The Two Hearts Are One
"The seat of all virtues, the source of all blessings, and the refuge of all saintly souls."
Saint Claude de la Columbiere
This talk was first given several years ago to the Altar and Rosary group in Canal Fulton, Ohio. While looking at the material I decided to divide the talk into two parts. The first will deal with the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the origin of the devotion. The second part will be about the Immaculate Heart of Mary, along with the origin of the devotion. I will then show how these two devotions are really one, as the title of the chapter says, the two Hearts are one!
Many of you are wondering how this is possible? When you love someone you want to please them. One way is anticipating their needs and then fulfilling them. Another is to be one with them in their desires. Our Lady, even though she had free will, was one with her Son in everything. She never did anything without first finding out God's will. Her thoughts, desires and actions were one with her Son. That is why their two Hearts are one!
In the year 1916, at Fatima, Portugal, three children were playing when suddenly they saw a light coming towards them from the east. As it drew near to them they saw, "A young man about fourteen or fifteen years old, whiter than snow, transparent as crystal when the sun shines through it, and of great beauty. The Angel said: 'Do not be afraid! I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.' Kneeling on the ground, he bowed down until his forehead touched the ground, and asked them to pray with him three times the following prayer: 'My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You! I ask pardon of You for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love You.' Rising, the angel said: 'Pray thus. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.' Then he disappeared."1
Two months later, in the summer of 1916, the same angel suddenly again appeared to the three children saying, "What are you doing? Pray! Pray very much! The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on you. Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High. Lucia asked, 'How are we to make sacrifices?' 'Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners.'"2
Finally for the last time, the angel came in the autumn of 1916 to the same place he had first appeared to them. The children were prostrated on the ground praying the prayer the Angel had taught them. Looking up they beheld the Angel. He was holding a chalice in his left hand with a host suspended above it, from which some drops of blood fell into the chalice. Leaving the chalice suspended in the air, the Angel prostrated himself on the ground saying the following prayer, "Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly, and I offer You the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference with which He Himself is offended. And, through the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of You the conversion of sinners." Rising, the angel took the chalice and the host into his hands, he gave the host to Lucia and the contents of the chalice to Francisco and Jacinta, saying, 'Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.'" 3 Once more he prostrated himself on the ground and repeated three times the same prayer, Most Holy Trinity... During the second apparition of Our Lady to the three children at Fatima, on June 13, Our Heavenly Mother told Lucia, "Jesus wishes to make use of you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart."4
It is evident God wants the two Hearts of Jesus and Mary honored. But to understand why and how, we need to go back and explain the origins of these two devotions. I will first talk about the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Pope Pius VI published his Bull Auctorem Fidei in 1794. It condemned the 85 false teachings of the Jansenists, including the rejection of the cult of the Sacred Heart. Pope Leo XIII encyclical, Annum Sacrum stated; "Behold how today there lifts, for all eyes to see, a most auspicious and most divine standard, namely the most Sacred Heart of Jesus ... In it must all hopes be centered; from it is to be sought and hoped the salvation of mankind." But it was Pope Pius XI in his encyclical Quas Primas that he called for consecration of men and nations to the Heart of Christ, while in Miserentis-simus Redemptor he insisted upon reparation being added to consecration.
Pope Pius XII in his encyclical on the Sacred Heart, Haurietis Aquas, wrote, "not to say that this devotion began when it was privately revealed by God or that it suddenly came into existence in the Church. Essentially this devotion is nothing else than worship of the human and divine love of the Incarnate Word and the love which the Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost have for sinful men."
At this point I would like to state that the Human nature of Christ, hypostatically united to the Word, is given the same type of worship as given to the Divinity, (as shown in a previous chapter). This form of worship is called Latria. In the Fifth General Council it was defined: "If anyone says that we must adore Christ in His two natures (thus introducing two adorations), and if anyone does not adore the Incarnate Word with its flesh by one and the same adorations, let him be anathema."
We see evidence of this devotion in the New Testament in Matthew's Gospel. Our Lord himself said, "Learn of Me, for I am gentle and humble of Heart!: (Matt. 11:29) Again in Matt. 12:34, "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." Our Lord said "Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses permitted the early Jews to divorce their wives (Matt.19:8) and "for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also". (Matt.6:21)
The word heart means so much more than what the English language states. In Semitic thought it means the whole interior life of a person. Their sentiments, memories, thought, reasoning, and planning. In Hebrew, though, the heart is the organ of thought rather than sentiments. The Greeks give the word a broad meaning. It is said to be glad, cheerful, grieving, disappointed, sad, impatient, vexed, worried, angry, love, fear, courage, fear of the Lord, desires, wise, and so on.
Our Blessed Lord said in Mark's gospel, "What emerges from within a man, that and nothing else make him impure. Wicked designs come from the deep recesses of the heart: acts of fornication, theft, murder, adulterous conduct, greed, maliciousness, deceit, sensuality, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, and an obtuse spirit. All these evils come from within and render a man impure." (Mk. 7:20-23)
When referring to the writings of the early Church Fathers it is necessary to understand where they obtained their information from. Father Robert Fox, in his book, "Immaculate Heart of Mary, True Devotion", wrote;
"The Apostolic Fathers are those of the first and second centuries, known as 'apostolic' because of their proximity to the original apostles. Having some connection with the apostles, they reflect their teachings in a special way. Those who wrote in the first three centuries are sometimes called Early Fathers. Those who wrote in the fourth through the eighth centuries are known as Later Fathers. The last Father in the West is St. Gregory the Great (d. 604) and the last Father of the East is St. John Damascene (d. 749). In the traditional teachings of the Church, if the Fathers accepted a teaching this indicates it belongs to the deposit of faith which Jesus Christ left to the original apostles. The deposit of faith was complete with the death of the last apostle. However, there remained the development of doctrine. This means there can be growth in the Church's understanding of the truths of divine revelation. It is a gradual unfolding in the Church's understanding of what God has revealed. The substantial truth of a mystery revealed by God remains unchanged. The only thing that changes is the depth of the Church's subjective grasp of the revealed truth." With this thought in mind, I will continue.
St. Justin Martyr (c.165) wrote on the Heart of Christ, "'I am poured out like water and all my Bones are scattered; My Heart is becoming like wax melting in the Midst of My bowels.' By these words He declares what happened in that night when they came against Him on the Mount of Olives ... For His sweat broke out like drops of blood and poured from Him, while He prayed and said; 'If it be possible, let this chalice pass from me'; and clearly His Heart trembled with fear, and His bones trembled. But the Heart became like wax melting within Him, that we might surely know that the Father willed His Son to be brought into such fears, lest we should think that because He was God He did not feel the things inflicted upon Him."5
When the physical Heart of Christ was pierced by the soldier's lance, blood and water poured forth. The Church saw this wound as the gateway of grace, of the sacraments and of the Church. ST. Ambrose (340-397) and St. John Chrysostom (347-407) both commented on this.
St. Augustine (354-430), St. Peter Chrysologus (406- 450), St. Paulinus (354-431), and Pope St. Gregory the Great (540-604) all wrote and commented on the Heart of Christ wounded and pierced by the lance. St. Augustine said, "Consider His head bowed down to kiss you, His arms stretched out to embrace you, His heart opened to love, His whole body hanging to redeem you. Weigh these in the balance of your soul, and let Him be wholly engraven on your heart Who was wholly crucified for love of you." Pope St. Gregory the Great found the Heart of Christ in the Canticles. He wrote, "'Thou hast wounded my heart, my sister, my spouse.' This word is to be taken simply, for by mentioning the wounded Heart it expresses the greatness of Christ for the Church."6 In the 9th century a vernacular poem was written by an unknown monk. He showed that the human sentiments of Jesus were made known by the motions of His Heart. The title of the poem is Heliand. The poem is long, with many references to the Heart of Jesus.
