Heart is so good! How I love it!”
The Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
As I explained earlier, Our Lady told us, in the July  Secret, that God wished to establish in the world devotion to her Immaculate Heart, and that to prevent a future war, she would come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart, and for the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. From then on, whenever we spoke of this among ourselves, Jacinta said: “I am so grieved to be unable to receive Communion in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary!”
Sweet Heart of Mary, Be My Salvation!
I have also mentioned already how Jacinta chose the litany of ejaculations which Father Cruz suggested to us, this one: “Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation!” After saying it, she used to add sometimes, with the simplicity that was natural to her: “I so love the Immaculate Heart of Mary! It is the Heart of our dear Mother in Heaven! Don't you love saying many times: sweet Heart of Mary, Immaculate Heart of Mary?: I love it so much, so very much”. At other times, as she gathered wild flowers, she sang a little tune that she made up herself as she went along: “Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation! Immaculate Heart of Mary, convert sinners, save souls from hell!
(Fatima, in Lucia's Own Words, by Sister Maria Lucia of the Immaculate Heart, I.C.D., Sole Surviving Seer of Fatima Apparitions in 1917; emphasis added. Concerning the Apparitions on Wednesday, June 13, 1917 and Friday, July 13, 1917.)
Consecration of Russia to the
Immaculate Heart of Mary
Well, the Secret is made up of three distinct parts, two of which I am now going to reveal. The first part is the vision of Hell.
Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form like, transparent burning embers, all blackened, or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames which issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent. This vision lasted but an instant. How can we ever be grateful enough to Our dear Heavenly Mother, who had already prepared us by promising, us in the first Apparition, to take us to Heaven. Otherwise I think we would have died of fear and terror.
Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
We then looked up at Our Lady, who said to us so kindly and so sadly: “You have seen hell where the souls if poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end, but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the pontificate of Pius X1. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given to you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, famine and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father.
“To prevent this I shall come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated; in the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will Consecrate Russia to me and she will be converted and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”
Note: Our Lady did return to ask for the Consecration of Russia and the Communions of Reparation on the First Saturdays on Thursday, December 10, 1925. She said to Sister Lucia:“ . . . I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the Graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the First Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”
Your Excellency, as I already told you in the notes I sent to you after reading the book about Jacinta, some of the things revealed in the Secret made a strong impression on her. This was indeed the case. The vision of hell filled her with horror to such a degree, that every penance and mortification was nothing in her eyes, if it could only prevent souls from going there. Well, I am now going to answer the second question, one which has come to me from various quarters.
A Spirit of Mortification and Penance
How is that Jacinta, small as she was, let herself be possessed by such a spirit of mortification and penance, and understood it so well? I think the reason is this: firstly, God willed to bestow on her a special grace, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary; and secondly, it was because she had looked upon hell, and had seen the ruin of souls who fall therein. Some people, even the most devout, refuse to speak to children about hell, in case it would frighten them. Yet God did not hesitate to show hell to three children, one of whom was only six years old, knowing well that they would be horrified to the point of, I would almost dare to say, withering away with fear. Jacinta often sat thoughtfully on the ground or on a rock and exclaimed: “Oh Hell! Hell! How sorry I am for the souls who go to hell! And the people down there burning a live, like wood in the fire!”
Save us from the Fire of Hell
Then shuddering, she knelt down with her hands joined and recited the prayer that Our Lady taught us: “Oh my Jesus! Forgive us, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are most in need.” Now Your Excellency will understand how my own impression was that the final words of this prayer refer to souls in greatest danger of damnation, or those who are nearest to it. Jacinta remained on her knees like this for a long periods of time, saying the same prayer over and over again. From time to time, like someone waking from sleep, she called out to her brother or myself: “Francisco, Francisco! Are you praying with me? We must pray very much, to save souls from hell! So many go there! So many!” At other times, she asked: Why doesn't Our Lady show hell to sinners? If they saw it, they would not sin, so as to avoid going there! You must tell Our Lady to show hell to all those people (referring to those who were in Cova da Iria at the time of the Apparition). “You'll see how they will be converted.” Afterwards, unsatisfied, she asked me: “Why didn't you tell Our Lady to show hell to all those people?” “I forgot” I answered. “I didn't remember either!” she said, looking very sad.
Tell Everybody What Hell is Like
Sometimes, she also asked: “What are the sins people commit, for which they go to hell?” “I don't know! Perhaps the sin of not going to Mass on Sunday, of stealing, of saying ugly words, of cursing and of swearing.” “So for just one word, then, people can go to hell?” “Well it’s a sin!” “It wouldn't be hard for them to keep quiet and go to Mass! I'm so sorry for sinners! If only I could show then hell”. Suddenly, she would seize hold of me and say: “I'm going to Heaven, but you are staying here. If Our Lady lets you, tell everybody what hell is like, so that they won't commit anymore sins and not go to hell.” To quiet her, I said: “Don't be afraid! You're going to Heaven.” “Yes I am”; she said serenely, “but I want all those people to go there too!”
Don’t These People Realize that They Can Go to Hell for Saying Those Things?
When in a spirit of mortification, she did not want to eat. I said to her: “Listen Jacinta! Come and eat now.” “No! I'm offering this sacrifice for sinners who eat too much.” When she was ill, and yet went to Mass on a week day, I urged her: “Jacinta, don't come! You can't, you're not able. Besides today is not Sunday!” “That doesn't matter! I'm going for sinners who don't go on a Sunday.” If she happened to hear any of those expressions which some people make, a show of uttering, she covered her face with her hands and said: “Oh, my God, don't these people realize that they can go to hell for saying those things? My Jesus, forgive them and convert them. They certainly don't know that they are offending God by all this! What a pity, my Jesus! I'll pray for them.” There and then she repeated the prayer that Our Lady taught us: “Oh my Jesus, forgive us....”
