Saints and the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Saint Anthony Mary Claret

St. Anthony Mary Claret has left a legacy of what it means to be devoted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. St. Anthony chose to put his community under the patronage of the Immaculate Heart because devotion to Mary’s heart is the way to convert souls and keep them on the road to holiness. St. Anthony Mary Claret called his priests to greatness: “A Son of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a man on fire with love, who spreads its flames wherever he goes. He desires mightily and strives by all means possible to set the whole world on fire with God’s love. Nothing daunts him; he delights in privations, welcomes work, embraces sacrifices, smiles at slander, and rejoices in suffering. His only concern is how he can best follow Jesus Christ and imitate Him in working, suffering, and striving constantly and single-mindedly for the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls” (Claret, 494).

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Blessed John Henry Newman

Blessed John Henry Newman had a great devotion to Mary as both an Anglican and as a Catholic. He delivered a number of homilies praising her virtues and wrote a number of prayers asking her intercession; one prayer of note is his Litany of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He also wrote, “Give me each day your holy and maternal blessing until my last evening on earth, when your Immaculate Heart will present me to the heart of Jesus in heaven, there to love and bless you and your divine Son for all eternity.”

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The Fatima Children

It was in the second apparition in June that Our Lady revealed her Immaculate Heart to the children. Lucia recounts that during this apparition the children were infused with a special knowledge and love for the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Lucia writes: “From that day onwards, our hearts were filled with a more ardent love for the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” It was after this apparition that Jacinta would at times exclaim, “The Lady said that her Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God. Don’t you love that? Her Heart is so good! How I love it!”

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Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta 

The life of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta is held before us as an example of what one person clinging to Our Lady and placing all her confidence in her Immaculate Heart can do. Her life bore witness to the intimate communion she shared with the person and grace of Our Lady to such a degree that many people, including those who were not Christian, experienced the sense of being before a living mirror of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, wrapped in Our Lady’s mantle, Mother Teresa lived, worked, prayed and loved.

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Blesseds Carmen, Rosa and Magdalena Fradera

The Sisters were formed in the Heart of Mary: a heart aflame with charity for God and for others. That love would suffer at the sight of sin, so offensive to God, and desired to respond to Him in love. The love of neighbor did not lead the Sister to reject the sinner, but to strive to bring about their conversion. The Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart of Mary is no “cushy” place, but one strengthened by the practice of virtue, especially fidelity and fortitude in the midst of suffering and trials. The Sister’s meditation on the Seven Sorrows of Mary’s Heart would have formed in them a disposition to imitate her in cooperating with her Divine Son in the redemption of the world, bringing them to the foot of the Cross with her. There they would see what true love is – Love offering himself completely for love of the Father and for us. As Mary’s “fiat” brought her from the Annunciation to the foot of the Cross and beyond, so too the Sisters, formed under and united with Mary’s Heart, would pronounce and live their own “fiat”.

To read more on Blesseds Carmen, Rosa and Magdalena, see: Default IHM Martyrs and IHM