August 2, 2016

August is Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: Our Lady’s Apparitions to Sr. Lucia of Fatima about the Importance of Her Immaculate Heart and the Five First Saturdays Devotion

Immaculate Heart of Mary

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned the month of August to the veneration of the Blessed Virgin's Immaculate Heart. The physical heart of Mary is venerated (and not adored as the Sacred Heart of Jesus is) because it is united to her person and is the seat of her love (especially for her divine Son), virtue, and inner life. Such devotion inspires a similar love and virtue to grow within us.

This devotion received new emphasis from the visions given to Sister Lucia, the oldest of the visionaries of Fatima, in her convent in Pontevedra, and later, Tuy, Spain, between 1925 and 1930. In the visions Our Lady asked for the practice of the Five First Saturdays to help make amends for the offenses committed against her heart by the blasphemies and ingratitude of men.

On December 10, 1925, Mary appeared along with the Child Jesus to Lucia. The Holy Virgin showed Lucia Our Lady's heart surrounded by thorns. At that, the Christ Child said: "Have compassion on the heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation to remove them." Then Mary said:
Look, my daughter, at my heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me and announce in my name that I promise to assist at the moment of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months shall receive the sacrament of Confession, 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 my Immaculate Heart.
Sr. Lucia brought Our Lady's request for reparation to her confessor and Mother Superior; both of whom were skeptical. Her confessor gave Lucia a series of questions about the apparitions including: "Why five Saturdays and not nine or seven, in honor of the Sorrows of Our Lady?" Lucia implored God for guidance.

While praying in chapel one night for Our Lord to give her an answer, Christ appeared to Lucia: "My daughter, the reason is simple. There are five kinds of offenses and blasphemies uttered against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:" [1.] blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception; [2.] blasphemies against her perpetual virginity; [3.] blasphemies against her divine maternity, while refusing at the same time to recognize her as Mother of men; [4.] the blasphemies of those who publicly seek to place in the hearts of children indifference or scorn, or even hatred towards this Immaculate Mother; and [5.] the offenses of those who outrage her directly in her holy images." He continued:
There my daughter, is the reason why the Immaculate Heart of Mary asked Me to request this small act of reparation, and in consideration of it, to move My mercy to forgive souls who have had the misfortune to offend Her. As for you, seek unceasingly, through your prayers and sacrifices, to move My mercy with regard to these poor souls.
In His response, Our Lord reiterates a central idea in the message of Fatima: God has made manifest His plan of love, which is to grant His graces to men through the mediation of the Immaculate Virgin. Their refusal to submit to the Divine Will is a sin which particularly wounds God's Heart and for which He no longer finds in Himself any inclination to forgive. There is no crime more unpardonable for Our Savior than to scorn His Most Holy Mother and to outrage her Immaculate Heart, which is the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit.

Sr. Lucia's encountered numerous difficulties in her divine mission promoting this devotion to mankind. Fortunately, she received divine reassurance throughout. In 1929, Our Lady appeared to Lucia to confirm the necessity of devotion to her Immaculate Heart. "Souls are so numerous whom the justice of God condemns for sins committed against me that I come to request reparation. Sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray." The sins that cry out to God for justice are many, yet Mary, Our Mother restrains God's righteous hand while calling us to repent and pray. O Most Blessed Mother, heart of love and mercy, ever listening, caring, consoling, hear our prayer. As your children, we implore your intercession with Jesus Christ your Son, through your Immaculate Heart, this day and always.

A Solemn Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Most Holy Virgin Mary, tender Mother of men, to fulfill the desires of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the request of the Vicar of Your Son on earth, we consecrate ourselves and our families to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, O Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and we recommend to You, all the people of our country and all the world.

Please accept our consecration, dearest Mother, and use us as You wish to accomplish Your designs in the world.

O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and Queen of the World, rule over us, together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, Our King. Save us from the spreading flood of modern paganism; kindle in our hearts and homes the love of purity, the practice of a virtuous life, an ardent zeal for souls, and a desire to pray the Rosary more faithfully.

We come with confidence to You, O Throne of Grace and Mother of Fair Love. Inflame us with the same Divine Fire which has inflamed Your own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Make our hearts and homes Your shrine, and through us, make the Heart of Jesus, together with your rule, triumph in every heart and home. Amen.

By Venerable Pope Pius XII

Related Links

Litany of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

(Another) Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Daily Offering to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Novena Prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

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