(Fatima, in Lucia's Own Words, by Sister Maria Lucia of the Immaculate Heart, I.C.D., sole surviving Seer of Fatima Apparitions in 1917; emphasis added for clarity. Concerning the Apparition on Friday, July 13, 1917 and Part of the Friday, July 13, 1917 Secret.)
The Immaculate Heart of Mary
Alexandrina Maria da Costa
Alexandrina Maria de Balasar
[b. Wednesday, March 30, 1904 - d. Thursday, October 13, 1955]
Alexandrina Maria da Costa, a.k.a. Alexandrina Maria de Balasar was the Victim Soul to whom Jesus Christ appeared in 1935 and Who urged Alexandrina to request that the Holy Father Consecrate the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
But Roman Catholic Church authorities wanted proof of the Divine origin of this request before submitting this request to the Holy Father, Pope Pius XI, Achille Ratti [Monday, February 6, 1922 - Friday, February 10, 1939].
Alexandrina received a series of messages in 1935 from Jesus Christ Who warned that a Second World War [World War II] would take place as a punishment for the sins of mankind. Our Lord explained to Alexandrina that World War II could only be prevented by the Consecration of the World to The Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Jesus Christ urged Alexandrina, through her Spiritual Director, Father Mariano Pinho, S.J., to petition the Holy Father, Pope Pius XI, to perform the Consecration of the World to The Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Alexandrina was also requested to pray and to offer her sufferings so that the Consecration of the World to The Immaculate Heart of Mary would happen. From thenceforth, she offered everything for this intention.
Because of Our Lord’s insistence, relayed through Alexandrina, and which was accompanied by her prayerful pleas and words of encouragement, in September, 1936, her first Spiritual Director, Father Mariano Pinho, S.J., overcame his initial hesitancy about carrying out this request, and wrote a letter to Pope Pius XI, which, according to Protocol, first went to Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli, who was then the Vatican Secretary of State. Having read this letter pleading for the Consecration of the World to The Immaculate Heart of Mary, Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli gave it to Pope Pius XI.
Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli later become Pope Pius XII [Thursday, March 2, 1939 - Thursday, October 9, 1958].Eventually, in 1937, and once again in 1939, the Vatican sent Father Paul Durao, who was a prominent theologian at that time, to investigate the claims being made by Alexandrina and her Spiritual Director, Father Mariano Pinho, S.J.
In 1938 Alexandrina began to experience the pain of the Passion of Christ as the proof of the Divine origin of the request for the Consecration of the World to The Immaculate Heart of Mary.
By God's Holy Will, in June of 1938, Father Mariano Pinho, S.J., the Spiritual Director of Alexandrina, had providentially been assigned to preach a Spiritual Retreat, based on the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius DeLoyola, to all of the Roman Catholic Portuguese Bishops who were gathered together at Fatima for this purpose.
Alexandrina prayed and offered many sufferings that these Bishops would ask the Holy Father for the Consecration of the World to The Immaculate Heart of Mary.
When the Spiritual Retreat ended, as a result of Alexandrina's prayers and sufferings, as well as Father Mariano Pinho, S.J.’s powers of persuasion, the Catholic Bishops of Portugal wrote, and then sent, a collective letter to the Holy Father, Pope Pius XI, in which they petitioned the Pope to Consecrate the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
Alexandrina was overjoyed to hear about this petition to the Holy Father by the Bishops. But the price to be paid for the Consecration of the World to The Immaculate Heart of Mary would be heavy and, by the Holy Will of God, it was she who was chosen to pay it. Christ Himself was very clear about this when He told her:“Most Holy Father, the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, and all the Archbishops and Bishops of Portugal, have met at the Sanctuary of Fatima at the feet of the Blessed Virgin Mary to renew, in a spirit of thanksgiving, the Consecration to Her Immaculate Heart which We had previously made. Most especially during these last two years, this Consecration to Her Immaculate Heart has saved Portugal from the perils of Communism. With joy, We rejoice because of this very great and miraculous Blessing granted to Portugal by the Mother of God. In view of this Miracle, the entire Episcopate of Portugal now humbly prostrates itself at the feet of His Holiness, earnestly beseeching His Holiness to Consecrate the Entire World to this most pure Heart as soon as His Holiness judges what is the best time to do this so that, at last, the world might see itself delivered once and for all from the very great perils that threaten it from every side, so that, by the mediation of the Mother of God, the sovereign peace of Christ will reign.”
“As a sign that it is My Will that the World be Consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of my Mother, you will suffer My Passion until the Holy Father makes the decision to do this Consecration.”But World War II was soon to break out in Europe. Our Lord lamented this fact explaining to Alexandrina that He had no choice. Justice required that He punish humanity by this war because of the innumerable and terrible sins being committed throughout the entire world.
It should be noted that this explanation confirms part of the message of Our Lady of Fatima when she told the little children that that God was going to punish the world for its sins by means of “war, famine, persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father”. Alexandrina once again offered herself as a victim of atonement for the sins of mankind.
Sadly, Pope Pius XI [Monday, February 6, 1922 - Friday, February 10, 1939] never did the requested Consecration of the World to The Immaculate Heart of Mary. There are those who fault Pope Pius XI for not doing the Consecration of the World to The Immaculate Heart of Mary because their position is that this terrible omission brought forth the horrors of World War II.
