"Father, the Most Holy Virgin did not tell me that we are in the last times of the world but she made me understand this for three reasons. The first reason is because she told me that the devil is in the mood for engaging in a decisive battle against the Virgin. And a decisive battle is the final battle where one side will be victorious and the other side will suffer defeat. Hence from now on we must choose sides. Either we are for God or we are for the devil. There is no other possibility.
The second reason is because she said to my cousins as well as to myself that God is giving two last remedies to the world. These are the Holy Rosary and Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. These are the last two remedies which signify that there will be no others.
The third reason is because in the plans of Divine Providence, God always before He is about to chastise the world, exhausts all other remedies. Now, when He sees that the world pays no attention whatsoever then, as we say in our imperfect manner of speaking, He offers us with a certain trepidation the last means of salvation, His Most Holy Mother. It is with a certain trepidation because if you despise and repulse this ultimate means we will not have any more forgiveness from Heaven because we will have committed a sin which the Gospel calls the sin against the Holy Spirit. This sin consists of openly rejecting with full knowledge and consent, the salvation which He offers. Let us remember that Jesus Christ is a very good Son and that He does not permit that we offend and despise His Most Holy Mother. We have recorded through many centuries of Church history the obvious testimony which demonstrates, by the terrible chastisements which have befallen those who have attacked the honor of His Most Holy Mother, how Our Lord Jesus Christ has always defended the honor of His Mother." -Sister Lucia dos Santos of Fatima's interview with Father Augustin Fuentes, December 26, 1957 (THE STORY OF OUR LADY OF FATIMA By Brother Ernest, C.S.C.)
The last eight centuries centuries have witnessed an incredible outpouring of Heavenly graces upon mankind through the loving hands of the Mediatrix of All Graces, the Blessed Virgin Mary, who gave Holy Rosary to Saint Dominic de Guzman, the founder of the Order of Preachers, in 1214, and who gave the Brown Scapular to Saint Simon Stock just thirty-seven years later, on July 16, 1251. It was two hundred nine years later that Our Lady told Father Alan de la Roche in 1460 to spread devotion to her Most Holy Rosary anew, its practice have been all but erased from the minds of Catholics. Just seventy-one year after that, on December 9, 1531, Our Lady appeared to a fifty-five year-old widower, the Venerable Juan Diego, as he was walking to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, explaining to him that she wanted him to tell Bishop Juan de Zumarraga that she wanted a shrine built her in honor in Mexico City:
For I am your merciful Mother, to you and to all mankind who love me and trust in me and invoke my help. Therefore, go to the dwelling of the Bishop in Mexico City and say that the Virgin Mary sent you to make known to him her great desire.
After two fruitless meetings with Bishop Zumarraga, Juan Diego returned on December 12, 1531, with the "sign" that the bishop had requested, namely, the Castilian roses that could not grow in Mexico in the month of December. Bishop Zumarraga received another sign, one that he was not counting on receiving: the miraculous image of Our Lady on Juan Diego's tilma in exactly the manner that he, Juan Diego, had described her appearance. The bishop saw. He believed, kneeling in front of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, begging forgiveness for his earlier unbelief, spending time before Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's Real Presence Blessed Sacrament in prayer after prostrating himself in front of Our Lady's miraculous image.
As is well know, over nine million indigenous peoples in the Americas converted to the true Faith as a result of the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Even with that, however, there were skeptics, especially as the years advanced and some of the clergy in Mexico deemed themselves to be more "sophisticated" than the peasants who believed in the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe as it had been handed down to them. Oh, I am not referring here to the dastardly efforts of Abbot Guillermo Schulenburg, the director of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe for over three decades, in 1996 to debunk belief in the existence of Juan Diego, mind you, and in the miraculous nature of the image left by Our Lady herself on Juan Diego's tilma. Oh, no. I am referring to efforts made by clerics in the Seventeenth Century, just a little over one hundred years after Our Lady's apparitions, to debunk belief in the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe, paralleling efforts in our own day to attempt to discredit or to debunk the messages of Our Lady in La Salette, France, in 1846, and near Fatima, Portugal, in 1917.
Regardless as to the level of acceptance of her apparitions, Our Lady kept manifesting herself to sinful, ungrateful men, especially to Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres in Quito, Ecuador, just twenty-three years after her apparition to Juan Diego on Tepeyac Hell, Mexico, doing so with great frequency in the Nineteenth and early-Twentieth Centuries.