St. Anselm (1033-1109) wrote of the goodness and charity of the Heart of Jesus towards us. But St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) wrote. "But as for me, I shall take to myself what is lacking to me from the Heart of the Lord, for mercy flows from it, nor are there wanting openings through which it may flow... The martyr stands fearless and in triumph, though his body be torn, While iron pierces his side he watches, not only with strength but with joy, the blood that pours out from his flesh. Where then is the soul of the martyr? It is safe; it is on the rock; it is in the Heart of Jesus, whose wounds were opened to let it in."7
St. Bernard and St. Bonaventure are both attributed with writing the Vitis Mystica, a treatise on the Vine and the branches. In it they wrote, "Then let us draw near to Thee, and let us exult and be glad in Thee, remembering Thy Heart! A good treasure it is, a good pearl, O good Jesus, Thy Heart that we have found in the dug field of Thy Body. Who would throw away this pearl? Rather will I give all things; I will sell the thoughts and desires of my mind and buy it for me, casting all my care in the Heart of the Lord Jesus and without fail it will care for me."8
In the 12th century, for the first time a hymn is written to the Sacred Heart, Summi Regis Cor Aveto. The hymn is credited to Blessed Hermann Joseph (1150-1241). In this hymn, the Heart of Our Lord is directly addressed as the center of His personality.
In the 13th century, St. Lutgarde (1182-1246), a Cistercian nun, is the first mystic granted revelations concerning the Heart of Jesus. A contemporary biographer, Thomas a Cantimpre, wrote that she once asked Our Lord to take away the miraculous understanding of the Psalter that He had given her and ... " to give her a better gift. And the Lord said to Her: 'What do you want?' 'I want,' said she, 'Thy Heart.' And the Lord said: 'I, rather, want your heart.' And she: 'So be it, Lord. But take it in such a wise that the love of Thy Heart may be mingled in the love of mine, and that in Thee I may possess Thy Heart, at all times secure in Thy protection.'"
After the death of St. Lutgarde, followed another lover of the Heart of Jesus, St. Gertrude the Great (1256-1302). This Benedictine nun's love for Jesus was so great that in her prayers she asked of Our Lord: "Through Thy wounded Heart, dearest Lord, pierce my heart so deeply with the dart of Thy Love that it may no longer be able to contain earthly things, but may be governed by the action of Thy Divinity alone." The prayer was answered; Our Lord said to another of His familiar friends, "If you look for Me, you will find Me in the heart of Gertrude."9
Jesus Christ once appeared to Saint Gertrude, showing her His Heart, He said to her: "My beloved, give Me your Heart;" and as she presented it to Him with profound respect, it seemed to her that He united it to His by a canal which reached to the ground, through which He poured forth abundantly the effusions of His infinite grace, saying to her: "Henceforth I shall use your heart as a canal through which I will pour forth the impetuous torrents of mercy and consolation which flow from My loving Heart on all those who shall dispose themselves to receive it, by having recourse to you with humility and confidence."10
We see again, in the evening, at Vespers, how the Saint beheld our Lord drawing into His heart all the praises which had been chanted in honor of His Blessed Mother, and from thence pouring them forth upon her in an impetuous torrent. As the Antiphon Ista pulchra es was chanted, St. Gertrude offered the words to our Lord through His Sacred Heart, in memory of the sweet caresses He had bestowed on His Blessed Mother by the same words; and this devotion passing through the heart encircled her like a cincture of stars, consoling her in a marvelous manner. Many of these stars appeared to fall to the ground; but the saints gathered them up, presenting them to our Lord with joy and admiration. This signified that all the saints obtain ineffable joy, glory, and beatitude from the superabundant merits of the Blessed Virgin."11
Like St. John, Gertrude also came to share in the intimacies of the Heart of Jesus. Then Our Lord made her rest on His Heart so that her soul touched it, and as she remained there some time she felt two most sweet and admirable movements therein. Then the Lord said to her; "Each of these movements operates the salvation of man in three different manners. The first operates the salvation of sinners; the second, that of the just. By the first, I converse continually with my Eternal Father-I appease His anger against sinners, and I incline him to show them mercy. By the second, I speak to my saints excusing sinners to them, and urging them, with the zeal and fidelity of a brother, to intercede with God for them. By the third, I speak to sinners themselves, calling them mercifully to penance, and awaiting their conversion with ineffable desire.
"By the second movement of My Heart, I invite My Father to rejoice with Me for having poured forth My precious Blood so efficaciously for the just, in whose merits I find so many delights. Secondly, I invite all the heavenly host to praise My providences, that they return Me thanks for all the benefits which I have granted them, and that I may grant them more for the future. Thirdly, I speak to the just, giving them many salutary caresses, and warning them to profit faithfully by them, from day to day, and hour to hour. As the pulsations of the human heart are not interrupted by seeing, hearing, or any manual occupation, but always continue without relaxation, so the care of the government of heaven and earth, and the whole universe, cannot diminish or interrupt for a moment these two movements of My Divine Heart, which will continue to the end of ages."12
It was on St. John's feast day, that the role of devotion to the Heart of Jesus in the life of the Church was given to St. Gertrude by the Apostle himself. This Apostle appeared to the saint as she assisted at Matins on his feast, when she applied herself with special fervor to her usual exercises. Gertrude then recommended some of the religious of whom she had charge very fervently to him; he received her prayer very lovingly and said: "I am like my Master in this - that I love those who love me." The saint inquired: "What grace then, and what benefit, can I hope for, who am so unworthy, on your dear Feast?" "Come", he replied, "come with me, thou elect one of my Lord, and let us repose together on the sweetest bosom of the Lord, in which all the treasures of beatitude lie hidden." Then, taking her up in spirit, he presented her to our loving Savior, and having placed her on His right, he placed himself on the left and reposed there. Then he exclaimed, pointing reverently to the bosom of Jesus: "Behold, this is the Saint of saints who draws to Himself all that is Good in Heaven and on earth."
She then inquired of Saint John, why he placed himself on the left hand and had given the right to her. He replied: "It is because I have become one spirit with God, and am able to penetrate where flesh cannot enter, but you are not yet able to penetrate into such high things because you are still in the flesh. I have therefore placed you at the opening of the Divine Heart, from whence you may drink in all the sweet consolations which flow from it with such impetuous abundance that it is capable of satisfying all who desire to taste thereof."
Then, as she felt the constant pulsations of the Divine Heart, and rejoiced exceedingly there at, she said to the saint: "Beloved of God, didst thou not feel these pulsations when thou wert lying on the Lord's breast at the Last Supper?" "Yes," he replied, "and this with such plenitude that liquid does not enter more rapidly into bread than sweetness of these pleasures penetrated my soul, so that my spirit became more ardent than water under the action of a glowing fire." "And why," she inquire, "have you neither said nor written anything of this for our edification?" He replied: "Because I was charged with instructing the newly formed Church concerning the mysteries of the uncreated Word, that these truths might be transmitted to future ages as far as thou wouldst be capable of comprehending them, for no one can comprehend them entirely; and I deferred speaking of these divine pulsations until these latter days, that the world might be aroused from its torpor and animated, when it had grown cold, by hearing of these things."13
It is very clear that the origins of devotion to the Heart of Jesus date back to the Last Supper when St. John rested his head upon the Heart of Our Lord. His gospel and epistles speak of this love that was revealed to him.
During this century we hear of many saints speaking or writing on the Sacred Heart of Jesus. St. Francis of Assisi, St. Clare, who saluted and adored the Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. St. Margaret of Cortona (d. 1297) said that we should lay our hands on the wounds of His hands that we may be led to His Heart. St. Angela of Foligno, St. Anthony of Padua and St. Bonaventure (1221-1274), the Seraphic Doctor wrote of the joy and sweetness of the Heart of Jesus. St. Albert the Great said, "Why was He wounded on the side near His Heart? In order that we may never tire of contemplating His Heart!"
The Dominicans, in the fourteenth century, were the first to celebrate a Feast in honor of the Five Wounds with a proper Office. The ninth lesson tells how the lance of Longinus had opened a way into the Heart of the Lord. (This feast was celebrated on the day which Our Lord Himself later indicated to St. Margaret Mary as the day which He desired for the Feast of His Heart: the Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi).
With the institution of Feast of Corpus Christi, we see a link being formed between the Eucharist and the Sacred Heart. St. Albert the Great pondered on the fact that blood flowed from Our Lord's Heart, which was already dead. He found his answer in the Eucharist. He wrote how in the Heart of Our Lord is preserved the manna of grace which dispenses the Holy Eucharist to us...Goodness, and gentle condescension, affection and sympathy, love and pity have induced the Divine Heart to bestow this gift upon us.