Pope Pius XI, Achille Ratti [Monday, February 6, 1922], died at the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City on Friday, February 10, 1939.
Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli was elected to the papacy on Thursday, March 2, 1939, taking the name of Pope Pius XII [Thursday, March 2, 1939 - Thursday, October 9, 1958].
Our Lord informed Alexandrina that it was Pope Pius XII who would be the Holy Father who would perform the Consecration of the World to The Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Ever since 1938, Alexandrina had undergone extremely painful Passion Ecstasies each Friday for three hours, from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. for a total of about 180 Fridays. During these Passion Ecstasies, she did not see or hear anything around her, despite the most vigorous efforts that were used from time to time.
These Passion Ecstasies were a proof of the Divine origin of the request for the Consecration of the World to The Immaculate Heart of Mary, but they were also a means to speed up the time for this Consecration. Our Lord had promised Alexandrina that she would experience these horrific pains until the Holy Father made his decision to Consecrate the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
This explains why, on Holy Thursday evening in 1942, Alexandrina felt a little better. She noticed that she was not experiencing her usual fear of approaching the Friday Passion ecstasy. She did not know what the reason was for this, but she felt confident that she would not have to endure another Friday Passion ecstasy the next day, Good Friday.
Alexandrina learned the reason for the obvious absence of her usual Friday Passion ecstasy on Good Friday morning in 1942 when Our Lord informed her that the Holy Father had made the decision to Consecrate the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Alexandrina's agony and unbearable pain endured during her Passion Ecstasies every Friday, for about 180 Fridays, were now over.
But it was not until Saturday, October 31, 1942, that Pope Pius XII actually performed the required Consecration of the World to The Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Despite the fact that Alexandrina experienced great joy when the Consecration of the World to The Immaculate Heart of Mary was finally done in 1942, her work of suffering was not finished because it entered a new phase: a total fast for 13 years during which time she would miraculously live only on the Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist until she died in 1955.
Concerning the First Saturday and Brown Scapular Devotions, Alexandrina pleaded with Catholics to practice the First Saturday Devotion which includes, among other things, not only the Communion of Reparation, but also personally Consecrating themselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by saying a personal prayer of Consecration to her Immaculate Heart on every First Saturday, and by always wearing the Brown Scapular.
Our Lady Herself has promised to assist, with the Graces necessary for eternal salvation, those who practice these Devotions. On Thursday, December 10, 1025, Our Lady of Fatima promised Sister Lucia of Fatima:
“ . . . I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the Graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the First Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”In the 13th Century, Our Lady of Mount Carmel gave the Brown Scapular to Saint Simon Stock of the Carmelite Order at Aylesford in Kent, England, with the promise that those who die wearing it shall not suffer eternal damnation.
Sister Maria Lucia
of the Immaculate Heart, I.C.D.
Sole Surviving Seer of Fatima
Kneeling before a Statue of
Our Lady of Fatima's Immaculate Heart
"In 1926, when I came from Tuy, I made our Lady's request known to my confessor at that time, Father Jose da Silva Aparicio, superior of the Jesuits in that city (at present in Brazil, where he is Rector of the Jesuit House in Ceara Baturita). At that time our Lady had not yet made her demand about Russia. It was two years later (1929), in the chapel of the Dorotheans, in Tuy, that our Lady came to request this Consecration [of Russia] which was to be made by the Holy Father, in union with all the Bishops of the world.
"In 1929, as Father Aparicio had relinquished his post of confessor to the community, I made our Lady's desire about the Consecration of Russia known to Father Francisco Rodrigues, who came to Tuy frequently on his way to Portugal. I also told Father Goncalves, who came to replace Father Aparicio. (He is at present superior of the Zambesi mission in the mission of Lifiege, Mozambique.) His Reverence made me write it down, and promised to work for the realization of our Lady's wishes. He also informed the Bishop of Leiria and arranged that the matter should come to the knowledge of His Holiness the Pope (Pius XI)." 38 As we see, therefore, Lucia had repeatedly spoken of the Second World War a long time before it broke out, although her requests went unheeded. When Pius XII took the helm of the Church, the world was already on the eve of the terrible conflagration. Lucia insisted once more, not on the Consecration of Russia alone, but of all the World, with an especial mention of Russia: "In 1940 I wrote to the Bishop referring to the—failure to fulfil- our Lady's wishes. I wrote: 'If the world only knew the moment of Grace which is conceded and would do penance....' In the letter which, by order of my spiritual directors, I wrote to the Holy Father in 1940, I exposed the exact request of our Lady and asked for the Consecration of the World with especial mention of Russia." (Father John de Marchi, I.M.C., The True Story of Fatima, 1947; emphasis added.)
Letter to Father Gonçalves, Sunday, September 6, 1942
"As far as the Consecration of the World is concerned, His Grace, the Bishop of Gurza, has written to me several times. His Excellency has great desires and great hopes. During their last retreat, their Excellencies, the Bishops, agreed to send a new petition to Rome, and to have this petition done by the Bishops of other countries as well. [Meanwhile], time passes and the poor world is in the process of paying Divine Justice for the debt of its crimes [N.B. This is a direct reference to World War II then raging in various places of the world]." (Sister Maria Lucia of the Immaculate Heart, I.C.D., sole surviving Seer of the Apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima in 1917, Letter to Father Gonçalves, Sunday, September 6, 1942; emphasis added.)