Our Lady appeared to Saint Catherine Laboure on July 18, 1830, in the chapel of the Sisters of Charity on the Rue de Bac in Paris, France. Demonstrating her motherly care and concern for the souls redeemed at the price of the shedding of every single drop of her Divine Son's Most Precious Blood at the moment she herself was pierced with the Fifth Sword of Sorrow that had been prophesied by the aged Simeon at the time of her Purification in the Temple forty days after the Nativity of her Divine Son, Our Lady told Saint Catherine:
“God wishes to charge you with a mission. You will be contradicted, but do not fear; you will have the grace to do what is necessary. Tell your spiritual director all that passes within you. Times are evil in France and in the world. (The Message of Our Lady of La Salette. )
Our Lady returned on November 27, 1830, appearing in a truly marvelous manner, replete with these words arching over her head from side to side: "O Mary conceived sin without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee," presaging by twenty-four years the solemn proclamation of her own Immaculate Conception by Pope Pius IX and revealing herself to be the Mediatrix of All Graces.
In between her apparitions to Saint Catherine Laboure in Paris and her eighteen apparitions between February 11 and July 16, 1858, to Saint Bernadette Soubirous, in Lourdes, France, near the Pyrenees Mountains, Our Lady appeared to Sister Justine Bisqueyburo, also a Sister of Charity, on September 8, 1840, in Paris, France, to give her the Green Scapular to help effect the conversion and salvation of those who had fallen away from the practice of the Faith or were entirely outside of the Catholic Church. There is in this apparition a presaging of Our Lady's explicit statement on July 13, 1917, in the Cova da Iria, Portugal, to establish devotion to her Immaculate Heart. "Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death" is the prayer we are to pray for each person to whom we give the Green Scapular.
Six years thereafter, on September 19, 1846, Our Lady appeared to two shepherd children, Maximim Giraud and Melanie Calvert, in La Salette, France, giving them a message that is scoffed at by man but is certainly a description of our own times of apostasy and betrayal:
A forerunner of the Antichrist, with his troops gathered from several nations, will fight against the true Christ, the only Saviour of the world. He will shed much blood and will want to annihilate the worship of God to make himself be looked upon as a God.
The earth will be struck by calamities of all kinds (in addition to plague and famine which will be wide-spread). There will be a series of wars until the last war, which will then be fought by the ten Kings of the Antichrist, all of whom will have one and the same plan and will be the only rulers of the world. Before this comes to pass, there will be a kind of false peace in the world. People will think of nothing but amusement. The wicked will give themselves over to all kinds of sin. But the children of the holy Church, the children of My faith, My true followers, they will grow in their love for God and in all the virtues most precious to Me. Blessed are the souls humbly guided by the Holy Spirit! I shall fight at their side until they reach a fullness of years.
Nature is asking for vengeance because of man, and she trembles with dread at what must happen to the earth stained with crime. Tremble, earth, and you who proclaim yourselves as serving Jesus Christ and who, on the inside, only adore yourselves, tremble, for God will hand you over to His enemy, because the holy places are in a state of corruption. Many convents are no longer houses of God, but the grazing-grounds of Asmodeas and his like. It will be during this time that the Antichrist will be born of a Hebrew nun, a false virgin who will communicate with the old serpent, the master of impurity, his father will be B. At birth, he will spew out blasphemy; he will have teeth, in a word, he will be the devil incarnate. He will scream horribly, he will perform wonders, he will feed on nothing but impurity. He will have brothers who, although not devils incarnate like him, will be children of evil. At the age of twelve, they will draw attention upon themselves by the gallant victories they will have won; soon they will each lead armies, aided by the legions of hell.
The seasons will be altered, the earth will produce nothing but bad fruit, the stars will lose their regular motion, the moon will only reflect a faint reddish glow. Water and fire will give the earth's globe convulsions and terrible earthquakes which will swallow up mountains, cities, etc...
Rome will lose faith and become the seat of the Antichrist.
The demons of the air, together with the Antichrist, will perform great wonders on earth and in the atmosphere, and men will become more and more perverted. God will take care of His faithful servants and men of good will. The Gospel will be preached everywhere, and all peoples of all nations will get to know the truth.
I make an urgent appeal to the earth. I call on the true disciples of the living God who reigns in Heaven; I call on the true followers of Christ made man, the only true Saviour of men; I call on My children, the true faithful, those who have given themselves to Me so that I may lead them to My divine Son, those whom I carry in My arms, so to speak, those who have lived on My spirit. Finally, I call on the Apostles of the Last Days, the faithful disciples of Jesus Christ who have lived in scorn for the world and for themselves, in poverty and in humility, in scorn and in silence, in prayer and in mortification, in chastity and in union with God, in suffering and unknown to the world. It is time they came out and filled the world with light. Go and reveal yourselves to be my cherished children. I am at your side and within you, provided that your faith is the light which shines upon you in these unhappy days. May your zeal make you famished for the glory and the honor of Jesus Christ. Fight, children of light, you, the few who can see. For now is the time of all times, the end of all ends.
