Saturday, 2 July 2011

The Immaculate Heart of Mary

Today we celebrate and honour the Blessed Virgin Mary, who as Luke puts it ‘treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart’(Lk2:19.) The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary are closely linked. We find this stated most clearly in the writings of St John Eudes. ( see link in list of useful links). And it is rightly very close. God loves us with a human heart. This heart was formed from the DNA of Mary. For many months two hearts beat within her body and this means that we reserve a special place for Mary in our devotion to the Sacred Heart. At one stage when I was thinking about commissioning an icon I thought about an icon showing both Jesus and Mary, but because of the added complexity in the end I decided on just the Sacred Heart of Jesus. When Ian was completing the Rosary paintings it provided an opportunity for me to reflect on Mary ( Hodegetria) ‘pointing the way’**** to the Sacred Heart. For this reason I am delighted that Ian's design has included a picture of Mary showing her Immaculate Heart in the icon.

Our prayer today is taken from the 1st preface of the Blessed Virgin Mary in today's mass:

Father, all-powerful and ever living God,
We do well always and everywhere to give thanks
as we celebrate the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.


**** Having looked more closely at the drawing, it is clear that the Virgin is standing Interceding for us ! Thus (correct me if I am wrong Ian) this is Mary 'hagiosoritissa' (of the Holy Chest) and not 'hodegetria'. In the context of the Sacred Heart, of course, this makes perfect sense. Mary is interceding for us (rather than 'pointing the way' ) and asking for God to be merciful to the children of Adam.

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