Letter to the Bishop of Gurza, Sunday, February 28, 1943
"The good God has already shown me that He is pleased by the act, even though incomplete, accomplished by the Holy Father and by several Bishops. He promises, in return, to put an end to the war [World War II] soon. The Conversion of Russia is not for now." (Sister Maria Lucia of the Immaculate Heart, I.C.D., sole surviving Seer of the Apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima in 1917, Letter to the Bishop of Gurza about the Consecration of the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Saturday, October 31, 1942, dated Sunday, February 28, 1943; emphasis added.)
Letter to Father Gonçalves, Tuesday, May 4, 1943
"Our Lord promises to end the war [World War II] soon, in consideration for the act which His Holiness has deigned to accomplish. But as it was incomplete, the conversion of Russia will be later." (Sister Maria Lucia of the Immaculate Heart, I.C.D., sole surviving Seer of the Apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima in 1917, Letter to Father Gonçalves, Tuesday, May 4, 1943; emphasis added.)
The Patriarch of Lisbon
Perhaps it was because of World War II, but, whatever the reason(s), the worldwide aspect of the so-called "Message of Fatima" was realized by the Patriarch of Lisbon, Portugal, who acted accordingly by promoting it.
The Bishops of Portugal
The Bishops of Portugal very enthusiastic about the Message of Fatima. In 1942, when they opened the Jubilee Year leading up to the 25th Anniversary of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in 1917, they wrote in part to the Catholic Faithful in Portugal:
"The Virgin’s promises are tied to a condition: fidelity to the twofold duty of prayer and penance. In her conversations with the seer, there is question only of sin, of sinners, hell, reparation, conversion, mercy. Like Lourdes, Fatima is an insistent appeal to penance, an anxious request for Souls to turn to God."Also in this jubilee year, the Catholic Portuguese Bishops decided to approach the Holy See once more in view of obtaining the Consecration of the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
"This kind of talk, so foreign to our modern ways, the three little shepherds of Fatima well understood, they who performed such great penances to obtain the conversion of sinners and console the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We must therefore declare war on sin, this implacable tapeworm which devours the fibres of the social organism and provokes the great catastrophes of peoples. The Blessed Virgin very clearly declared to Her confidants that the calamities hanging over the world [N.B. This is a direct reference to World War II at which time parts of the world were then in the depths of the horrors of war.] are the punishment for the sins of mankind. She added that if mankind does not do penance and reparation, even more terrible evils would come." (Catholic Bishops of Portugal, Pastoral Letter to all Portuguese Catholics, Wednesday, February 11, 1942, formal opening of the Jubilee Year in celebration of the Apparitions of Our Blessed Mother at Fatima, Portugal.)
Consecration of the World to
The Immaculate Heart of Mary
On Saturday, October 31, 1942, on the occasion of the celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima, Pope Pius XII, speaking in Portuguese over the radio, he Consecrated the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Pope Pius XII made this Act of Consecration twice in the same year. The first time, he spoke by radio in Portuguese. His audience was the thousands of pilgrims who had come to Fatima on October 13, 1942, to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the closing apparition of Our Lady.
"In October of the same year, the Holy Father, Pius XII, broadcast in Portuguese his famous Consecration of the Human Race to the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
The Pope Speaks
"Venerable Brethren and Beloved Children: Bless the God of Heaven and glorify Him before all the living, because He has shown you His mercies. Once again, in this year of grace, you climbed the holy mountain of Fatima, taking with you the heart of all Christian Portugal. There in that oasis fragrant with faith and piety, you laid at the feet of your Virgin protectress the tribute of your love, your homage and your gratitude for the immense benefits which you have lately received; you also made your humble supplication that she would continue her protection of your country at home and overseas, and defend it from the great tribulation by which the world is tormented.
"We, who as common Father of the faithful, make our own the sorrows as well as the joys of our children, unite ourselves with all the affection of our heart with you, to praise and exalt the Lord, giver of all good; to thank Him for the graces of her by whose hands you receive the divine munificence and this torrent of grace. We do this with the greater pleasure, because you, with filial affection, have desired to associate the Jubilee of Our Lady of Fatima and our own episcopal consecration, in the same Eucharistic solemnities. The Blessed Virgin Mary and the Vicar of Christ on earth are profoundly dear to the Portuguese. They have had a place in the most faithful heart of Portugal from the dawn of her nationhood; from the time when the first re-conquered lands, nucleus of the future nation, were consecrated to the Mother of God as the Terra de Santa Maria and the newly constituted kingdom was placed under the protection of St. Peter.
"The first and greatest duty of man is gratitude. There is nothing so pleasing to God as a soul grateful for the graces and benefits received; in this you have a great debt toward the Virgin Mother and patron of your country.
"In a tragic hour of darkness and distress, when the ship of the state of Portugal, having lost the guide of her most glorious traditions, and driven off her course by anti Christian and anti-national currents, seemed to be running for certain shipwreck, unconscious of present or future dangers whose gravity no one could humanly foretell; in that hour, heaven, which foresaw these dangers, intervened, and in the darkness light shone; out of chaos order reigned; the tempest abated and Portugal the Faithful can pick up her glorious part as a crusading and missionary nation. All honour to those who have been the instruments of Providence in this glorious enterprise!
"But glory and thanksgiving first and foremost to the Blessed Virgin, Queen and Mother of this land, which she always aided in its hours of tragedy, and in this most tragic of all, made her protection so manifest, that in 1934, our predecessor, Pius XI (of immortal memory), attested in an apostolic letter, Ex officiosis Litteris, to the extraordinary benefits which the Mother of God had recently accorded to Portugal.