The Church will be in eclipse, the world will be in dismay. But now Enoch and Eli will come, filled with the Spirit of God. They will preach with the might of God, and men of good will will believe in God, and many souls will be comforted. They will make great steps forward through the power of the Holy Spirit and will condemn the devilish lapses of the Antichrist. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth! There will be bloody wars and famines, plagues and infectious diseases. It will rain with a fearful hail of animals. There will be thunderstorms which will shake cities, earthquakes which will swallow up countries. Voices will be heard in the air. Men will beat their heads against walls, call for their death, and on another side death will be their torment. Blood will flow on all sides. Who will be the victor if God does not shorten the length of the test? At the blood, the tears and prayers of the righteous, God will relent. Enoch and Eli will be put to death. Pagan Rome will disappear. The fire of Heaven will fall and consume three cities. All the universe will be struck with terror and many will let themselves be lead astray because they have not worshipped the true Christ who lives among them. It is time; the sun is darkening; only faith will survive.
Now is the time; the abyss is opening. Here is the King of Kings of darkness, here is the Beast with his subjects, calling himself the Savior of the world. He will rise proudly into the air to go to Heaven. He will be smothered by the breath of the Archangel Saint Michael. He will fall, and the earth, which will have been in a continuous series of evolutions for three days, will open up its fiery bowels; and he will have plunged for all eternity with all his followers into the everlasting chasms of hell. And then water and fire will purge the earth and consume all the works of men's pride and all will be renewed. God will be served and glorified."
At this juncture it wise to reiterate the simple Catholic truth that private revelations that have been approved by the authority of the Catholic Church are not necessary to believe to save one's soul. They are not part of the Deposit of Faith, which contains the entirety of Divine Revelation (Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition), which Revelation ended with the death of the last Apostle, Saint John the Beloved (Evangelist). Whatever solemn dogmatic proclamations have been made by the Church since the death of Saint John the Beloved are based upon what was contained in the Deposit of Faith and believed "always, everywhere and by everyone" but needed to elaborated and pronounced under the infallible guidance of the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost.
An approved private revelation contains nothing contrary to Faith and morals, although it must be admitted in the practical realm of things that these revelations have provided us with various helps to achieve our salvation as members of the Catholic Church. The Holy Rosary, the Brown Scapular, the Miraculous Medal and the Green Scapular each is a means to help us--and our fellow sinners--get home to Heaven. As one who knows pretty much every sin that he has ever committed, I have this small bit of advice for my fellow sinners out there in cyberspace: only a fool would ignore these great helps given us by our Heavenly Mother to effect our salvation and thus to bring us home to her in the glory of the Beatific Vision of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost for all eternity.
Meaning not for one moment to disparage Our Lady's apparitions in Pontmain and Pellevoisin, France, or in Knock, Ireland--yesterday, Thursday, August 21, 2015, was the Feast of Our Lady of Knock--(or Beauraing and Banneaux, Belgium), the penultimate Marian apparition is, of course, that which took place in the Cova da Iria near Fatima, Portugal, between May 13, 1917, and October 13, 1917. Our Lady appeared to Jacinta frequently before her death on February 20, 1920. She appeared also to Sister Lucia dos Santos in the 1925 and 1929 in two different convents in Spain. It was during the apparition of Our Lady on July 13, 1917, that she explicitly stated her desire to establish devotion to her Immaculate Heart, of which the Most Sacred Heart of her Divine Son was formed, to save poor sinners from Hell, a vision of which she had just given to Jacinta and Francisco Marto and to their cousin, Lucia do Santos, whose work on earth was to spread devotion to the Immaculate Heart and the keeping of the Five First Saturdays.
Here is Lucia's description of what took place on July 13, 1917:
Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repulsive likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent. This vision lasted but an instant. How can we ever be grateful enough to our kind heavenly Mother, who had already prepared us by promising, in the first Apparition, to take us to heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of fear and terror. (Our Lady's Words at Fatima.)
Our Lady then instructed the children concerning the meaning of the terrifying vision of Hell that they had just seen:
You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illuminated by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world." (Our Lady's Words at Fatima.)