During this time St. Catherine of Sienna (1347-1380) was granted of vision of Our Lord. He took the saint to Himself and she drank long from His Heart. Then He removed her heart from her breast, replacing it with His own Heart.
St. Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444), during a sermon on Good Friday said: "O love that melts all things, what have You done to those who love You? The bottomless deep has opened upon us, that a flood of fire may sweep over the earth. The deepest mysteries of the Divine heart have been revealed to us, sparing nothing; the cruel lance has gone within...The open side reveals the Heart, the heart that loved unto death. We are called to enter into this ineffable love which made Him come down to us. Let us go to the Heart of Jesus, deep Heart, secret Heart, Heart that forgets nothing, Heart that knows all, heart that burns with love. the violence of Love has opened the door; let us go in, loving like Jesus; let us pierce the divine secret hidden from all eternity. The wound in the side has shown us the eternal temple of eternal joy." 14
St. Peter Canisius, Jesuit and Theologian, was devoted to the Heart of Jesus. His knowledge of the devotion came from the writings of Ludolph of Saxony who wrote Vita Christi. It was a resume of the spirituality of the Middle Ages. St. Peter was also greatly influenced by the subprior of St. Barbara's, Lanspergius (1489-1539). He not only wrote on the Heart of Jesus, but suggested the use of pictures of the Heart of Jesus as an aid to devotion. These pictures were to be small enough to be carried about. He directed the monks of his community to "make certain that you have a picture of the Sacred Heart in order to increase your devotion. Set it so your eyes might fall upon it frequently that, upon beholding it, the flames of divine affection might burn within your soul. Kiss this image with the same devotion with which you would kiss the Heart of Jesus itself." It was in his cell that St. Peter read:
"Strive to honor the Heart of the most tender Jesus Christ our Lord, which is wholly filled with love and with mercy. Be devout in paying it reverence often; kiss it, enter into it in spirit. Make your requests and offer your exercises through it. It is the depository of all graces, the door by which we go to God and God comes to us. Therefore have a picture of the Divine Heart or of the five wounds, or of Jesus bleeding and all wounded; put it in some place were you often pass, that it may remind you of your practice and your exercise of the love of God ... At sight of this ... Raise your heart to God, and in spirit, without sound of words, silently speak to him, desiring that your heart may be purified, and that your heart and will may be united to the Heart of Christ and His divine will. You may also, if your devotion urges you to do so, kiss this picture-I mean of the Heart of Jesus-as if it were the real and Divine Heart of Jesus that you were pressing to your lips, desiring to imprint it on your heart, to plunge therein your spirit, to be absorbed therein, presenting yourself to draw from this gracious Heart into yours His spirit, His graces, His virtues, all that His immensity contains that is salutary for you. For the Heart of the Lord overflows with all this. It is therefore, profitable and very pious to honor devoutly the Heart of the Lord Jesus. Having recourse to it in all necessities, draw from it consolation and help of every kind. If all hearts abandon you and deceive you, be without fear; this most faithful Heart will neither deceive you nor forsake you."15
During the reformation, we see saints with devotion to the Sacred Heart as, St. John of the Cross, St. Peter of Alcantara, St. Rose of Lima, and St. Francis de Sales. It was St. Jane Francis de Chantel who introduced this devotion to the Visitation Order, the order that St. Margaret Mary would join.
Pope Pius IX, when declaring St. Francis de Sales a Doctor of the Church wrote, "It is in particular marvelous how, filled with the Spirit of God and drawing near to the Author of sweetness Himself, St. Francis de Sales sowed the seeds of this Devotion to the Sacred Heart which, in these unhappy times, we have the great joy of seeing marvelously spread, to the great profit of religion."16
St. Francis, founder of the Order of the Visitation in 1602, wrote in 1610 to St. Jane Francis de Chantal, a letter dated on the Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi:
"Good day, my very dear daughter...This night God has given me the thought that our house, the Order of the Visitation, is by His grace noble enough and important enough to have His arms, His blazon, His device and His war - cry. I have thought, dear Mother, if you agree, that we might take for our Coat of Arms a single Heart pierced with two arrows, and surrounded by a crown of thorns, this Heart serving as the base of a cross that will surmount it and on which will be graven the sacred names of Jesus and Mary. I must tell you, a thousand thoughts that have come to me on this subject. For truly, our Congregation is the work of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary."17
It is during the time of the 1600's that we read of St. John Eudes (1601-1680) and his devoting his life to the spreading of the devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. He founded the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, known today as the Eudists Fathers. Pope St. Pius X of this century called St. John Eudes, "The Author and the apostle of the liturgical worship of the Sacred Heart."
According to Reverend Kern, St. John's writings offer a complete spirituality based on the Heart of Jesus, lovingly and willingly viewed and imitated from the Heart of Mary! St. John's whole life was immersed in the Heart of Jesus and Mary. We see this in his own form of the Magnificat, "My soul doth magnify the admirable Heart of Jesus and Mary, and my spirit rejoices in my great Heart. Jesus and Mary have given me their Heart, this immense Heart, in order that all in me may be performed in its love. Infinite thanks to them for their unspeakable gift." You will notice he used the singular form, Heart, when referring to the Heart of Jesus and Mary. To him it was one Heart. It was later that he used the plural Hearts in the interests of theological clarity.
The Church in the Decree of his Beautification declared: "Burning himself with singular love for the most Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary, he was the first-and this was not without a kind of divine inspiration- who had the idea of a public cultus in their honor. He is therefore to be regarded as the creator of this sweet devotion, for from the beginning of the foundation of his Congregation of Priests, he caused the Feast of these Hearts to be celebrated among his spiritual sons; as its doctor, for he composed for these Hearts a Mass and Office; lastly as its apostle, for he devoted himself with his whole heart to spreading everywhere this salutary devotion."
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) has been called the Messenger of the Sacred Heart because it was to her that Our Lord said, "Behold this Heart that has so loved men!" Between 1673-75, Our Lord finally revealed to the world His wish that His most Sacred Heart be honored and loved. It was not a coincidence that He chose the Feast of St. John the Evangelist (1673) to reveal His great love to the world through St. Margaret Mary. On that day, in the words of St. Margaret Mary:
"One day, being before the Blessed Sacrament, and enjoying a little more leisure than usual, I felt myself wrapped in that Divine Presence so strongly that I forgot myself and the place where I was, and abandoned myself to that Divine Spirit, yielding up my heart to the strength of that love. He made me rest for a long time upon His divine breast, where He opened to me the marvels of His love and the unspeakable secrets of His Sacred Heart which He had hidden from me until then, and which He opened to me for the first time in so effective and apprehensible a way that He left me no room for doubt, I who always fear to be misled.
And this is what seemed to me to happen. Our Lord said to me: 'My Divine Heart is so passionately in love with men that it can no longer withhold the flames of that burning love; it must needs let them spread abroad by means of you, and reveal itself to men to enrich them with its profound treasures which hold the graces they need to be saved from eternal loss. I have chosen you, an abyss of unworthiness and of ignorance, to carry out so great a design, that all may be done by Me.'"
That was the first apparition. The second took place between 1673 and 1674. St. Margaret wrote, "The Divine Heart was represented to me as upon a throne of fire and flames. It shed rays on every side brighter than the sun and transparent as crystal. The wound which He received on the Cross appeared there visibly. A crown of thorns encircled the Divine Heart, and It was surmounted by a cross.
These instruments of His Passion signified, as my divine Master made me understand, that it was the limitless love He had for all men that had been the source of His sufferings and that from the first moment of His Incarnation these torments had been present to Him. From the first moment the Cross, as it were, had been planted in His Heart. From that moment He had accepted all the pains and the humiliations which the sacred Humanity was to experience during the days of His earthly life, and even the outrages to which His love for men exposed him till the end of time in the Blessed Sacrament. He gave me to understand afterwards that it was the great desire He had to be perfectly loved by mankind that had made Him form the design of revealing to them His Heart, and of giving them in these latter times this last effort of His love. This He would do by proposing to them an object and a means calculated to win them to love Him."