"At that time the promise of May, 1936,36 against the Communist peril, had not yet been made. This peril came so fearfully close, loomed up so unexpectedly, that no one could have affirmed with certainty that the marvelous peace which Portugal has enjoyed, and which in spite of everything is immeasurably less ruinous than the present war of extermination, could be maintained. Today further benefits can be added to those mentioned. The atmosphere of miracle in which Portugal is enveloped, has been transformed into innumerable prodigies, many physical, and those yet more marvelous miracles of grace and conversion which flower in this springtime of Catholic life, and which promise to bear abundant fruit. Today with even greater reason, we must confess that the Mother of God has accorded you the most real and extraordinary blessings. The sacred duty of thanksgiving is all the more incumbent upon you.
"That you have done this during the present year we are well aware. The official homage must have been agreeable to heaven and also the sacrifices of children, the prayer and penance of the lowly and humble. The welcome given to our Lady during her pilgrimage to the capital of the Empire during the memorable days of last April was, perhaps, the greatest demonstration of faith in the eight centuries of your history as a nation. Also the national pilgrimage of the 13th of May, heroic day of sacrifice, when in cold and rain hundreds of thousands of pilgrims came to Fatima on foot to pray, and give thanks, and make reparation. Among these the enterprise and vigorous-example of Catholic youth were apparent; there were the Eucharistic crusades of children who told the Mother of God that they had done what she desired-prayers, sacrifices, Communions in thousands—and therefore prayed: Our lady of Fatima, it now rests with you. Say but one word to your divine Son, and the world will be saved and Portugal delivered from the scourge of war. The precious crown of gold and jewels, and more important, of pure love and sacrifice which you offered to your august protectress as a symbol and sign of your eternal gratitude; this and other most beautiful demonstrations of piety which, with the zealous help of the episcopate, have been so fertile in all parishes and dioceses in this Jubilee Year, show the gratitude of the faithful Portuguese people, and satisfy the debt which they owe to their heavenly Queen and Mother.
"Gratitude for the past is a pledge of confidence for the future. God demands our gratitude for His benefits, not because He needs our thanks, but because our recognition of His goodness prompts Him to further generosity. For this reason it is right to trust that the Mother of God, in accepting your thanksgiving, will not leave her works incomplete, and will faithfully continue to be your protectress as in days past, and preserve you from greater calamities.
"But, in order not to presume upon her goodness, it is necessary that each one, conscious of his responsibilities, should make every effort to be worthy of the singular favour of the Virgin Mother, and as grateful and loving children, deserve her maternal protection more and more.
"We must obey her maternal counsel as given at the Cana wedding, and do all that Jesus desires us to do. And she has told everyone to do penance and turn away from sin, which is the principal cause of the great chastisements which Eternal Justice sends upon the world. In the midst of this materialized and pagan world, in which the way of all flesh is corrupted, we must be the salt of the earth and the light, preserving and illuminating; we must carefully cultivate purity, and reflect the holy austerity of the Gospels in our lives; and, at all costs, as the gathering of Catholic youth affirmed in Fatima, openly live as sincere and convinced Catholics. More yet; filled with Christ, we must diffuse around us the sweet fragrance of Christ, and by assiduous prayer, particularly the daily Rosary, and by the sacrifices with which God inspires us, obtain for sinners the life of grace and eternal salvation.
"You will then most confidently invoke the Lord and He will hear you; you will call on the Mother of God, and she will answer: 'I am here.' Then the watchman of the city will not keep watch in vain, because the Lord will keep guard and defense, while the house, which is built upon a secure foundation, will be fortified by the Lord. Happy are the people whose King is God and whose Queen is the Mother of God. She will intercede with God and bless her people with peace, which is the compendium of all good.
"But you cannot be indifferent (indeed who could be so? ) to the vast tragedy which torments the world. Rather, the more you are privileged by her mercies for which you give thanks today, the more securely will you place your confidence in the future under her protection, the more tragic will seem to you, the fate of so many nations torn by the greatest calamity of history.
"Terrible manifestation of divine justice! Let us adore its greatness! Yet we must not doubt the divine mercy, because Our Father in Heaven does not forget us, even in the days of His wrath.
"Now that the fourth year of war has dawned more threateningly than ever, with the spread of the conflict, now more than ever can our trust rest only in God; and, as mediator by the throne, in her name whom one of our predecessors in the First World War ordered to be invoked as Queen of Peace, let us invoke her again, for only she can help us. She whose maternal heart was moved by the ruin of your country and so wonderfully came to its aid; she, saddened by her foreknowledge of this terrible tragedy by which God's justice punishes the world, had already indicated in prayer and penance the road to salvation. She will not now deny us her maternal tenderness nor her most efficacious protection.
"Queen of the most Holy Rosary, Help of Christians, and Refuge of the human race, Conqueror in all the great battles of God, we humbly prostrate ourselves, certain of obtaining mercy and finding grace and opportune help in the present calamity. We do not presume on our merits but only on the immense bounty of your maternal heart. To you, to your Immaculate Heart, we as common father of the great Christian family, as vicar of Him to whom was given all power in heaven and earth and from whom we receive the charge of so many souls redeemed by His precious blood; to you, to your Immaculate Heart in this tragic hour of human history, we confide, we consecrate, we deliver, not only Holy Church, the mystical body of your Jesus which bleeds and suffers in so many parts and is in so much tribulation, but also the whole world, torn by discord, burning in the fires of hate, victim of its own iniquity. May you be moved by so much ruin, material and moral, so much sorrow, so much agony of fathers, mothers, wives, brothers and sisters, of innocent children, cut off in the flower of their lives, so many bodies destroyed in the horrible carnage, so many souls tortured and agonized, so many in danger of eternal loss.