Devotion to the Pure Heart of Mary was not unknown prior to Our Lady's Fatima apparitions. Saint John Eudes was devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Holy Heart of Mary, establishing a congregation of Religious Sisters by the name of the Society of the Heart of the Mother Most Admirable. It was he who received permission for a Mass to be offered in honor of the Holy Heart of Mary in 1648. Saint Louis de Montfort preached total consecration to Jesus through Mary in the Eighteenth Century in recognition of the unique union between the two sinless Hearts, one belonging to the God-Man and the other belonging to the fairest creature of our race, Mary Immaculate. Saint Louis de Montfort's Solemn Consecration to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom through the Blessed Virgin Mary speaks of this perfect communion of hearts and souls:
O ETERNAL and Incarnate Wisdom! O sweetest and most adorable Jesus! True God and true Man, only Son of the Eternal Father and of Mary ever virgin! I adore Thee profoundly in the bosom and splendors of Thy Father during eternity, and I adore Thee also in the virginal bosom of Mary, Thy most worthy Mother, in the time of Thine Incarnation.
I give Thee thanks for that Thou hast annihilated Thyself, taking the form of a slave, in order to rescue me from the cruel slavery of the devil. I praise and glorify Thee because Thou hast been pleased to submit Thyself to Mary, Thy holy Mother, in all things, in order to make me Thy faithful slave through her. But, alas! Ungrateful and faithless as I have been, I have not kept the promises which I made so solemnly to Thee in my Baptism; I have not fulfilled my obligations; I do not deserve to be called Thy child, nor yet Thy slave; and as there is nothing in me which does not merit Thine anger and Thy repulse, I dare not come by myself before Thy most holy and august Majesty. It is on this account that I have recourse to the intercession of Thy most holy Mother, whom Thou hast given me for a mediatrix with Thee. It is through her that I hope to obtain of Thee contrition, the pardon of my sins, and the acquisition and preservation of wisdom.
Hail, then, O Immaculate Mary, living tabernacle of the Divinity, where the Eternal Wisdom willed to be hidden and to be adored by Angels and by men! Hail, O Queen of Heaven and earth, to whose empire everything is subject which is under God. Hail, O sure refuge of sinners, whose mercy fails no one. Hear the desires which I have of the Divine Wisdom; and for that end receive the vows and offerings which in my lowliness I present to thee.
I, (name), a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy hands the vows of my Baptism; I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before.
In the presence of all the Heavenly Court, I choose thee this day for my Mother and mistress. I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions-----past, present and future-----leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God, in time and in eternity.
Receive, O benignant Virgin, this little offering of my slavery, in honor of and in union with that subjection which the Eternal Wisdom deigned to have to thy maternity, in homage to the power which both of you have over this poor sinner and in thanksgiving for the privileges with which the Holy Trinity has favored thee. I declare that I wish henceforth, as thy true slave, to seek thy honor and to obey thee in all things.
O admirable Mother, present me to thy dear Son as His eternal slave, so that as He has redeemed me by thee, by thee He may receive me! O Mother of Mercy, grant me the grace to obtain the true Wisdom of God, arid for that end receive me among those whom thou dost love and teach, whom thou dost lead, nourish and protect as thy children and thy slaves.
O faithful Virgin, make me in all things so perfect a disciple, imitator and slave of the Incarnate Wisdom, Jesus Christ thy Son, that I may attain, by thine intercession and by thine example, to the fullness of His age on earth and of His glory in Heaven. Amen. (Saint Louis de Montfort, True Devotion to Mary.)
It should be noted that Popes Leo XIII, Saint Pius X, and Pius XII were very influenced by True Devotion to Mary, and Pope Pius XII, it is clear, certainly established the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1944 as a direct response to Our Lady's Fatima Message even though there is no official recognition of this fact in the Divine Office. Far from being over, we are living in the Age of Mary in preparation for the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart.
Our total offering of ourselves to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary means that we must spend ourselves entirely for souls without counting the cost, remembering that the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus suffered as one during His Passion and Death. We give, therefore, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which was pierced with Seven Swords of Sorrow (the Prophecy of Simeon, the Flight into Egypt, the Losing of the Child Jesus in the Temple, the Meeting on the Way of the Cross, the Crucifixion and Death of Jesus, the Pieta, the Burial of the Body of Jesus) as a result of our own sins and ingratitude and indifferences and lukewarmness having transcended time, all of our prayers, penances, sufferings, crosses, mortifications, humiliations, joys, and whatever merit we might earn so that she can be present them to the Blessed Trinity herself. To be a slave of Jesus through Mary means that we voluntarily renounce the ability to "direct" our own prayers, entrusting all to the Blessed Virgin Mary's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. It is a great act of total trust in Our Lady's all-powerful intercession to renounce oneself in order to give her all of our glories and each of our crosses.