In 1674, the third apparition occurred possibly on the Friday within the octave of Corpus Christi. Up until now, Jesus was telling St. Margaret how much he desired His Sacred Heart to be honored by men. In this apparition, He gave the form of this honor. St. Margaret tells us:
"One day when the Blessed Sacrament was exposed and when I felt drawn within myself by extraordinary recollection, Jesus Christ, my sweet Master, appeared to me resplendent with glory, His five wounds shining like five suns; flames shone out from the whole of His sacred humanity, but above all from His adorable breast, which seemed like a hearthfire. It stood open, and through it He showed me His loving and lovable Heart, which was the living source of these flames.
"It was then that He revealed to me the unspeakable marvels of His pure love; and He showed me to what lengths He has loved men, from whom He received only ingratitude. He said: 'I feel it more deeply than all that I suffered in My passion. If they would only love Me in return, I would think little of all that I have done for them, and would wish, if I could, to do still more. But they meet My longings with coldness and contempt. You, at least, give Me joy by supplying, as far as you can, for their ingratitude.'
"I declared my insufficiency, and He said: 'Here is what will supply for all that is lacking to you.' And then there came from His open Heart so glowing a flame that I thought that I would be consumed. 'Do not fear,' He said, 'I will be your strength. Only listen to what I desire of you, to be ready to carry out My designs.' Our Lord then asked for two things: A Communion of reparation on the First Friday of every month, and a weekly holy hour every Thursday between eleven and twelve, in expiation for the sins of men."
The fourth apparition, known as the Great Apparition, occurred on June 16, 1675. It was during this apparition that Jesus asked for the great Feast of the Sacred Heart. On that day He revealed His Heart saying:
"Behold this Heart that has so loved men that it has spared nothing even to exhausting and consuming itself in order to show them its love. And in return I receive from most men only ingratitude, by their irreverences and sacrileges, and by the coldness and contempt which they show to Me in this Sacrament of love. But what wounds Me yet more deeply is that this is done by souls who are consecrated to Me. That is why I ask that the first Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi shall be kept as a special Feast in honor of My Heart, by receiving of Communion upon that day, and by making a reparation of honor for all the insults offered to the Host during Its exposition upon the altars. And I promise that My Heart will pour out abundantly the power of its love upon those who pay it, or who cause others to pay it, honor."
St. Margaret Mary had a Divine Mission, but no means to carry it out. She asked of her Beloved, how ? And Our Lord answered by saying she was to present all that she has been instructed to do to the one whom He called, "My perfect servant". This was the Jesuit, Blessed Claude de la Colombiere (1641-1682). Our Lord told St. Margaret the he would do "his utmost to establish this devotion and so give pleasure to my divine Heart."
The great role of Saint Claude in spreading this new devotion is best summarized by a vision St. Margaret Mary had on July 2, 1688, six years after Saint Claude's death. She writes:
"Having had the happiness,' she writes, "of spending the day of the Visitation before the Blessed Sacrament, my Lord was pleased to favor His miserable creature with many special graces from His loving Heart which admitted me entirely within Itself. It filled me with bliss which I have no power to express.
"There were represented to me, as it were, the flames of the throne upon which the loving Heart of Jesus rested and from its sacred Wound shed rays so burning and bright, that all around was warmed and illuminated by them. On one side of the throne was the most holy Virgin, and on the other was our venerable Founder, St. Frances de Sales, with the Holy Father de la Colombiere.
"I saw also the daughters of the Visitation, whose guardian angels stood by their sides, each holding a heart. The Blessed Virgin called to us with motherly words; 'Come, my beloved children, and draw near. I desire to entrust to you this precious Treasure, which the divine Sun of Justice has deigned to form from the virgin soil of my heart, in which for nine months he was hidden before He appeared to men.' She then pointed to the Sacred Heart, 'you are not to enrich yourselves only with this inexhaustible Treasure, but you are to distribute It freely, endeavoring to enrich all with it, without fear of Its failing-for the more you will take from It, the more there will be to take.'
"Our Lady then turned to Father de la Colombiere saying: 'And you, too, faithful servant of my Son, you have a large share in this precious Treasure. I say this because, if it is given to the daughters of the Visitation to make It known and loved, it is reserved to the Fathers of the Society of Jesus to make known Its utility and value, to explain It, so that everyone may derive profit by receiving It with the reverence and gratitude which so great a benefit deserves. And the degree in which they shall give It this satisfaction, this divine Heart, the overflowing source of all blessings and graces, will pour them out so abundantly upon the functions of their ministry so as to produce fruits beyond their labors and their hopes. And the same for the salvation and sanctity of each of themselves in particular.'"
So great was Saint Claude's role that in 1896, Pope Leo XIII called him, "my friend since my childhood." The Holy Father added; "I have always loved him because of what I read about him and because of his relationship with the Sacred Heart and with Blessed Margaret Mary. Ah, indeed, I do desire his beautification!" He was declared Venerable by this Pope on January 8, 1880. Fifty years later he was beautified.
After Saint Claude's death St. Margaret turned to Father Croiset for direction and help. He wrote the book, 'The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ' at her request. Another Jesuit, Father Joseph de Gallifet, the postulator of the cause of the Feast of the Sacred Heart, wrote extensively on the Sacred Heart. When he was young, and near death, he made a vow through Father Croiset, that if he was restored to active health, his whole life would be consecrated to the spreading of this devotion. Father Gallifet wrote: "We must consider the heart of Jesus as the chief and noblest organ of the sensible affections of Christ, of His love, His zeal, His obedience, His wishes, His griefs, His joy, His sorrows. We should hold it as the very center of all those interior sufferings which our salvation cost Him."
The next hundred years were the hardest, for the devotion came up against much opposition. It ended when permission to use the Mass of the Sacred Heart was granted to the country of Poland in 1765. In that same year the Pope annulled all its earlier pronouncements against the devotion. For early condemnation came from the Jansenists and the free thinking liberals of the day. From Clement XIII (1758-1769), onward, every Pope has approved the devotion. In 1899 Pope Leo XIII consecrated the world to the Sacred Heart, calling this, "The greatest act of my pontificate!"
Pope Benedict XV of this century felt it was just what the war torn world needed. (World War I) Days before he died he said: "I would propagate it myself...it is the jewel of devotion to the Sacred Heart...it will spread in the church." Pope Pius XI wrote an encyclical on reparation in relationship with the Sacred Heart. He asked for a solemn act of reparation which was to be renewed annually.
The devotion flourished and by 1930 there were more than 40 religious communities with the name Sacred Heart. Many saints wrote about and practiced this devotion along with the countless ordinary people, whose holiness in their state of life was reached through this devotion.
St. Peter Julian Eymard, Henry Cardinal Manning, who wrote, the "Glories of the Sacred Heart of Jesus" and St. Theresa of Lisieux are a few who have written and practiced this devotion. St. Theresa of Lisieux wrote: "As I mediated on the Mystical Body of the Holy Church I could not recognize myself among any of its members...I understand that since the Church is a body composed of different members, she should not lack the most necessary and most nobly endowed of all the bodily organs. I understood therefore that the Church has a heart, and a heart on fire with love. I saw too that love imparts life to all the members, so that should love ever fail, apostles would no longer preach the Gospel, and martyrs would refuse to shed their blood. Finally, I realized that love includes every vocation, that love is all things, that love is eternal, reaching down through the ages and stretching to the uttermost limits of earth." St. Theresa at this realized her vocation was to love and to be the heart of the Church.
In this century, Our Lord appeared to a humble nun, Sister Josefa Menendez (1890-1923) of Poitiers, France. She belongs to the Society of the Sacred Heart, a religious order founded by St. Madeleine Sophie. She had constant, sometimes daily visions of Our Lord and Our Lady. Sometimes she saw St. Madeleine Sophie and St. John the Evangelist. She also had terrifying visions of the devil and of hell. At Our Lord's command and often His own dictation she wrote the book entitled, "The Way of Divine Love". Our Lord said to her, "I want to use you to reveal more than ever before the mercy and love of My Heart. The words or desires that I give to the world through you will rouse zeal in many souls and will prevent the loss of many others, and they will gain an even fuller realization that the mercy of My Heart is inexhaustible."
