August 22: The Immaculate Heart of Mary

The popular “Miraculous Medal” with the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus (on the back of the medal)

Today is the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. On this happy occasion, it is fitting to hear about this feast from Dom Prosper Gueranger. In Dom Prosper’s book, The Liturgical Year, he states:

He alone who could understand Marys holiness could appreciate her glory. But Wisdom, who presided over the formation of the abyss, has not revealed to us the depth of that ocean beside which all the virtues of the just and all the graces lavished on them are but streamlets. Nevertheless, the immensity of grace and merit by which the Blessed Virgins supernatural perfection stands quite apart from all others gives us a right to conclude that she has an equal super-eminence in glory which is always proportioned to the sanctity of the elect. Whereas all the other predestined of our race are placed among the various ranks of the celestial hierarchy, the holy Mother of God is exalted above all the choirs, forming by herself a distinct order, a new Heaven, where the harmonies of Angels and Saints are far surpassed. In Mary God is more glorified, better known, more loved than in all the rest of the universe. On this ground alone, according to the order of creative Providence which subordinates the less to the more perfect, Mary is entitled to be Queen of Earth and Heaven. In this sense, it is for her, next to the Man-God, that the world exists.
The great theologian, Cardinal de Lugo, explaining the words of the Saints on this subject, dares to say: “Just as, creating all things in his complacency for His Christ, God made Him the end of creatures, so with due proportion, we may say He drew the rest of the world out of nothing through the love of the Virgin Mother so that she too might thus be justly called the end of all things.” As Mother of God, and at the same time His first born, she had a right and title over His goods. As Bride she ought to share His crown. “The glorious Virgin,” says Saint Bernardine of Sienna, “has as many subjects as the Blessed Trinity has. Every creature, whatever be its rank in creation, spiritual as the Angels, rational as man, material as the heavenly bodies or the elements, Heaven and Earth, the reprobate and the blessed, all that springs from the power of God, is subject to the Virgin. For He who is the Son of God and of the Blessed Virgin, wishing, so to say, to make His Mothers became, God as He is, the servant of Mary. If then it be true to say that every one, even the Virgin, obeys God, we may also convert the proposition, and affirm that every one, even God, obeys the Virgin.”
The empire of Eternal Wisdom comprises, so the Holy Spirit tells us, the heavens, the earth, and the abyss: the same then is the appanage of Mary on this her crowning day. Like the divine Wisdom to whom she gave Flesh, she may glory in God. He whose magnificence she once chanted, today exalts her humility. The Blessed one by excellence has become the honour of her people, the admiration of the Saints, the glory of the armies of the Most High. Together with the Spouse, let her, in her beauty, march to victory. Let her triumph over the hearts of the mighty and the lowly. The giving of the worlds sceptre into her hands is no mere honour void of reality: from this day forward she commands and fights, protects the Church, defends its head, upholds the ranks of the sacred militia, raises up Saints, directs Apostles, enlightens doctors, exterminates heresy, crushes Hell.
Let us hail our Queen, let us sing her mighty deeds. Let us be docile to her. Above all, let us love her and trust in her love. Let us not fear that, amid the great interests of the spreading of Gods Kingdom, she will forget our littleness or our miseries. She knows all that takes place in the obscurest corners, in the furthest limits of her immense domain. From her title of universal cause under the Lord, is rightly deduced the universality of her providence, and the masters of doctrine show us Mary in glory sharing in the science called of vision by which all that is, has been, or is to be, is present before God. On the other hand, we must believe that her charity could not possibly be defective: as her love of God surpasses the love of all the elect, so the tenderness of all mothers united, centered upon an only child, is nothing to the love with which with Mary surrounds the least, the most forgotten, the most neglected of all the children of God, who are her children too. She forestalls them in her solicitude, listens at all times to their humble prayers, pursues them in their guilty flights, sustains their weakness, compassionates their ills, whether of body or of soul, sheds on all men the heavenly favours of which she is the treasury.
Let us then say to her in the words of one of her great servants: “O most holy Mother of God, who has beautified Heaven and Earth, in leaving this world you have not abandoned man. Here below you lived in Heaven. From heaven you converse with us. Thrice happy those who contemplated you and lived with the Mother of life! But in the same way as you dwelt in the flesh with them of the first age, you now dwell with us spiritually. We hear your voice, and all our voices reach your ear, and your continual protection over us makes your presence evident. You visit us. Your eye is upon us all, and although our eyes cannot see you, O most holy One, yet you are in the midst of us, showing yourself in various ways to whoever is worthy. Your immaculate body come forth from the tomb hinders not the immaterial power, the most pure activity of that spirit of yours which, being inseparable from the Holy Ghost, breathes also where it wills. O Mother of God, receive the grateful homage of our joy, and speak for your children to Him who has glorified you: whatever you ask of Him, He will accomplish it by His divine power. May He be blessed forever!”
Let us honour the group of Martyrs which forms the rear-guard of our triumphant Queen. Timothy, who came from Antioch to Rome, Hippolytus, Bishop of Porto, and Symphorian, the glory of Autun, suffered for God at different periods and at different places, but they gathered their palms on the same day of the year, and the same Heaven is now their abode. “My son, my son,” said his valiant mother to Symphorian, “remember life eternal. Look up and see Him who reigns in Heaven. They are not taking your life away, but changing it into a better.”
Let us admire these heroes of our faith, and let us learn to walk like them, though by less painful paths, in the footsteps of our Lord, and so to rejoice Mary.
Dom Prosper spoke (above) of heroes of our faith, in particular, martyrs; let us also remember the other heroes of our faith, such as, St. Jacinta Marto.*  St. Jacinta was privileged to see Our Lady at Fatima, where the promise was made by Our Lady that (in the end) her Immaculate Heart will triumph.  St. Jacinta, pray for us!
May God bless your day.

*see the life of St. Jacinta in the link (above): she died at the age of nine, a young girl of deep faith and courage

~Miraculous Medal image (above), source