June 20th: The *Feast of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today, June 20th, we celebrate the *Feast of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary,* the Saturday, immediately after the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The  Immaculate Heart of Mary is a devotional name used to refer to the interior life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, her joys and sorrows, her virtues and hidden perfections, and above all, her virginal love for God the Father, her maternal love for her son Jesus, and her compassionate love for all persons.

Devotion to the immaculate Heart of Mary is primarily based upon the Sacred Scriptures. In the New Testament, there are two references to the Heart of Mary in the Gospel according to St. Luke: “Mary treasured all these things and reflected on them in her heart. ” (Lk 2: 19) and ” His mother meanwhile kept all these things in her heart. ” (Lk 2:51).

Honouring Mary’s Immaculate Heart is really just another way of honouring Mary as the person who was chosen to be the Mother of God, recognizing her extraordinary holiness and the immense love she bestowed on Jesus as his mother, the person who was called to share in and co-operate in his redemptive sufferings.

Traditionally, the heart of Mary in artwork is depicted with seven wounds or swords, in homage to the seven sorrows of Mary.  Also, roses or another type of flower may be wrapped around the heart.

Historically, devotion to the Heart of Mary grew up in parallel, but at a lesser intensity than that of devotion to the Heart of Jesus. In the midst of the second world war Pope Pius XII put the whole world under the special protection of our Savior’s Mother by consecrating it to her Immaculate Heart, and in 1944 he decreed that in the future the whole Church should celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  With the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council in 1969, the feast was given a more suitable place on the Saturday following the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Honoring Mary’s Immaculate Heart is really just another way of honoring Mary as the person who was chosen to be the Mother of God, recognizing her extraordinary holiness and the immense love she bestowed on Jesus as his mother, the person who was called to share in and co-operate in his redemptive sufferings.

*On this feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, let us imitate Mary’s heart by sharing her faithfulness to Jesus!*

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