At another time Our Lord said, "I am Love! My Heart can no longer contain its devouring flames. I love souls so dearly that I have sacrificed My life for them...I have revealed My Heart to them. I will teach sinners that the mercy of My heart is inexhaustible. Let the callous and indifferent know that My Heart is a fire which will enkindle them, because I love them. To devout and saintly souls I would be the way, that making great strides in perfection, they may safely reach the harbor of eternal beatitude."
On Friday November 19, 1920, Our Lord appeared to her during her adoration with His Heart torn and lacerated! She exclaimed, "O Jesus, it I that have thus wounded they Heart?"
Our Lord answered, "It is not you, Josefa, but the coldness of those souls who make no return of My love. If you could but understand My sadness that My love meets with no return." His Heart than became a living flame. Jesus spoke, "See what you loving heart does to mine, for though you feel cold and imagine you no longer love Me, it holds back My justice from punishing sinners. One single act of love in the loneliness in which I leave you repairs for many of the acts of ingratitude of which I am the object. MY Heart counts and collects these acts of your love as precious balm."
Pope Pius XII on May 15, 1956 gave us the solution to today's problems when he said,
"Faced with so many evils which today more than ever deeply disturb individuals, homes, nations, and the whole world, where, Venerable Brothers, is a remedy to be found?
"Is there a devotion more excellent than that to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, one which is more in accord with the real nature of the Catholic faith or which better meets the needs of the Church and the human race today? What act of religion is more noble, more suitable, sweeter and more conducive to salvation, since this devotion is wholly directed to the love of God Himself?
"Finally, what is more powerful than the love of Christ, which devotion to the Most Sacred heart daily increases and fosters? This love can truly bring the faithful to live the law of the Gospel. If this law is rejected, is it possible to have genuine peace among men? For as the words of the Holy Ghost clearly teach, 'The work of justice shall be peace' (Is.32:17)
"Greatly impelled by the desire to set up a firm defense against the wicked machinations of the enemies of God and His Church, and at the same time to lead back domestic and civil society to the love of God and neighbor, We do not hesitate to state emphatically that devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the most effective school of divine charity, on which the kingdom of God to be established in the souls of individuals, in families and in nations must rest ...
"That graces for the Christian family and for the whole human race may flow more abundantly from devotion to the Sacred Heart, let the faithful strive to join it closely with devotion to the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God. By the will of God, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary was inseparably joined with Christ in accomplishing the work of man's redemption, so that our salvation flows from the love of Jesus Christ and His sufferings, intimately united with the love and sorrows of His mother. It is, then, highly fitting that after due homage has been paid to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Christian people who have obtained divine life from Christ through Mary, manifest similar piety and the love of their grateful souls for the most loving heart of our heavenly Mother ..."
With these words, Our Holy Father shows that the two hearts are one. He united them inseparable in his encyclical, Haurietis Aquas. One point must be remembered, Jesus is adored for His own sake while Mary is honored for the sake of God, the One who is to be adored. To the Heart of Jesus is given the worship of latria; to the human heart of Our Lady is the worship of hyperdulia. All the love and glory we give to Our Heavenly Mother is given back to her Son. With this proper perspective being made, I will continue with the history of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is not a new thing in the Church. In 1732, Father de Gallifet wrote,
"Once the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was established in the Church it was in the order of Providence a natural consequence that a Devotion to the Heart of Mary should also be established ... The devotion to the Heart of Mary really is a natural result of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Is there not a likeness, after all, in the honors the Church pays to Jesus and to Mary? The same love that has led Jesus Christ to associate His Mother with Himself in all the glory He enjoys in the Church Triumphant, has led Him to associate her in the same way in all the honor He receives from the Church Militant.
"Traverse in spirit the whole world, and see, with those tender feelings of love and admiration that it should arouse in a faithful heart, how Jesus and Mary are everywhere honored together. What nation is there to which the name of Jesus has been announced, to which the name of Mary has not been preached at the same time with that of her Son? What people have confessed and adored Jesus Christ as God, without in the same instant confessing and honoring Mary as the Mother of God? What temple is there erected to the glory of Jesus Christ in which you will not find something specially dedicated to the honor of Mary? Read the history of the Church in every Catholic state, and you will see that Mary has ever been, together with her Son, the first and most tender object of the love and veneration of the faithful, and that the same spirit of faith and grace, that inspires love for Jesus, always has inspired as lively a love for Mary." Again this was written in 1732!
Pope Pius XII has pointed out that devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary can be found in the commentaries of the Fathers of the Church on the Canticle of Canticles. "I sleep, and my heart watcheth: the voice of my beloved knocking: Open to me my sister, my love, my undefiled (5:2); and Put me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon the arm ... (8:6)
St. Isidore of Seville says, "Open to me, that is, reveal to me thy heart, my sister, my undefiled, because you alone are worthy of my sight." Alanus de Insulis uses the words to refer to the Blessed Virgin before the Incarnation. I sleep refers to the Holy Virgin's freedom from worldly anxieties; and my heart watcheth has reference to her contemplation of divine things. Continuing he says that the Virgin Mary so carried Christ as a seal on her heart that through imitation of Him she came more and more to resemble Him, and on the words ... he set in order charity in me, Cant.2:4 "In whom was charity formed, if not in the Virgin Mary, who loved Christ from the depths of her Heart ..." 1_ Pope St. Gregory the Great commented on the same Canticle (Put me as a seal upon thy heart) that while devoting herself ardently to meditation, she might never cease to imitate Him in her external actions. It is she who more than all others has placed Christ as a seal upon her heart. As Christ is the perfect image of the Father, so Mary is humanity's best image of the Son, and since internally and externally no created soul has so perfectly resembled the Source of all Grace, we are not surprised to see in the commentaries of the Fathers on the sublime Canticle, the vestiges of the devotion to that Heart which pre-eminently loved Christ and which in charity resembled His divine Heart more closely.2
In the Psalms and the Book of Wisdom we read of references to Mary. She is the first-born daughter of God and the heavenly Queen of the world. The Old Testament has many references to Mary. Start reading the Bible and discover them for yourself.
St. Luke's gospel mentions twice the heart of Mary. When the shepherds arrived at Bethlehem we read, "all who heard marveled at the things told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept in mind all these words, pondering them in her heart." (Lk.2:18-19) Again we read of it in the finding of Jesus in the temple. "And His mother kept all these things carefully in her heart." (Lk.2:51) St. John Eudes wrote in reference to this "devotion to the virginal Heart of the Mother of God has its origin and foundation in the Holy Gospel itself. The Holy Ghost, through the inspiration of the Evangelist St. Luke, willed that the Heart of Mary be depicted as the sacred repository and faithful custodian of the ineffable mysteries and treasures contained in the life of Our Lord; and explicit mention of the Heart of Mary must have been made that men might forever honor her august Heart."
St. John Eudes in his writings mentions that the Fathers of the Church made mention in their writings to the Immaculate Heart: St. Augustine, St. Leo, St. John Chrysostom, St. Peter Chrysologus, St. John Damascene, St. Ephraem, and St. Irenaeus. The references to Our Lady's Immaculate Heart are only implicit.
St. Bernard writes of the Immaculate Heart along with Richard of St. Lawrence and St. Bonaventure. They concur that the Immaculate Heart at the Annunciation showed that this consent of her Virginal Heart is associated with the virtue of Faith. St. Bruno de Segni and Pope Innocent III also state that the Word Incarnate was received into the heart of Mary.
There is also a relationship between Our Lady's Heart and her sufferings; especially at Calvary. St. Thomas of Villanova frequently referred to the Heart of Mary united with her suffering Son. Her heart is also referred to as the mirror of the Passion of Christ, suffering with Him. From this we see the virtue of Charity; especially where Our Lady's great love for God and man is concerned.
St. Bernard wrote on this point; an arrow of love pierced her heart, that with all her powers of heart and soul she might love God and man and become the Mother of Charity. Continuing; "as Christ died in Body, so she died in heart, thereby alone among all creatures possessing a charity approaching that of her Divine Son." In a sermon he said; "Open, Oh Mother of Mercy, the portals of thy most generous Heart to the longing prayers of the sons of Adam..."