A simple prayer of Saint Louis de Montfort to Our Lord Jesus Christ anticipated the wider spread of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary that would take place almost exactly two hundred years after his death in 1716:
O most loving Jesus, deign to let me pour forth my gratitude before Thee, for the grace Thou hast bestowed upon me in giving me to Thy holy Mother through the devotion of Holy Bondage, that she may be my advocate in the presence of Thy majesty and my support in my extreme misery. Alas, O Lord! I am so wretched that without this dear Mother I should be certainly lost. Yes, Mary is necessary for me at Thy side and everywhere: that she may appease Thy just wrath, because I have so often offended Thee; that she may save me from the eternal punishment of Thy justice, which I deserve; that she may contemplate Thee, speak to Thee, pray to Thee, approach Thee and please Thee; that she may help me to save my soul and the souls of others; in short, Mary is necessary for me that I may always do Thy holy will and seek Thy greater glory in all things. Ah, would that I could proclaim throughout the whole world the mercy that Thou hast shown to me! Would that everyone might know I should be already damned, were it not for Mary! Would that I might offer worthy thanksgiving for so great a blessing! Mary is in me. Oh, what a treasure! Oh, what a consolation! And shall I not be entirely hers'? Oh, what ingratitude! My dear Saviour, send me death rather than such a calamity, for I would rather die than live without belonging entirely to Mary. With Saint John the Evangelist at the foot of the Cross, I have taken her a thousand times for my own and as many times have given myself to her; but if I have not yet done it as Thou, dear Jesus, dost wish, I now renew this offering as Thou dost desire me to renew it. And if Thou seest in my soul or my body anything that does not belong to this august princess, I pray Thee to take it and cast it far from me, for whatever in me does not belong to Mary is unworthy of Thee.
O Holy Ghost, grant me all these graces. Plant in my soul the Tree of true Life, which is Mary; cultivate it and tend it so that it may grow and blossom and bring forth the fruit of life in abundance. O Holy Ghost, give me great devotion to Mary, Thy faithful spouse; give me great confidence in her maternal heart and an abiding refuge in her mercy, so that by her Thou mayest truly form in me Jesus Christ, great and mighty, unto the fullness of His perfect age. Amen. (Saint Louis de Montfort, True Devotion to Mary.)
Our Lady was sent to earth at Fatima to establish a more widespread devotion to her Immaculate Heart than had been practiced theretofore (although Saint Anthony Mary Claret was quite an apostle of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Spain and Cuba before his death in 1870, establishing the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1849), to demonstrate her Divine Son's great desire to save the sinners for whom He shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross. Numerous prayers, two of which were taught to Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia directly by Our Lady during her Fatima apparitions, are now prayed that invoke the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. Here are the two that were taught by the Mother of God herself:
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins! Save us from the fires of Hell! Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need.
Sacrifice yourselves for sinners and say many times, especially when you make some sacrifice: "O Jesus, it is for Thy love, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary." (Our Lady's Words at Fatima.)
And although there is considerably controversy even in traditional circles across the ecclesiastical divide about what constitutes the proper form and the timing of consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (and whether it has been done properly or not, whether it is too late or that it must be done as Sister Lucia said before the conciliar Vatican muzzled her), Our Lady did mention this consecration in the July 13, 1917, and the errors of Russia are on full display in the current administration of Barack Hussein Obama. If the consecration of Russia by a pope with all of the world's bishops is necessary, as I believe is the case, what greater triumph of the devil can there be than to place antipopes in the conciliar Vatican and false bishops in chancery offices to attempt to prevent or delay the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
Regardless of one's interpretation of the proper form and timing of the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, each of us can and must plant seeds to usher in the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in our daily lives. This is what Father Maximilian Kolbe did in his apostolate of the Militia of the Immaculata, desirous of establishing the City of Mary Immaculate, which is why he was hated by naturalists across the board (Zionists, Freemasons, national socialists, international socialists) and imprisoned in Auschwitz by the National Socialists (the Nazis). The day may be coming, sooner than we might like to think possible, when we will be rounded up and imprisoned for speaking as Catholics publicly, especially by calling sinners to conversion through a love of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
A traditional Catholic website summarized the constituent elements of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It would be most foolish of me to attempt to "improve" upon this cogent summary:
This means that all people must amend their lives, give up their easy lives of sin, ask pardon for their sins, receive the Sacrament of Penance, say some extra prayers for the conversion of sinners, and make reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, so grievously offended by the sins of mankind.
1) offering up your daily tasks as a sacrifice in reparation to atone for our sins;
2) fulfilling our daily duties and responsibilities to the best of our abilities;
3) accepting the responsibilities of our state in life;
4) obeying the Ten Commandments of God.
3. Daily Recitation of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Rosary is like a sword or weapon the Holy Theotokos, Mother of God, can use to cut down heresy and the forces of evil. It is most powerful and many times it has saved the world from situations as bad as, if not worse than, the ones facing us today.
4. Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
There are two parts to this consecration.
