Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
The word "heart" brings to our minds LOVE and the emotions that emit from the word. A popular Marian devotion is that of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is celebrated close to the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
According to the doctrine of the Church, Mary is the Immaculate Conception. This gift to Mary from God was in preparation for the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, Jesus Christ.
Mary was conceived without original sin and was preserved throughout her life from committing sin. Because of this grace, her heart is called immaculate. In her carrying Jesus within her, His heart was created and given the life of a human and the unconditional love of God. This is why the two hearts are honored so close together.
The Daughters of Charity recognize the Immaculate Heart of Mary with special devotion. In 1830, Mary appeared to St. Catherine Laboure, a young French Daughter of Charity, and asked her to have a medal made and distributed to the faithful, especially for the grace of the conversion of sinners. The medal was to be worn around the neck.
On the front of the medal was the image of Mary, encircled with the words, "O MARY CONCEIVED WITHOUT SIN, PRAY FOR US WHO HAVE RECOURSE TO THEE." These words, directly from Mary, were confirmation of the dogma of her Immaculate Conception. On the reverse of the medal, is an image of the Cross of Christ surmounted by the letter "M." Beneath it are symbols of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
This apparition to St. Catherine Laboure spread the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary while other apparitions confirmed Mary's title as the Immaculate Conception.
Let us join in prayer on June 9, the day the Church commemorates her Immaculate Heart, and June 8, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and ask Mary to help us live our lives with integrity and for the graces needed to live our life centered in prayer with a great love for Mary, her Son, and all those we meet.
Written by Sister Martha Garcia, D.C.
Miraculous Medal Photo Source: ChurchPop