Because Mary is the Mother of God she has been given a special role in the mystery of Christ. We read in the Book of Genesis that she will defeat the ancient serpent who seduced Adam and Eve to sin. She would be the one who would finally defeat the serpent, who is satan, by crushing his head under her feet. St. Louis De Montfort wrote that since it was by a woman that sin entered the world so it would be by a Woman that sin would be finally defeated. The role that Mary has is essentially a role of motherly watchfullness and love. In the Gospel of St. John we read that Jesus said to her beneath the Cross: "Woman behold your son". These words by Jesus mean that she is the Mother of us all. As Mother she has the special task of guiding us on our way and protecting us from the evil one who ever seeks our destruction and perdition. From this point of view we may better understand the significance of the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary took on great importance ever since the apparition of Mary in Fatima. There she asked that every one should consecrate themselves to her Immaculate Heart for which she promissed protection and peace. What, then, are the fruits of this devotion? Through consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and its daily renewal we take upon ourselves certain obligations such as a filial devotion to Mary through pious prayers such as honouring her through the Hail Mary, the daily recitaiton of the Holy Rosary, chaplets in her honour and visitations to shrines dedicated to her. We also consider her virtuous life in meditating upon her virtues such as her humility, purity, faith, prayerfullness, charity, hope, perseverance, obedience and many other virtues so that once we have reflected upon them we may imitate them and practice them in our lives.
This devotion is essential a path to holiness by which we are joined to Mary only to become one in Christ in whom and through whom all her motherly care is made efficacious and praisworthy. Mary essentially wants our sanctification. In an age when sin is abounding she is ever vigilant for her children and appeared at Fatima to ask them to cultivate the devotion to her Immaculate Heart as a means of thwarting the attacks of evil pon humanity with the effort to distance man from God.
To nullify the spread of sin she asks with great urgency that her children consecrate themselves to her Immaculate Heart as a means of reparation for sins committed against her Immaculate Heart. For this reason she requested that on the first Saturday of five consecutive months we:
1. Go to confession (within 8 days before or after the first Saturday);
2. Recieve Holy Communion;
3. Recite five decades of the Holy Rosary;
4. Keep her company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Holy Rosary.
Our Lady of Fatima promissed that whoever would do this would be given, at the hour death, the graces necessary for salvation. To practice this consecration we may recite a prayer of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Prayer to the
Immaculate Heart of Mary
O most pure Virgin Mary, I venerate Your most Holy Heart which was the delight and the resting-place of God. Heart filled with humility, purity and divine love, I, a poor sinner, come to You with my heart full of earth and wounds.
O Mother of mercy, do not reject me because of this, but rather have an even greater compassion for me and help me. Do not seek merits and virtues in me to help me, for I am lost and merit nothing. I beg you to look only upon the trust I have in You and my desire to be purified. Consider what Jesus has done and suffered for me, and do not abandon me.
I offer to You all the sufferings of His life: the cold suffered in the stable, the journey to Egypt, the Blood poured out, the poverty, the hard work, the sadness He experienced, the death which He suffered for my sake in Your presence. For love of Jesus, strive to help me. O my Mother, I no longer fear that I will be rejected, now that I have come to You to ask Your help. If I doubted that You would help me, I would insult Your Mercy which searches for the afflicted in order to help them.
My Lady, do not deny mercy to those to whom Jesus did not deny his Blood. If You commend my sould to God, the benefits which I will receive, through the merits of His Blood, shall be greater.
My hope of salvation is in You! I seek neither riches, honours nor other earthly gains; I seek rather the Grace of God, love for Your Son, obedience to His will, and Paradise, so that I may love Jesus in eternity. Surely You will hear my prayer?
Yes, I am sure that You have already heard me, are already praying for me are already granting me the graces I have requested, and already accept me under Your motherly protection. Mother, do not leave me! Continue to pray for me until you see me saved in Heaven at Your feet, blessing and thanking You for eternity. Amen.
This devotion is one of the greatest treasures of the Church. Let us practice it with love and attentivenss, remembering that devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mother of God is a sign of heavenly favour and a pledge of love from above.
May God bless us all through the tender love of the Virgin Mary. Amen.
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