The first part consists in wearing the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel as a sign of one's actual consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The second part consists in the recitation, on these same Five Consecutive First Saturdays, of an Act of Personal Consecration to the Heart of Mary.
For your convenience, We offer you the following Consecration:
Personal Consecration to the Sorrowful & Immaculate Heart of Mary
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, dwelling pure and holy, cover my soul with thy maternal protection so that being ever faithful to the voice of Jesus, it responds to His love and obeys His Divine Will. I wish, O my Mother, to keep unceasingly before me thy co-redemption in order to live intimately with thy Heart which is totally united to the Heart of thy Divine Son. Fasten me to this Heart by thy own virtues and sorrows. Protect me always. Amen.
5. Making the Five First Saturdays
This devotion consists in:
1. Receiving the Sacrament of Penance within 8 days before or after receiving the Holy Eucharist on Five Consecutive First Saturdays.
2. Receiving the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist on these same Five Consecutive First Saturdays.
3. Saying 5 decades of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary on these same Five Consecutive First Saturdays.
4. Meditating for 15 minutes with Our Lady on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary on these same Five Consecutive First
A sermon of whatever length can take the place of this meditation on either one or all of these same Five Consecutive First Saturdays. (Our Lady of Fatima, Plus: Her Promise of Protection with Her Protective Shield. This is "Shrine of Saint Jude" website, which is not associated with Saint Jude Shrine in Stafford, Texas.)
Perhaps the only thing that should be added here is that we should have our own homes Enthroned to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. What a wonderful day, the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, instituted by Pope Pius XII on the twenty-fifth anniversary of Our Lady's first apparition in the Cova da Iria, to have your home enthroned to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. What a wonderful day for each of us to renew our own consecration to Jesus through Mary, using any of the formulae extant, including that of Saint Louis de Montfort or that of Father Maximilian Kolbe or the form composed by Pope Pius XII himself:
Most Holy Virgin Mary, tender Mother of men, to fulfill the desires of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the request of the Vicar of ThySon on earth, we consecrate ourselves and our families to Thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, O Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and we recommend to Thee, all the people of our country and all the world.
Please accept our consecration, dearest Mother, and use us as Thou wish to accomplish Thy designs in the world.
O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and Queen of the World, rule over us, together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, Our King. Save us from the spreading flood of modern paganism; kindle in our hearts and homes the love of purity, the practice of a virtuous life, an ardent zeal for souls, and a desire to pray the Rosary more faithfully.
We come with confidence to You, O Throne of Grace and Mother of Fair Love. Inflame us with the same Divine Fire which has inflamed Your own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Make our hearts and homes Your shrine, and through us, make the Heart of Jesus, together with your rule, triumph in every heart and home. Amen. (Devotion to Our Lady.)
Each of us most likely had earthly mothers who loved us, at least on the natural (if not the supernatural) level, with their whole hearts. No matter how devoted an earthly mother is to her children, however, there is always the stain of imperfection, sometimes even of a possessiveness. No such imperfection is to be found in the love that exists between the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. No such imperfection is to be found in the love that these two hearts have for each one of us, which is why Our Lord Himself sent His Most Blessed Mother to us at Fatima so that we would make good, efficacious use of the "two last remedies" He has chosen to emphasize in these times of apostasy and betrayal: His Blessed Mother's Most Holy Rosary and devotion to her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. We must permit the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary to take possession of us, including all of our liberty, so that we can be theirs as we attempt to fulfill the duties of our states-in-life each day in this passing, mortal vale of tears as a preparation to be theirs for all eternity we we bask in the warmth of their pure love for us, something that only the purest of souls in this life can even attempt to comprehend.
The readings from the Matins for today's Divine Office contain a reflection on the Immaculate Heart of Mary written by Saint Bernardine of Siena in the Fourteenth Century:
From a Sermon by St. Bernardine of Siena
From sermon 9 on the Visitation
What man, unless secure in a divine oracle, may presume to speak with impure, indeed with polluted lips, anything little or great about the true Parent of God and of man, whom the Father before all ages predestined a perpetual Virgin, whom the Son chose as his most worthy Mother, whom the Holy Ghost prepared as the dwelling place of every grace? With what words shall I, a lowly man, give expression to the highest sentiments of the virginal Heart uttered by the holiest mouth, for which the tongues of all the Angels do not suffice? For the Lord saith: A good man bringeth forth good things from the good treasure of his heart; and this word can also be a treasure. Among pure mortals who can be conceived of as better than she who was worthy to be the Mother of God, who for nine months had as a guest in her heart and in her womb God himself? What better treasure than the divine love itself, which was burning in the Heart of the Virgin as in a furnace?