We find the contemporaries of St. Bernard; Hugh of St. Victor and Richard of St. Lawrence writing also on the Heart of Mary. Hugh of St. Victor explains the love of the Blessed Virgin Mary and its role in the Redemption, while Richard of St. Lawrence writes that the Heart of Mary is the source of salvation, the first of all hearts united with Christ in His sufferings.
Others in the 13th century promoted this devotion. A follower of St. Dominic, Blessed Herman of Friesach who saluted her Heart everyday and Venerable Herman Joseph of the Praemonstratension Order. He devised his own kind of consecration to the Heart of Mary. St. Bonaventure, the Seraphic Doctor, developed St. Bernard's notions of this devotion, while Conrad of Saxony in his word, Speculum beatae Mariae Virginis furthered the devotion.
It is during this time that three great saints, Mechtilde, Gertrude the Great and Bridget of Sweden fostered this devotion through their writings and private revelations. Our Lord revealed to St. Mechtilde, (in her book, Book of Special Grace) several reasons why she should honor and salute the Heart of Mary: 1. on account of the ardent desires it conceived for the coming of Jesus Christ; 2. on account of the love with which it burns and its deep humility; 3. On account of its tender love for the Infant Jesus; 4. for the care with which it treasured up the words of Jesus; both in His infancy and manhood; 5. for its sufferings in the Passion of Christ; 6. on account of the prayers it offered up and the desire it formed for the Church; 7. on account of the care it takes in heaven to make the Blessed Trinity propitious to us.
St. Gertrude writes that while at Matins, in the recitation of the Ave Maria, she saw in a vision three streams flowing from the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity, penetrating the Heart of the Virgin Mother and returning again to their source, signifying Mary to be after the Father the most powerful; after the Son the greatest in wisdom and after the Holy Ghost the most benign of persons.
Our Lady told St. Bridget of Sweden, "When He suffered, I felt as though my Heart endured the sufferings also...when My Son was scourged and torn with whips, my Heart was scourged and whipped with Him...His Heart was my Heart...so that my beloved Son and myself redeemed the world as with ONE HEART." (Emphasis Author)
In the 15th century, St. Bernadine of Sienna, a Franciscan, publicly preached devotion to the Heart of Mary. So great was his love and writings on the Heart of Mary, that he has been given the title, "Doctor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary." The three lessons of the 2nd nocturne of the office of the feast of the Immaculate Heart were taken from his sermons and writings. He wrote, "What better treasure is there than that of Divine Love itself of which the Heart of the Virgin was the fiery furnace?"
In the 16th century, Pope Julius II promoted the invocation to the Heart of Mary to be recited at the sound of the Angelus. Others known for this devotion were Lanspergus, a Carthusian monk and devotee of the Sacred Heart, St. Peter Canisius, St. Philip Neri, Louis de Blois and the Spanish Dominican, Luis de Granada.
St. Francis de Sales also wrote on the Heart of Mary. The crest, for the Visitation Order which he founded, has the two hearts of Jesus and Mary united together. He, through his writings, not only laid the groundwork, but was the key factor in influencing the Apostle of the Immaculate Heart, St. John Eudes (1601-1680). St. John Eudes often publicly acknowledged this fact.
Others who influenced St. John Eudes, were, Suarez, St. Robert Bellarmine, and many others. St. Thomas a Becket, Archbishop of Canturbery, was told by Our Lady, "of her desire to help others who practice this devotion, especially at the hour of death." These and many other writings fostered this devotion in the very soul of St. John Eudes.
St. Pope Pius X called him its Father, Doctor and Apostle. It was through him that this devotion was made public and received ecclesiastical approbation. At his canonization, Holy Mother Church emphasized his role in establishing the liturgical devotion to the Heart of Mary. St. John Eudes, as a theologian, was the first to explain this devotion,. The feast was established first in his Congregation and later through out the French dioceses. He composed a mass and office. In 1680, shortly before his death, his book, The Admirable Heart of Mary, was completed and published. It consisted of 12 books, took him 20 years to write it, and was the first of its kind.
He referred to the Heart of Mary using 3 terms; corporeal, spiritual and the Divine. The Corporeal Heart was her physical heart, while the spiritual was her soul. It was sanctified by her eminent participation in the divine perfections. When referring to the Divine Heart, he was again referring to the union between her and her Son; this union being so intimate that he spoke of it as being but One Heart.20
St. John Eudes wrote, "Jesus lives in her (Mary) soul and body...His Heart abides in her heart, His Soul in her soul ... His virtues, mysteries, and divine attributes are loving in her heart..." These very words were later echoed by St. Margaret Mary, the recipient of the devotion of the Sacred Heart, when she said; "The most efficacious way to obtain devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was through the Immaculate Heart of Mary." She taught this to her novices and also composed a prayer for them to pray.
In honoring the Immaculate Heart of Mary, it is not her heart of flesh that we are honoring but the affections symbolized by the heart. Thus we are lead by material heart to the spiritual heart, thereby honoring the whole person. St. John Eudes wrote,
"When, therefore, we honor the Holy Heart of the Mother of God, we honor the heart that, of all hearts, after the Heart of her Son, is the most worthy of our admiration, the most perfect, the most beloved of God, the most adorned with every kind of virtue, the most full of grace and love; the Heart that has the most tenderness for poor sinners, that is the meekest, the most compassionate, the most merciful, the most charitable, the most beneficent, the most amiable; in a word, the object that, after Jesus, has the greatest charm for heaven and earth. It is, therefore, for the best of reasons that we should make this Holy Heart the object of our tenderest devotion, and pay it all the honor and respect that its own excellence and the favor that we have received from it, demand of our gratitude and love."
In 1644, St. John Eudes observed the feast of the Most Pure Heart of Mary for his congregation on October 20. By 1648 a public feast in honor of the Immaculate was celebrated. By 1669 many French bishops were allowing the feast to be celebrated in their dioceses on February 8. In 1672 the feast was celebrated throughout France.
It was not until 1773 that a proper office received papal approval by Pope Clement XIV. Pope Pius VI in 1787 permitted the Notre Dame nuns to celebrate this feast on August 22. By 1799 several churches in the diocese of Palermo were allowed to celebrate the feast.
General papal approval was not given until 1805. Pope Pius IX in 1855 approved a complete proper Office and Mass. But it did not receive full acknowledgment until 1944, when Pope Pius XII extended the feast to the whole world to be celebrated on August 22.
Many religious confraternities, congregations and societies followed suit by honoring Mary under the title of the Most Pure or the Immaculate Heart. St. John Eudes founded many confraternities in honor of Our Lady's Heart. From 1674 to 1675 Pope Clement X wrote six bulls solemnly authorizing devotion to the Most Holy Heart of Mary. This at the request of St. John Eudes. From 1668 to 1805 many confraternities of the Heart of Mary were approved and indulgenced by the Pontiffs.
The scapular of the Immaculate Heart received approval in 1877 with the scapular of the Sacred Heart following in 1900. Eight religious congregations of men and 30 women are under the title of the Heart of Mary. Some include the Eudists founded by the Venerable Libermann in 1843, the Congregation of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary in 1805, St. Anthony Mary Claret founded the Congregation of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
St. Margaret Mary recommended to her novices the following:
"You will offer five times to the Eternal Father the sacrifices which the Sacred Heart of His Divine Son offers Him by Its ardent charity on the altar of the Heart of His Mother, asking of Him that all hearts may return to Him and devote themselves to his love. You will make this aspiration as often as possible: 'I adore and love You, O Divine heart of Jesus living in the heart of Mary; I conjure You to live and reign in all hearts, and to consume in Your pure love."
She repeatedly urged this devotion to the two Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Her spiritual director, Blessed Claude de la Colombiere wrote; "O Hearts, really deserving to possess all hearts, to rule over all hearts of angels and of men! You will henceforth by my rule, and in similar situations, I shall try to make Your sentiments my own. It is my will that henceforth my heart should only be in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, or that the Hearts of Jesus and of Mary should be in mine, that they may impart to it their feelings, and that it be only moved in conformity with the impressions which it receives from these Hearts."
Jesus said to St. Margaret Mary, while showing her heart between His own Heart and His Mother's Heart; "Thus it is that My pure love unites these three hearts forever."
