The Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Saturday following the Second Sunday after Pentecost
from a traditional prayer card
The devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is connected on many points with that to the Heart of Jesus; nevertheless, it has its own history. The attention of Christians was early attracted by the love and virtues of the Heart of Mary, symbolized by her heart.
Simeon's prophecy in Luke 2:33-34 paved the way and furnished devotion with one of its favorite formula and most popular representations: the heart pierced with a sword. Saint Luke's Gospel says that Mary kept all the sayings and doings of Jesus in her heart, that she might ponder them and live by them.
Indications of a regular devotion are perceived in a sermon by Saint Bernard (d. 1180), De duodecim stellis, from which extract has been taken by the Church and used in the Offices of Compassion and of the Seven Dolors. Stronger evidence is discernible in the pious meditations on the Ave Maria and the Salve Regina, usually attributed to Saint Anselm of Lucca (d. 1080) or Saint Bernard.
Saint Jean Eudes (d. 1681) propagated the devotion to make it public, first in Autun in 1648 and afterward in a number of French dioceses. He established religious societies interested in upholding and promoting devotion. His efforts to secure a feast failed in Rome but the devotion progressed. In 1699 Father Pinamonti (d. 1703) published in Italian his beautiful little work on the Holy Heart of Mary, and in 1725 Pere de Gallifet combined the cause of the Heart of Mary with that of the Heart of Jesus in order to obtain Rome's approbation of the two devotions and the institution of the two feasts. In 1729 his project was defeated, and in 1765 the two causes were separated, to assure the success of the principal one.
In 1799 Pius VI, then in captivity at Florence, granted the Bishop of Palermo the feast of the Most Pure Heart of Mary for some of the churches in his diocese. In 1805 Pius VII made a new concession, thanks to which the feast was soon widely observed. In 1942, Pope Pius XII consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
(Principal source - Catholic Encyclopedia - 1913 edition)
O God, who prepared a fit dwelling place for the Holy Spirit
in the Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
graciously grant that through her intercession
we may be a worthy temple of your glory.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
First Reading: Isaiah 61:9-11
Their descendants shall be known among the nations, and their offspring in the midst of the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are a people whom the Lord has blessed.
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall exult in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
Gospel Reading: Lk 2:41-51
Now Jesus' parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up according to custom; and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing Him to be in the company they went a day's journey, and they sought Him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances; and when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. After three days they found Him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; and all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. And when they saw Him they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, "Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, Your father and I have been looking for You anxiously". And He said to them, "How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be in My Father's house?" And they did not understand the saying which He spoke to them. And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and His mother kept all these things in her heart.
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