And so, from this Heart as from a furnace of divine ardor the blessed Virgin brought forth good works, that is, words of the most ardent charity. For as from a vessel full of the richest and best wine only good wine can be poured; or as from a furnace of intense heat only a burning fire is emítted; so indeed from the Mother of Christ no word can go forth except of the greatest and most intense divine love and ardor. It is also the mark of a wise woman and matron to speak few words, but words that are effective and full of meaning; and so seven times, as it were, seven words of such wonderful meaning and virtue are read as having been uttered by the most blessed Mother of Christ, that mystically it may be shown she was full of the sevenfold grace. To the Angel twice only did she speak; to Elizabeth also twice; with her Son likewise twice, once in the temple, and a second time at the marriage feast; and once to the attendants. And on all those occasions she always said very little; with this one exception that she spake at length in the praise of God and in thanksgiving, namely, when she said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. But here she did not speak with man, but with God. Those seven words were spoken in a wonderful degree and order according to the seven courses and acts of love; as if they were seven flames from the furnace of her Heart. (Matins, Divine Office, Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.)
As noted above, Pope Saint Pius X was very devoted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, drawing inspiration from the writings of Saint Louis de Montfort, which he studied closely, as can be seen from our last true pope to be canonized thus far in Ad Diem Illium Laetissimum, February 2, 1904, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Pope Pius IX's issuance of the Papal Bull Ineffabili Deus, which decreed infallibly the dogma of Our Lady's Immaculate Conception:
18. If anyone desires a confirmation of this it may easily be found in the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. For leaving aside tradition which, as well as Scripture, is a source of truth, how has this persuasion of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin appeared so conformed to the Catholic mind and feeling that it has been held as being one, and as it were inborn in the soul of the faithful? "We shrink from saying," is the answer of Dionysius of Chartreux, "of this woman who was to crush the head of the serpent that had been crushed by him and that Mother of God that she had ever been a daughter of the Evil One" (Sent. d. 3, q. 1). No, to the Christian intelligence the idea is unthinkable that the flesh of Christ, holy, stainless, innocent, was formed in the womb of Mary of a flesh which had ever, if only for the briefest moment, contracted any stain. And why so, but because an infinite opposition separates God from sin? There certainly we have the origin of the conviction common to all Christians that Jesus Christ before, clothed in human nature, He cleansed us from our sins in His blood, accorded Mary the grace and special privilege of being preserved and exempted, from the first moment of her conception, from all stain of original sin.
19. If then God has such a horror of sin as to have willed to keep free the future Mother of His Son not only from stains which are voluntarily contracted but, by a special favor and in prevision of the merits of Jesus Christ, from that other stain of which the sad sign is transmitted to all us sons of Adam by a sort of hapless heritage: who can doubt that it is a duty for everyone who seeks by his homage to gain the heart of Mary to correct his vicious and depraved habits and to subdue the passions which incite him to evil?
20. Whoever moreover wishes, and no one ought not so to wish, that his devotion should be worthy of her and perfect, should go further and strive might and main to imitate her example. It is a divine law that those only attain everlasting happiness who have by such faithful following reproduced in themselves the form of the patience and sanctity of Jesus Christ: "for whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be made conformable to the image of His Son; that He might be the first-born amongst many brethren" (Romans viii., 29). But such generally is our infirmity that we are easily discouraged by the greatness of such an example: by the providence of God, however, another example is proposed to us, which is both as near to Christ as human nature allows, and more nearly accords with the weakness of our nature. And this is no other than the Mother of God. "Such was Mary," very pertinently points out St. Ambrose, "that her life is an example for all." And, therefore, he rightly concludes: "Have then before your eyes, as an image, the virginity and life of Mary from whom as from a mirror shines forth the brightness of chastity and the form of virtue" (De Virginib. L. ii., c. ii.)
21. Now if it becomes children not to omit the imitation of any of the virtues of this most Blessed Mother, we yet wish that the faithful apply themselves by preference to the principal virtues which are, as it were, the nerves and joints of the Christian life -- we mean faith, hope, and charity towards God and our neighbor. Of these virtues the life of Mary bears in all its phases the brilliant character; but they attained their highest degree of splendor at the time when she stood by her dying Son. Jesus is nailed to the cross, and the malediction is hurled against Him that "He made Himself the Son of God" (John xix., 7). But she unceasingly recognized and adored the divinity in Him. She bore His dead body to the tomb, but never for a moment doubted that He would rise again. Then the love of God with which she burned made her a partaker in the sufferings of Christ and the associate in His passion; with him moreover, as if forgetful of her own sorrow, she prayed for the pardon of the executioners although they in their hate cried out: "His blood be upon us and upon our children" (Matth. xxvii., 25).
