The Catholic Defender: Day 7- Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Day 7- Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
The Catholic Church dedicates the month of August to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The Immaculate Heart is often venerated together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus (the devotion we celebrate in June), and with good reason.
The month of August is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart. Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of August is traditionally dedi- cated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
It commemorates the joys and sorrows of the Mother of God, her virtues and perfections, her love for God and her Divine Son and her compassionate love for mankind. As early as 1643, St. John Eudes and his followers observed 8 February as the feast of the Heart of Mary.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Chaste Heart of St. Joseph. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is a symbol of Christ's immense love for humanity, with a wound in its side and a crown of thorns representing the damage of our sins.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary gives us an example of how we as Christians should love. As Pope Paul IVsaid: May the Immaculate Heart of Mary shine before the eyes of all Christians as the model of perfect love toward God and toward our fellow beings; may it lead them toward the Holy Sacraments by virtue of which souls are cleansed from the stains of sin and are preserved from it. May it also stimulate them to make reparation for the innumerable offenses against the Divine Majesty. Lastly, may it shine like a banner of unity and a spur to perfect the bonds of brotherhood among all Christians in the bosom of the one Church of Jesus Christ, which “taught by the Holy Spirit, honors her with filial affection and piety as a most beloved mother.”
O Immaculate Heart of Mary, Heavenly beauty and splendor of the Father, you are the most valued Heavenly treasure. New Eve, immaculate in soul, spirit and body, created of the Godly seed by the Spirit of God, you are the spiritual Mother of mankind.
Pure Virgin, full of grace then and now, your whole being was raised Heavenly in full glory, to be elevated above all the hosts within the Kingdom of God. O Heavenly Mother, Queen of Heaven and earth, I recognize the glory of your highest title, The Immaculate Heart of Mary
O Most Blessed Mother, heart of love, heart of mercy, ever listening, caring, consoling, hear our prayer. As your children, we implore your intercession with Jesus your Son. Receive with understanding and compassion the petitions we place before you today, especially...
Loving Mother, dispenser of endless blessings, You who continuously intercedes on our behalf, please present my need before your loving Son Jesus. (special intention). We are comforted in knowing your heart is ever open to those who ask for your prayer.
We trust to your gentle care and intercession, those whom we love and who are sick or lonely or hurting. Help all of us, Holy Mother, to bear our burdens in this life until we may share eternal life and peace with God forever. Amen.
This litany was composed by John Henry (Cardinal) Newman shortly after he converted to Catholicism in 1845. Let us pray this with reverence and recall the many blessings that have flowed through Mary from Jesus to us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Mary, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, like unto the Heart of God, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, united to the Heart of Jesus, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, instrument of the Holy Ghost, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, sanctuary of the Divine Trinity, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, tabernacle of God Incarnate, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, immaculate from thy creation, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, full of grace, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, blessed among all hearts, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, throne of glory, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, most humble, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, holocaust of Divine Love, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, fastened to the Cross with Jesus Crucified, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, comfort of the afflicted, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, refuge of sinners, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, hope of the agonizing, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, seat of mercy, Pray for us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
V. Immaculate Mary, meek and humble of heart,
R. Make our hearts like unto the Heart of Jesus.
Let Us Pray: O most merciful God, Who, for the salvation of sinners and the refuge of the miserable, was pleased that the Most Pure Heart of Mary should be most like in charity and pity to the Divine Heart of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, grant that we, who commemorate this sweet and loving Heart, by the merits and intercession of the same Blessed Virgin, may merit to be found like unto the Heart of Jesus, through the same Christ Our Lord. R. Amen.
1. Salvation of our own soul
To all those who, on the First Saturday of five consecutive months … fulfill all the conditions requested, I promise to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their soul. This little devotion practiced with a good heart, is then enough to procure infallibly for us – ex opere operato so to speak – as with the sacraments – the grace of final perseverance, of eternal salvation! And this promise is without any exclusion, limitation, restriction. To all who ….. I promise. Heaven for eternity for five Holy Communions!
2. Salvation of sinners
So numerous are the souls which the justice of God condemns for sins committed against Me that I come to ask for reparation. Sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray. (Our Lady to Sister Lucy at Tuy, June 13,1929.) In consideration of this little devotion, They (Jesus and Mary) wish to give the grace of pardon to souls who have had the misfortune of offending the Immaculate Heart of Mary, wrote Sister Lucy in a letter of May, 1930.
3. Peace in the world
Whether the world has war or peace depends on the practice of this devotion, along with the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This is why I desire its propagation so ardently, especially because this is also the will of our dear Mother in Heaven. Sister Lucy, March 19,1939.
The promise made by Our Lady to Lucia on July 13th, 1917, that there would be a future manifestation concerning the practice of the Five First Saturdays, was fulfilled on December 10th, 1925. Lucia was then a Postulant Sister in the Dorothean Convent at Tuy, Spain. On this occasion Our Lady appeared together with the Child Jesus, Who spoke first to Lucia:
“Have compassion on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with thorns which ungrateful men place therein at every moment, while there is no one who does an act of reparation to withdraw them for her.”
Our Lady then addressed Lucia as follows: “Behold, my daughter, my Heart encircled with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce It at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. Give me consolation, you, at least; and make known on my behalf that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all who on the First Saturday of five consecutive months confess their sins, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the purpose of making reparation to my Immaculate Heart.”
2.Receive Holy Communion
3.Devout Recitation of the Rosary with Meditation
4.With the intention of making reparation.
Historically, devotion to Mary Most Holy in the form of her Immaculate Heart first occurs in the thirteenth century with St. Mechtilde, St. Gertrude, St. Bernardine of Siena and others. In the seventeenth century, St. Francis de Sales was an exponent of this devotion. But it was St. John Eudes the great apostle of the Immaculate Heart (1601-1680), who gave the decisive impulse to the practice.
In the same century, the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus came to light through St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, and her confessor, St. Claude de La Colombiere. As the devotion to the Sacred Heart spread, so did the devotion to the Immaculate Heart. Both St. Margaret Mary and St. Claude, were deeply dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as well.
Beginning with Pope Pius VI, several popes incrementally spread the devotion, but in 1944 Pope Pius XII extended it to the whole Church, fixing the celebration on August 22. Today, the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is celebrated on the Saturday following the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which is moveable, always observed on a Friday, nineteen days after Pentecost Sunday.
Of all symbols, the human heart is perhaps the most common and universal.
Several examples of the various symbolic meanings of the word "heart" are found in both the Old and New Testaments:
"With all watchfulness keep thy heart, because life issued out from it." Proverbs 4:23
"I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Ezechiel 36:26-27
"Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8
"That Christ may dwell by faith in your hearts." Ephesians 3:17
"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Psalm 50:10
Closely linked to emotions that alter one’s heartbeat, the heart symbolizes one’s preference, and especially one’s love.
A mother’s heart, for example, is a symbol of selfless love, full of affection and unconditionally capable of the greatest sacrifices.
On the other hand, the epithet of Richard I of England (1157-1199), “the Lion-Hearted,” expresses his fearlessness, courage, indomitable prowess, and indefatigable combativeness.
"See, my daughter, My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at every moment with blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, make sure to console me and announce that all those who for five months, on the first Saturdays, go to Confession, receive Communion, say five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for 15 minutes meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the purpose of making reparation to Me, I promise to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their souls." — Our Lady to Lucia, October 10, 1925
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.