"Mother of Mercy, obtain from God both peace, and above all, those graces which can convert evil hearts in a moment of time and which prepare, conciliate, assure true peace. Queen of Peace, pray for us and give peace to the world at war, that peace for which the peoples sigh, peace in the truth, the justice, the charity of Christ! Give peace from armed warfare and in souls, so that the Kingdom of God may develop in tranquillity and order.
"Extend your protection to unbelievers and those who still lie in the shadow of death; give them peace, and let the sunlight shine upon them so that they may repeat before the one Savior of the World: Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men of good will!
"To peoples separated by error and discord, namely, those who profess your singular devotion, where there was no house that did not display your holy icon, today hidden perhaps until better days, give them peace, and lead them again to the only flock of Christ under the true and only Shepherd. Obtain peace and complete liberty for the Holy Church of God. Stem the waves of paganism and materialism, and kindle in the faithful love of purity, the practice of a Christian life, and apostolic zeal, that the people who serve God may increase in merit and in numbers.
"Finally, as the Church and the whole human race were consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, so that placing in Him all its hopes, it might have a pledge of victory and salvation, thus from today may they be perpetually consecrated to your Immaculate Heart, O Mother and Queen of the world, that your love and protection may hasten the triumph of the Kingdom of God, and that all generations of mankind, at peace with themselves and with God, may proclaim you blessed and with you may intone, from pole to pole, the eternal Magnificat of glory, love and thanksgiving to the Heart of Jesus where alone may be found truth, life and peace.
"'In the hope that these our supplications and prayers may be favorably heard by the divine bounty; to you, beloved cardinal patriarch, venerable brethren and clergy, that grace from on high may ever render your zeal more fertile; to the president of the republic; to the illustrious head of the government and his ministers and authorities, that in this singularly grave and difficult hour, heaven may continue to assist them in their activities in favour of peace and the common good; to all our beloved children in Portuguese territory at home and overseas, that the Blessed Virgin may confirm what she has deigned to operate in you; to all and each of the Portuguese as a pledge of celestial grace, we bestow with all our paternal love and affection our apostolic benediction." (Father John de Marchi, I.M.C., The True Story of Fatima, 1947.)
Pope Pius XII repeated the Consecration of the World to The Immaculate Heart of Mary in St. Peter’s Basilica on Tuesday, December 8, 1942.mm
Consecration of the World to
The Immaculate Heart of Mary
In order to emphasize the relationship of this Consecration of the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary with Fatima, Pope Pius XII made this Consecration by Radio to the Catholics of Portugal on Saturday, October 31, 1942, which was the occasion of the closing of the Jubilee on the 25th Anniversary of the Fatima Apparitions in 1917.
But because this Consecration of the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was made only in Portuguese, there was the risk that it would pass almost unnoticed by the rest of the world. Therefore, Pope Pius XII decided to renew it very shortly thereafter, so that it would have a much greater effect.
On Tuesday, December 8, 1942, the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception, during a ceremony of expiation and supplication in Saint Peter’s basilica, and in the presence of forty Cardinals, many Bishops, the Diplomatic Corps, the Clergy of Rome, and a great crowd of pilgrims, the Holy Father renewed the Consecration of the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary
Saturday, October 31, 1942
The First Consecration of the World To the Immaculate Heart of Mary by Pope Pius XII took place on Saturday, October 31, 1942.
It was during this time that World War II was raging in Northern Africa during the Second Battle of El Alamein, Egypt.
It is very interesting to read what Winston Churchill wrote about the importance of this battle after the end of World War II:
‘Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat.’”(Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War - Volume 4 - The Hinge of Fate, Chapter XXXIII, The [Second] Battle of Alamein, page 541.)
Widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th Century, he served as Prime Minister twice [1940 - 1945] and [1951 - 1955].
A noted statesman and orator, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, a writer, and an artist. He is the only British prime minister to have received the Nobel Prize in Literature, and was the first person to be made an Honorary Citizen of the United States.
The Allies' victory at the Second Battle of El Alamein was all but total because the Axis casualties of 37,000 amounted to over 30% of their total force, while the Allied casualties of 13,500 were, by comparison, a remarkably small proportion of their total force. (cf., Bruce Allen Watson, Exit Rommel, The Tunisian Campaign, 1942-43, Chapter 2, Rommel's Road to Tunisia: The Great Withdrawal, page 27, printed in 2007 by Stackpole Books.)
El Alamein is a town in the northern Matrouh Governorate of Egypt. Located on the Mediterranean Sea, it lies 66 miles West of Alexandria, Egypt and 149 miles North West of Cairo, Egypt.The bottom line is this:
During the Second Battle of El Alamein [Friday, October 23, 1942 - Wednesday, November 4, 1942], the Allied forces broke the Axis line and forced them all the way back to Tunisia.
Tunisia, today called the Republic of Tunisia, is bordered by Algeria to the West, Libya to the South East, and the Mediterranean Sea to the North and East. It is West of El Alamein, Egypt.
The Second Battle of El Alamein began on Friday, October 23, 1942, one week and one day before Pope Pius XII Consecrated the World To the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Saturday, October 31, 1942.
The Second Battle of El Alamein ended on Wednesday, November 4, 1942, only four days after Pope Pius XII Consecrated the World To the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Saturday, October 31, 1942!
In the Pacific, the military forces of the United States and other Allies, won many victories, a few before, but mostly after, Pope Pius XII Consecrated the World To the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Saturday, October 31, 1942!
