While we worship our Triune God, we venerate our human and angelic family in the Church Triumphant. There is no one more august to whom we offer praise than the Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary. The months of June and July are respectively dedicated to devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to His Most Precious Blood. August is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We worship Christ’s Most Sacred Heart. We venerate the Heart of Mary, preserved from the stain of sin (Latin in+maculatus, “not stained”) in every moment of her existence.
Christ’s Heart flows with the Blood which He assumed from her. Mary gave her blood to Him. He gives His Blood, her blood, to us.
During August we have lovely feasts in honour of Our Lady including, of course, the Assumption on the 15th. On 22 August we observe, in the traditional Roman calendar, the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary as instituted by Venerable Pius XII in 1944. In the newer calendar it is the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“Hail, Holy Queen!” we Catholics often sing. Mary’s Queenship is intimately tied to the Kingship of her Son just as Her Immaculate Heart beats in harmony with His Sacred Heart.
Mary conceived her King within her Heart, before she carried Him below her Heart. Her Queenship rests not on her own merits alone, but rather upon the majesty of her divine Son.
At the conclusion of Dante’s Divina Commedia St Bernard sings that Mary is the “daughter of her Son”. Both their harmoniously beating Hearts were pierced.
Focus on Mary’s Immaculate Heart rose in stages during the Middle Ages with Ss Anselm and Bernard, and through the 17th and 18th centuries and the efforts of saints such as Ss Francis de Sales and John Eudes. The 1830 apparition of Our Lady to St Catherine Labouré in Paris, which led to the creation of the Miraculous Medal, helped to spread the devotion.
Just as there are devotions to Our Lord’s Sacred Heart on First Fridays, in 1925 Our Lady asked the last Fatima visionary, Sister Lucia, for us to pray on five consecutive First Saturdays to make amends for sins of blasphemy and ingratitude.
Have you yet carried out the First Saturdays devotion? Confession. Mass. Communion. Rosary. One quarter hour of prayer. Graces for a good death will be offered to you.
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