The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Traditionally celebrated August 22nd
"...and a sword shall pierce thy heart."
The Immaculate Heart of Mary, originally the Sacred Heart of Mary, is adevotional name used to refer to the interior life of Mary, her joys and sorrows, her virtues and hidden perfections, and, above all, her virginal love for God, her maternal love for her Son, Jesus, and her compassionate love for all people.
Traditionally, the heart is pierced with seven wounds or swords, in homage to the seven dolors of Mary. Consequently, seven Hail Marys are said daily in honor of the devotion. Also, roses or another type of flower may be wrapped around the heart.
The Immaculate Heart has also been involved in (and been depicted) in saintlyMarian apparitions such as those to Saint Catherine Labouré in 1830 and appears on the Miraculous Medal. On the Miraculous Medal, the Immaculate Heart is pierced by a sword. The Sacred Heart of Jesus also appears on the medal, next to the Immaculate Heart, but is crowned with thorns, rather than being pierced by a sword. The M on the medal signifies the Blessed Virgin at the foot of the Cross when Jesus was being crucified.
Our Lady of Fatima asked that, in reparation for sins committed against her Immaculate Heart, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months the faithful:
- Go to Confession (within 8 days before or after the first Saturday)
- Receive Holy Communion
- Recite five decades of the Rosary
- Keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary
She promised that, whoever would do this, would be given at the hour of his death, the graces necessary for salvation.