The Gospel reading from the Mass for the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is Luke 2:41-51.

After the Infancy Narratives in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 1-2:40), the Blessed Virgin Mary recalls (Luke is thought to have received the account of Christ’s childhood directly from Our Lady) the harrowing experience of losing Jesus and finding Him three days later in the Temple. In His first recorded words in the Gospel, Christ confirms His love for the Father and that He “must be in My Father’s house.” For the third time in Luke (Luke 2:19, 2:35, 2:51) Mary refers to her heart, reflecting upon and keeping God’s mysterious actions “in her heart.”

Building on earlier devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Jean Eudes began to promote devotion to the admirable heart of Mary in the 1600’s. At the height of WW I, Our Lady of Fatima appeared to three children and offered the image of her Immaculate Heart encircled with thorns which pierced it, representing the sins of humanity for which reparation must be made. At the height of WW II, Pope Pius XII instituted the annual feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the whole Church, encouraging joint devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, hearts linked together from the first moment of the Incarnation as Christ resided in Mary’s womb to the end of the Incarnation as Christ’s heart is pierced by a lance at the Crucifixion and Mary’s heart is pierced in sorrow the foot of the Cross. The Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is thus celebrated on the day after the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Because Mary is the Immaculate Conception, conceived without sin and with the perfection of virtue, her heart is recognized as Immaculate (“unstained” by Original Sin). The devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary includes attention to both the the actual physical heart of Mary (her Virginal body) and on her interior life (her soul); her joys and sorrows, her virtues and hidden perfections, her love for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and, as Mother of the Church, her compassionate love for all men and women in the Church Militant who struggle on earth. While devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus focuses on the receiving of and gratitude for the overflowing love He has for mankind, the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary focuses on the study and imitation of her love for the Trinity.  

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, from His earliest days, Christ seeks to draw closer to His Father in Heaven. Person of the Trinity, Christ chooses the Blessed Virgin Mary to be His own mother and causes her to be born without sin. 

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Marvel at Christ’s ability to “amaze” the brightest minds on earth, the most learned of Israel, with His knowledge and intellect at the age of only 12 years old.

2) On the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Church venerates and seeks to more perfectly imitate the compassion and virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Reflect upon Mary Full of Grace and Mother of the Church (CCC 721-726, 963-975) and pray for Christ to help you grow in love for the Blessed Virgin Mary.

3) Our Lady of Fatima promised those who kept a special devotion on five consecutive first Saturdays of the month would receive graces necessary for salvation at the hour of one’s death. Research the Five First Saturdays Devotion of Our Lady of Fatima and pray for Christ to help you accept Our Lady’s promises.