This point is further emphasized by Father Croiset, S.J. He had a deep spiritual relationship with St. Margaret Mary. He wrote; "For the Sacred hearts of Jesus and Mary are too much alike and too much united for one to have access to the one and not to the other, with this difference, however, that the Heart of Jesus admits only extremely pure souls, and the Heart of Mary purifies, by the graces which she obtains for them, those that are not pure, and enables them to be received in the Heart of Jesus!"
In the past century and present one, many individuals, families, and dioceses have consecrated themselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In 1942, Pope Pius XII consecrated the whole world to her Immaculate Heart. He renewed this consecration the following year on December 8. In 1946 he again consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Pope Paul VI during the opening ceremonies of Vatican Council II consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, making this same consecration again 2 years later. Finally on May 13, 1982, Pope John Paul II in Union with all the Bishops of the world consecrated Russia and the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
At Fatima, Our Lady asked for devotion to her Immaculate Heart, a title hers by Divine grace. Yet in this century, 1914, Our Lord, in a vision to Berthe Petite, a Franciscan tertiary, placed the emphasis upon the dolors of this stainless heart when He said; "My Mother's Heart has the right to the title Sorrowful. I desire that it be set before her title of Immaculate because she herself has won it. The Church has recognized what I Myself did for My Mother: Her Immaculate Conception. Now it is necessary and it is My wish, that this title which is by right My Mother's should be understood and recognized. This title she earned by her identification with all My sufferings, by her sorrow, her sacrifice, her immolation on Calvary, and indeed for the salvation of mankind." Continuing Our Lord said; "The calamities which I foretold are come to pass, therefore it is time and it is My wish that the nations should turn to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of My Mother. Let one and the same cry arise from every should: Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pray for Us! Let this prayer, revealed by My Love as a supreme recourse, be approved and indulgenced, not only partially and for a small part of My flock but for the whole universe, so that it may spread like a breath of healing and purification that shall appease My wrath."
In 1915, The Pope granted an indulgence of 100 days for the recitation of this ejaculation. Finally on July 2, 1940, Berthe heard Our Lord say; "This is the last succor which I give before the end of time: the recourse to My Mother under the title which I desire shall be hers throughout the whole world. It is in co-redemption that My Mother was above great, that is why I ask that the invocation, as I have inspired it, should be approved and diffused throughout the whole Church...It has already obtained grace. It will obtain more; until the hour comes when, by Consecration to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of My Mother, the Church shall be uplifted and the world renewed."
At Fatima, Our Lady asked that her Immaculate Heart, that free gift of God's grace, should be specially honored. But it would not have been in accordance with her humility had she exalted her own merits in proclaiming the glory of her Sorrowful Heart.
"In the hour of triumph, " Our Lord said, 'it will be made clearly manifest that I myself had inspired in those whom I have freely chosen, a devotion similar to that given to my own Heart. It is as a Son that I have conceived this devotion for My Mother. It is as God that I impose it."
Great interest was awakened in Portugal by the relationship between the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima on June 13, 1917 and the revelations made to Berthe Petite. Sr. Lucia said that Our Lady appeared on that day showing her Heart, "Surrounded by thorns on every side...the points of these thorns penetrated into the channels of her Heart ... she was all enveloped in light but the expression of her countenance was sorrowful. Our Lady said; 'God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart.'" Notice Our Lady said, GOD WISHES not I wish!
The power of her Immaculate heart shone forth by securing for the children the vision of Hell denied to Dives and Lazarus, and the miracle of the sun, which also had been denied to the world in the days of Noah, the last time mankind was threatened with extinction.
After the three children at Fatima were shown the vision of Hell, Our Lady said to them; "You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. In order to save them God wishes to establish in this world devotion to My Immaculate Heart.. IF what I ask is done, many souls will be saved and the war will end. But if mankind does not stop offending God by sin, another and greater war will break out during the reign of Pius XI. When you see a night lit up by a strange light, know by it that God is going to punish the world for it's sins by wars, hunger and persecution. To prevent this I shall come at a later date to ask for the consecration of the World to the Immaculate Heart and the first five Saturdays of reparation. If what I ask for is done Russia will be converted and there will be peace. If not, Russia will spread her errors throughput the world, the good will suffer, the Holy Father will be persecuted, entire nations will be annihilated, but in the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph and an era of peace will be granted to the world ..."
We see the two hearts as one for the first time in 1830, Paris, France, when Our Lady appeared to a nun, St. Catherine Laboure, a daughter of St. Vincent de Paul. She gave to her a medal, known today throughout the world as the Miraculous Medal. On the back of the Medal is a M surmounted by a bar with the cross. Below are the two Hearts, the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart.
In 1832, again in Paris, France, a priest Father Desgenettes was given charge of the Church of Our Lady of Victories. Because of the parishioners lack of faith and sinfulness and pleasure seeking ways, father began praying, doing penance, and working for their conversion. He met with very little success and by 1836 was sorely tempted to give up his post there. On December 3, 1836 as he began to offer Mass the following happened, (in his own words) "I was just at the first verse of the psalm 'Judica me', when I was seized with this thought - the uselessness of my ministry in this parish. This thought was no stranger to me - I had too many opportunities to form it and remember it. But on this occasion it struck me with greater force than usual. As this was neither the time nor the place to consider it, I made every effort possible to banish it from my mind, but without avail. I seemed to hear a voice which repeated incessantly in my interior: 'You are doing nothing; your ministry is fruitless; for four years you are here now and what have you gained? All is lost; this people has no longer the faith. You should prudently withdraw.' This thought persisted in remaining in spite of all my attempts to reject it. It absorbed all the powers of my soul, so much so that I continued to recite the prayers without understanding what I was saying. The violence of this conflict was so great that I began to perspire profusely. I was in this state of soul up to the canon of the Mass. After reciting the Sanctus, I endeavored to recollect myself, terrified at what was taking place within me, and said: 'My God, behold me ... How am I going to offer the Divine Sacrifice ... I have not sufficient control of my mind to consecrate. O my God, deliver me from this unhappy distraction.' I had scarcely finished this prayer when I heard distinctly these words pronounced in a solemn manner: 'If you desire the conversion of sinners, consecrate you parish to the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of Mary.' I had barely understood these words, which were not spoken to my material ears, but which resounded in my interior, when I immediately recovered my peace of mind. There was not the slightest trace of the disturbance which had so vehemently tormented me." After mass, during his thanksgiving he again heard the same interior voice repeat the same words.
The consecration was made and the parish literally_ changed over night. Father later founded the Arch Confraternity of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Concerning this devotion Pope Pius IX was frequently heard to say: "Make it known everywhere for it is the work of God! " To a French Bishop he said: "The Archconfraternity of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the work of God. It is a Divine Inspiration: it will bring many blessings on the Church."
In France, in 1840 Our Lady appeared to another Daughter of St. Vincent de Paul, Sr. Justine. Our Lady appeared to her on January 18, 1840 in a white robe and a blue mantle. In her hands, she held her heart. From the top of her heart issued forth brilliant rays. St. Justine kept crying out because of her great beauty. She appeared to her five times like this. Finally on September 8, 1840, Our Lady appeared again holding in her left hand her green scapular with these words written on it: "Immaculate Heart of Mary pray for us now and at the hour of our Death."
Three times in ten years Our Lady appeared stressing devotion to Her Immaculate Heart. She was preparing us for 1917, Fatima, Portugal, when she would ask for this devotion and consecration.
It is important to note, that Pope Leo XIII, who wrote 12 encyclicals on the Rosary, and on June of 1899 consecrated the whole world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, was asked to make a similar act in honor the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Both Pope Leo XIII and his predecessor Pope Pius IX felt this honor should be given to Our Lady but the time had not yet come. On June 13, 1912 Pope St. Pius X granted a plenary indulgence to all who went to Confession, Holy Communion, prayed for the Pope's intention and performed some exercises of reparation for the blasphemies uttered against the name and prerogatives of Our Blessed Lady. Yet when he was asked to made the consecration during the International Eucharistic Congress of Lourdes, he deferred it some other time.
This consecration did not take place until it was requested at Fatima in 1917. And as stated earlier, Pope Pius XII was the first to comply with the request in 1942.