22. But lest it be thought that We have lost sight of Our subject, which is the Immaculate Conception, what great and effectual succor will be found in it for the preservation and right development of those same virtues. What truly is the point of departure of the enemies of religion for the sowing of the great and serious errors by which the faith of so many is shaken? They begin by denying that man has fallen by sin and been cast down from his former position. Hence they regard as mere fables original sin and the evils that were its consequence. Humanity vitiated in its source vitiated in its turn the whole race of man; and thus was evil introduced amongst men and the necessity for a Redeemer involved. All this rejected it is easy to understand that no place is left for Christ, for the Church, for grace or for anything that is above and beyond nature; in one word the whole edifice of faith is shaken from top to bottom. But let people believe and confess that the Virgin Mary has been from the first moment of her conception preserved from all stain; and it is straightway necessary that they should admit both original sin and the rehabilitation of the human race by Jesus Christ, the Gospel, and the Church and the law of suffering. By virtue of this Rationalism and Materialism is torn up by the roots and destroyed, and there remains to Christian wisdom the glory of having to guard and protect the truth. It is moreover a vice common to the enemies of the faith of our time especially that they repudiate and proclaim the necessity of repudiating all respect and obedience for the authority of the Church, and even of any human power, in the idea that it will thus be more easy to make an end of faith. Here we have the origin of Anarchism, than which nothing is more pernicious and pestilent to the order of things whether natural or supernatural. Now this plague, which is equally fatal to society at large and to Christianity, finds its ruin in the dogma of the Immaculate Conception by the obligation which it imposes of recognizing in the Church a power before which not only has the will to bow, but the intelligence to subject itself. It is from a subjection of the reason of this sort that Christian people sing thus the praise of the Mother of God: "Thou art all fair, O Mary, and the stain of original sin is not in thee." (Mass of Immac. Concep.) And thus once again is justified what the Church attributes to this august Virgin that she has exterminated all heresies in the world.
23. And if, as the Apostle declares, faith is nothing else than the substance of things to be hoped for" (Hebr. xi. 1) everyone will easily allow that our faith is confirmed and our hope aroused and strengthened by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin. The Virgin was kept the more free from all stain of original sin because she was to be the Mother of Christ; and she was the Mother of Christ that the hope of everlasting happiness might be born again in our souls.
24. Leaving aside charity towards God, who can contemplate the Immaculate Virgin without feeling moved to fulfill that precept which Christ called peculiarly His own, namely that of loving one another as He loved us? "A great sign," thus the Apostle St. John describes a vision divinely sent him, appears in the heavens: "A woman clothed with the sun, and with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars upon her head" (Apoc. xii., 1). Everyone knows that this woman signified the Virgin Mary, the stainless one who brought forth our Head. The Apostle continues: "And, being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered" (Apoc. xii., 2). John therefore saw the Most Holy Mother of God already in eternal happiness, yet travailing in a mysterious childbirth. What birth was it? Surely it was the birth of us who, still in exile, are yet to be generated to the perfect charity of God, and to eternal happiness. And the birth pains show the love and desire with which the Virgin from heaven above watches over us, and strives with unwearying prayer to bring about the fulfillment of the number of the elect. (Pope Saint Pius X, Ad Diem Illium Laetissimum.)
Yes, a great reward awaits us for our fidelity to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary and to the Most Sacred Heart of her Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, if we persist until our dying breaths in states of Sanctifying Grace. We must keep close to them, therefore, by the time we spend each day outside of Mass before Our Lord in His Real Presence (where we keep company with all of the angels and the saints, including Our Lady Immaculate, the Queen of All Angels and Saints), by our wearing the Brown Scapular and fulfilling the terms associated with it, by wearing the Miraculous Medal, by distributing the Green Scapular and Rosaries and instructional booklets about the Rosary to those God places in our paths on a daily basis--and, most importantly, by our assiduous, reverent and faithful recitation of the Mysteries of Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary each and every day in our lives.
Will we make use of these two last remedies, the Holy Rosary and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary? The answer is up to you. We have a Blessed Mother who loves us, without whose perfect fiat to the will of the Heavenly Father at the Annunciation we would not have been saved. Isn't this a cause of offering great thanks to the Blessed Trinity and of obeying her Heavenly messages perfectly?
All to thee, Blessed Mother. All to thy Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and the hour of our death. Amen.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Sains Timothy, Hippolytus and Symphorian, pray for us.
LITANY TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
(For Private Devotion Only)
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 takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Christ hear us, Christ, graciously hear us.
V. Immaculate Mary, meek and humble of heart,
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 may, by the merits and intercession of the same Blessed Virgin, merit to be found like to the Heart of Jesus, through the same Christ Our Lord. R. Amen.
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?
Saints Timothy, Hippolytus and Symphorian, pray for us.