But, first consider how the Japanese had won the Battle of Bataan [Wednesday, January 7, 1942 - Thursday, April 9, 1942] on the Bataan Peninsula near Manila Bay, Luzon Island, the Philippines.
The infamous Bataan Death March was the forcible transfer, by the Imperial Japanese Army, of 76,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war, after the three-month Battle of Bataan, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of prisoners. The 80 mile march was characterized by wide-ranging physical abuse and murder which resulted in very high fatalities inflicted upon both prisoners and civilians alike by the Japanese Army. This was later judged by an Allied military commission to be a Japanese war crime.
The Japanese had also won the Battle of Corregidor [Tuesday, May 5, 1942 - Wednesday, May 6, 1942] on Corregidor Island in Manila Bay, Luzon Island, the Philippines.
The Japanese had also won many other battles.
The Battle of Badung Strait which was a naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II, fought on the night of Thursday, February 19, 1942 into the morning of Friday, February 20, 1942, in Badung Strait.But when Pope Pius XII Consecrated the World To the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Saturday, October 31, 1942, things began to change.
The Battle of the Java Sea was a decisive naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II,
fought between Friday, February 27, 1942 to Sunday, March 1, 1942.
The Battle of Sunda Strait was another decisive naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II, fought between the night of Saturday, February 28, 1942 to Sunday, March 1, 1942.
The Second Battle of the Java Sea was yet another naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II, fought on Sunday, March 1, 1942.
There are, of course, other examples of Japanese victories in the Pacific Campaign.
The Allied Military Forces began to get victories over the Japanese.
The Kokoda Track Campaign, or Kokoda Trail Campaign, was part of the Pacific Campaign of World War II, which consisted of a series of battles fought between Tuesday, July 21, 1942 and Monday, November 16, 1942, which was 16 days after Pope Pius XII Consecrated the World To the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Saturday, October 31, 1942, when the Allied Military Forces were victorious of the Japanese.A Few of the Other Allied Victories over Japan:
In an apparent attempted counter-attack, on Thursday, November 19, 1942, the Japanese commander, Major General Tomitaro Horii, decided to go down the Kumusi River on a raft because he wanted to reach Giruwa as quickly as possible. After he ordered the rest of his main force to rush to Gona, Major General Tomitaro Horii got onto a large raft accompanied by a staff officer, an adjutant, and a few NCO's and soldiers.
However, within a little over one mile, the raft got caught by a tree which had been submerged in the river and could not be released. The group had no choice but to get off the raft and back onto the right side of the river bank and from there to proceed downstream on foot. They soon located a canoe and Major General Tomitaro Horii got into it along with his staff officer, Tanaka, and a duty soldier who used to be a fisherman. The canoe safely reached the mouth of the Kumusi River.
But, when they reached the sea, the roar of guns become louder and more frequent, which indicated the attack on Japanese troops in Giruwa had become fiercer. They were still eager to reach Giruwa as soon as possible. Major General Tomitaro Horii then made the fateful decision to go across the sea on the canoe even though he knew it was dangerous.
So, Major General Tomitaro Horii, along with his Staff Officer Tanaka and the fisherman-soldier, began to cross the sea in the canoe towards Giruwa. But, in order to avoid being attacked from the shore, they went farther out to sea. However, the weather turned bad that afternoon with thunder and lightning, along with a strong wind which began to blow.
The canoe was about 16 miles off shore when it turned upside down and sank instantly during a freak squall (a.k.a. Divine Intervention!). Staff Officer Tanaka could not swim, so, after bobbing his face to the surface a few times, he disappeared into the water.
Major General Tomitaro Horii and the soldier started to swim towards the coast. After swimming about six miles, Major General Tomitaro Horii told the soldier: "I am out of strength. Tell the troops that Horii died here." Then, he put both of his arms up and shouted in his loudest voice, "Banzai to the Emperor." Those were his last words before he disappeared. The soldier managed to reach the shore and reported the incident as the sole survivor.
Battle of Attu, Tuesday, May 11, 1943 - Sunday, May 30, 1943.
Battle of Tarawa, a.k.a. Operation Galvanic, Saturday, November 20, 1943 - Tuesday, November 23, 1943.
Battle of Cape Gloucester, from late December, 1943 to April, 1944, on the Island of New Britain, part of the Territory of New Guinea.
Battle of Saipan, Island of Saipan in the Mariana Islands, from Thursday, June 15, 1944 to - Sunday, July 9, 1944.
Second Battle of Guam, Island of Guam, from Friday, July 21, 1944 to Thursday, August 10, 1944.
Under Stalin, Stalingrad, Russia became a center of heavy industry and transportation by rail and river. As a result, it was attacked by Axis forces during World War II. In 1942, the city became the site of one of the pivotal battles of the war.
The Battle of Stalingrad saw perhaps the greatest casualty figures of any battle in warfare with estimates between 1,250,000 and 1,798,619. The battle began on Monday, August 23, 1942, and on the same day, the city suffered heavy aerial bombardment that reduced most of it to rubble.
By September, 1942. the fighting reached the city center. The fighting was of unprecedented intensity. The central railway station of the city changed hands thirteen times, and the famous Mamayev Kurgan, one of the heights of the city, was captured and recaptured eight times. By early November, 1942 the Nazi German forces controlled 90% of the city, and had cornered the Soviets into two narrow pockets but they were unable to eliminate the last pockets of Soviet resistance in time.
On Thursday, November 19, 1942, Soviet forces launched a massive counterattack. This led to the encirclement of the German Sixth Army and other Axis units. On Sunday, January 31, 1943 the Sixth Army's commander, Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus, surrendered.