But why is this reparation and consecration needed. Our Lord told St. Margaret Mary why reparation was needed for His Sacred Heart. As we have seen Pope St. Pius X in 1912, granted a plenary indulgence for those making reparation. Our Lady is the object of certain blasphemies and offenses aimed directly at herself.
In 1972, Our Lady of Guadalupe shrine, the abbot was deliberately deceived by an American film director and his troupe of their true intention. They enacted diabolical rituals and pornographic scenes in the sanctuary. During the same year, the Pieta by Michangelo, was brutally attacked. While trying to destroy this beautiful image, the man cried out, "I am the Devil!" Today many Churches throughout the country are systematically removing the beautiful statues of Our Lady and Our Lord (and the saints) and destroying them.
These are symptoms of Satan's terrifying power! Pope Paul VI said in November of 1972 on the spread of doctrinal error, devil worship and the occult; "We are all under obscure domination. It is Satan, the Prince of this world, the number one enemy."
On December 10, 1925, Our Lord spelled out to Sister Lucia what form the reparation should be. The Child Jesus stood at His Mother's side enthroned in a cloud of light, displaying His Sacred Heart saying; "Have pity on the heart of you most Holy Mother. It is covered with thorns which ungrateful men place therein at every moment and there is no one to remove them by an act of reparation."
Our Lady then held out her thorn-wreathed Heart and said; "See, my daughter, my heart, surrounded by thorns with which ungrateful men wound it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. Do you at least console me and announce that I promise to assist at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for salvation, to all those who on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, confess, receive Holy Communion, recite 5 decades of the rosary, and keep me company for 15 minutes while mediating on the mysteries of the rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me."
The Papal Legate Cardinal Larraona, to Pope John XXIII, on May 13, 1962, at Fatima said; "It is urgent for us to establish in the world devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. God wishes it! Our Lady told us! Our efforts must therefore multiply: we must be assiduous in practicing the First Five Saturdays of devotion of reparation, not just once, but continually, for those who do not or will not heed Our Lady's plea!"
Finally there is a deep note of spiritual earnestness in Jacinta's words to Lucia concerning this devotion; "I am going to heaven soon, but you must stay here to make known God's wish to establish devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Do not be afraid to tell it. Tell everyone that God gives us all graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so that everyone may ask her. Make it known that the Sacred Heart of Jesus wishes that the Immaculate Heat of Mary be honored with Him. People must ask for peace through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for God has confided the peace of the world to her."
The two Hearts are indeed one, as I have shown. As Mary's will was always one with God, so to her heart is in complete union with the Sacred Heart. Mary is the ideal of what we all should be!
St. John Eudes wrote; "Since our salvation has been wrought in this Heart and through this Heart, it is evident that after God and His Son Jesus, this is the first foundation from which we cannot separate ourselves without incurring the evident danger of ruin and eternal damnation!"
Bishop Sheen tells that Jesus received His body from Mary. It was her blood that ran through His veins. Therefore it was her blood that she watched being shed as He died on the Cross. His heart of flesh He obtained from her. Their hearts are truly one!
Our age has been blessed beyond all understanding, for this sinful generation has been given the knowledge of the Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
We have been told that peace will come through the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, but only if we pray, do penance, and make acts of reparation! What kind of reparation? Eucharistic reparation, where the Heart of Jesus burns for love of man! At the elevation of the Host after the consecration we should say, "May the world burn with love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus and may this come about through the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary!"
Console the Hearts of Jesus and Mary by making the first nine Fridays and first five Saturdays of reparation! Our Lady cannot hold back her Son's arm of Justice forever. The repeated apparitions of the past century and this one have already told us that. Have recourse to this gift, possibly God's last gift to mankind!
1 Severo Rossi and Aventino de Oliverra. Fatima, Consolata Missions Publications. Fatima, Portugal. p.12
2 Ibid. p. 12
3 Ibid. p. 12
4 Ibid. p. 14
5 Margaret Williams, R.S.C.J., (New York, Sheed and Ward. 1957) p. 17
6 Ibid. p. 22
St. Gertrude the Great, The Herald of Divine Love. Tan Books and Publishers, Inc. Rockford, Illinois. 1977
The Imitation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Rev. Peter J. Arnoudt S.J. (Tan Books and Publishers, Inc. Rockford, Illinois, 1984.)
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Father Jean Croiset, S.J. Translated from the French of the final edition published at Lyons, 1694 by Rev. Patrick O'Connell. (International Institute of the Heart of Jesus,_Inc. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 1976)
Immaculate Heart of Mary, True Devotion. Rev. Robert J. Fox. (Our Sunday Visitor, Inc. Huntington, Indiana. 1986)
Fatimas Message For Our Times. Msgr. Joseph A. Cirrincione. (Tan books and Publisher, Inc. Rockford, Illinois. 1990)
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. Rev. Father Duffner, M.C.S. (Ave Maria Institute, Washington, N.J.
The Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. Translated from the French by a nun of Kylemore Abbey. (The Franciscan Marytown Press. Kenosha, Wisconsin. 1974)
A Woman Clothed with the Sun. Edited by John J. Delaney. (Image Books, Doubleday and CO., Inc. Garden City, N.Y.
Appendix to Chapter 5
Scriptural Sources of the Litany of the Sacred Heart Taken from: The Sacred Heart in the Life of the Church by Margaret Williams. (Sheed and Ward, New York. 1957)
1. Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father.
"Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ the Son of the Living God." Matt. 16:16
"But while he thought on these things behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary they wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." Matt.1:20
"And the Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us (and we saw his glory the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth." John1:14
"And when the Son of Man shall come in His majesty, and all the angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the seat of His majesty." Matt.25:31
"Jesus answered, and said to them...Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." "But He spoke of the temple of His Body." John 2:19,21
"Neither by the blood of goats, or calves, but by His own blood, entered once into the holies, having obtained eternal redemption." Heb.9:12
"and trembling he said: How terrible is this place! this is not other but the house of God; and the gate of heaven." Gen.28:17
"To know also the charity of Christ, which surpasseth all knowledge, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God." Eph.3:19
"Thou hast loved justice and hated iniquity." Heb.1:9
"Who said to him: why askest thou me concerning good? One is good, God." Matt.19:17
"Thou hast loved justice and hated iniquity; therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." Heb.1:9
"And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith: and let all the angels of God adore Him." Heb.1:6
"And they sung a new canticle saying: Thou art worthy, O Lord, to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; because thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God, in thy blood, out of every tribe, and tongue, and people and nation." Apoc.5:9
13. Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts.
"Thou hast subjected all things under his feet. For in that he hath subjected all things to him, he left nothing not subject to him. But now we see not as yet all things subject to him." Heb.2:8
"In whom are hid all the treasure of wisdom and knowledge." Col.2:3
"For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead corporeally." Col.2:9
"And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them. And lo, a voice out of the cloud saying : this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him.' Matt.17:5
17. Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received.
"And of his fullness we all have received, and grace for grace." John1:16
"The blessings of they father are strengthened with the blessings of his fathers; until the desire of the everlasting hills should come; may they be upon the head of Joseph, and upon the crown of the Nazarite among his brethren." Gen.49:26
"And the Lord direct your hearts in the charity of God and the patience of Christ." II Thess.3:5
"The same is Lord over all, rich unto all that call upon Him." Rom.10:12
21. Heart of Jesus, fountain of life and holiness.
"You shall draw water with joy out of the Savior's fountains." Rom.10:12
"And He is the propitiation for our sins." I John2:2
"He shall be filled with reproaches." Jer., Lam.3:30
"He was wounded for our iniquities, He was bruised for our sins...and by His bruises we are healed." Is.53:5
"He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death." Phil.2:8
"One of the soldiers with a spear opened His side." John19:34
"Come to me, all you that labor and are burdened, and ill refresh you." Matt.11:28
"We declare unto you the life eternal which was with the ather and hath appeared to us." I John1:2
"Through Him to reconcile all things unto Himself, aking peace through the blood of His cross." Col.1:20
"The wicked have wrought upon my back." Ps.128:3
"Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be aved." Rom.10:13
"The Lord Himself shall come down from heaven with ommandment...and the dead who are in Christ shall rise irst." I Thess.4:13
"The city hath no need of the sun nor of the moon to hine in it, for the glory of God hath enlightened it and the amb is the lamp thereof." Apoc.21:23