The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a devotional name used to refer to the interior life of he 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. Two elements are essential to the devotion, Mary’s interior life and the beauties of her soul, and Mary’s virginal body. According to Roman Catholic theology, soul and body are necessary to the constitution of man. It was in 1855, that the Mass of the Most Pure Heart of Mary formally became a part of the Catholic practice. 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.
Veneration of the Immaculate Heart of Mary generally coincides with the worship of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. However, there is a difference that explains the Roman Catholic devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is especially directed to the “Divine Heart”, as overflowing with love for humanity. In the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, on the other hand, the attraction is the love of her Immaculate Heart for Jesus and for God.
A second difference is the nature of the devotion itself. In devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Roman Catholic venerates in a sense of love, responding to love. In devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, love is formed from study and imitation of Mary’s yes to God as the mother of Jesus. In this devotion, love is more the result, than the “object” of the devotion; the object being rather to love God and Jesus by uniting one’s self to Mary for this purpose and by imitating her virtues, to help one achieve this. History of the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is connected in many ways to that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary –
O Immaculate Heart of Mary, Heavenly beauty and splendor of the Father, You are the most valued Heavenly treasure. New Eve, immaculate in soul, spirit and body, Created of the godly seed by the Spirit of God, You are the spiritual Mother of mankind. Pure Virgin, full of grace then and now, Your whole being was raised Heavenly in full glory, To be elevated above all the hosts within the Kingdom of God. O Heavenly Mother, Queen of Heaven and earth, I recognize the glory of your highest title, The Immaculate Heart of Mary! Loving Mother, dispenser of endless blessings, You who continuously intercedes on our behalf, Please present my need before your loving Son Jesus. (In your own words, make your special request here. Do not just mention a word. Speak to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as you would speak to another person, begging your Heavenly Mother to plea to Jesus on your behalf, that you be granted this special request.) O Immaculate Heart of Mary, I know that you are now presenting my need before Jesus, For you have never turned away those in dire need. Mother dearest, I await your favorable answer, Submitting myself to the Divine will of the Lord, For all glories are His forever and ever.