On Tuesday, February 2, 1943 with the elimination of straggling German troops, the Battle of Stalingrad was over.
To the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Post World War II
For Congregational Use
On All First Saturdays
All (Priest and Congregation): Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, / Refuge of the Human Race, / Victress in all God's battles, / we humbly prostrate ourselves before Thy Throne, / confident that we will receive / mercy, grace and bountiful assistance and protection / in the present calamity / not through our own inadequate merits, / but solely through the great goodness of thy Maternal Heart.
To thee, to thy Immaculate Heart / in this, humanity's tragic hour, / we consign and consecrate ourselves / in union not only with the Mystical Body of thy Son, / Holy Mother Church, / now in such suffering and agony in so many places / and sorely tried in so many ways, / but also with the entire world, / torn by fierce strife, / consumed in a fire of hate, / victim of its own wickedness.
O Mother of Mercy, / obtain peace for us from God / and above all procure for us those graces / which prepare, establish and assure the peace.
Queen of Peace, pray for us / and give to the world / the peace for which all people are longing, / peace in the Truth, Justice and Charity of Christ. / Give peace to the nations / and to the souls of men, / that in the tranquillity of order / the Kingdom of God may prevail.
Extend thy protection to the infidels / and to all those still in the shadow of death; / give them peace / and grant that on them also / the sun of truth may shine, / that they may unite with us / in proclaiming before the one and only Saviour of the world / Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will (Luke 2:14).
Give peace to the people separated by error or schism, / and especially to those / who profess such singular devotion to thee / and in whose homes an honoured place was ever accorded / thy venerated Icon / (today perhaps often kept hidden to await better days): / bring them back to the One Fold of Christ under the One True Shepherd.
Obtain peace and complete freedom for the Holy Church of God; / stay the spreading flood of modern paganism; / enkindle in the faithful the love of purity, / the practice of the Christian life, / and an apostolic zeal, / so that the servants of God may increase / in merit and in number.
Lastly, as the Church and the entire human race / were consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, / so that reposing all hope in Him, / He might become for them / the sign and pledge of victory and salvation; / so we in like manner consecrate ourselves forever / also to thee and to thy Immaculate Heart, our Mother and Queen, / so that thy love and patronage / may hasten the victory of the Kingdom of God / and that all nations, / at peace with one another and with God, / may raise their voices / to resound from pole to pole / in the chant of the everlasting Magnificat / of glory, love and gratitude / to the Heart of Jesus, / where alone they can find Truth, Life, and Peace. Amen.
Immaculate Heart of Mary
|Priest:||Immaculate Heart of Mary,||People:||Pray for our dear country.|
|Priest:||Immaculate Heart of Mary,||People:||Make our family life holy.|
|Priest:||Immaculate Heart of Mary,||People:||Sanctify our clergy.|
|Priest:||Immaculate Heart of Mary,||People:||Make our Catholics more fervent.|
|Priest:||Immaculate Heart of Mary,||People:||Guide and inspire those who govern us.|
|Priest:||Immaculate Heart of Mary,||People:||Cure the sick who confide in thee.|
|Priest:||Immaculate Heart of Mary,||People:||Console the sorrowful who trust in thee.|
|Priest:||Immaculate Heart of Mary,||People:||Help those who invoke thy aid.|
|Priest:||Immaculate Heart of Mary,||People:||Deliver us from all dangers.|
|Priest:||Immaculate Heart of Mary,||People:||Help us to resist temptation.|
|Priest:||Immaculate Heart of Mary,||People:||Obtain for us all we ask of thee.|
|Priest:||Immaculate Heart of Mary,||People:||Help those who are dear to us.|
|Priest:||Immaculate Heart of Mary,||People:||Bring back to the right road our erring brothers.|
|Priest:||Immaculate Heart of Mary,||People:||Give us back our ancient fervor.|
|Priest:||Immaculate Heart of Mary,||People:||Obtain for us pardon of our many sins and offenses.|
|Priest:||Immaculate Heart of Mary,||People:||Bring all men to the feet of thy Divine Child.|
|Priest:||Immaculate Heart of Mary,||People:||Obtain peace for the world.|
Priest: Let us pray.
All (Priest and Congregation): O God of infinite goodness and mercy, / fill our hearts with a great confidence in Thy Most Holy Mother, / whom we invoke / under the title of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, / and grant us by her most powerful intercession / all the graces, spiritual and temporal / which we need, / through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary
In this devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which prompts everyone to imitate the virtues of Our Blessed Mother, you may see a true blending of love and sacrifice which are the very heart and spirit of the Catholic way of life.
It is by devotion to her Immaculate Heart that Mary will form in each of us who are sincere the likeness and virtues of her Divine Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and seeing more perfectly His sacred image in us, Mary will love Him anew in us. In this way do we thereby have an opportunity to more greatly resemble Our Divine Lord and hence to more greatly profit from this closes union with Him.
Your nearness to Mary is a measure of your union with Christ and an indication of the true supernatural value of your life. When you unite yourself with the Immaculate Heart of Mary you necessarily draw near to Jesus Himself in His Hypostatic Union of God and Man.
Although some of you may consider this to be a new devotion, it is really very ancient. The Bible itself speaks of the seven swords of sorrow which pierce the Holy and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Saint John Eudes, in the 17th Century, preached devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary along with devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
In the 19th Century, Pope Pius VII and Pope Pius IX permitted several churches to celebrate the feast then known as the Pure Heart of Mary, first fixed on the Sunday within the Octave of the Assumption ("octave" = 8 days), and later on the Saturday following the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.