Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Truly unfortunate are we poor children of Eve; for, guilty before God of her fault, and condemned to the same penalty, we have to wander about in this valley of tears as exiles from our country, and to weep over our many afflictions of body and soul.  But blessed is he who, in the midst of these sorrows, often turns to the comfortress of the world, to the refuge of the unfortunate, to the great Mother of God, and devoutly calls upon her and invokes her!

mary-2The above passage is taken from St. Alphonsus Liguori’s, “Hail Holy Queen”, from Chapter IV, entitled, “Mary, Our Help”. St. Alphonsus Liguori speaks of Mary’s compassion as our Mother of Mercy, and how we need never lack confidence in asking for anything we need: “Nor should the multitude of our sins diminish our confidence that Mary will grant our petitions when we cast ourselves at her feet. She is the Mother of mercy…”  He explains why our prayers to Mary are often heard and answered more quickly than our prayers to Jesus. St. Alphonsus quotes St. Anselm on this point: “…when we have recourse to this divine Mother, not only we may be sure of her protection, but that often we shall be heard more quickly, and be thus preserved, if we have recourse to Mary and call on her holy name, than we should be if we called on the name of Jesus our Saviour…”  What is the reasoning behind this statement of St. Anselm, upheld by St. Alphonsus Liguori? St. Anselm’s explanation continues: “…that to Jesus, as a judge, it belongs also to punish; but mercy alone belongs to the Blessed Virgin as a patroness” and “We often obtain more promptly what we ask by calling on the name of Mary than by invoking that of Jesus. Her Son is lord and judge of all, and discerns the merits of each one; and therefore if He does not immediately grant the prayers of all, He is just. When, however, the Mother’s name is invoked, though the merits of the suppliant are not such as to deserve that his prayer should be granted, those of the Mother supply that he may receive.”

In this chapter we are also reminded of the experiences/revelations of several saints on this matter. “Many things,” says Nicephorus, “are asked from God, and are not granted: they are asked from Mary, and are obtained…because God has thus decreed to honor His Mother.” Also, from St. Bridget’s revelations, we have the words that Jesus said to His Mother: “Thou shalt present Me with no petition that shall be refused. My Mother, ask what thou wilt, for never will I refuse thee anything…” Lastly, “The same thing was revealed to St. Gertrude, when she heard our divine Redeemer assure His Mother that in His omnipotence He granted her power to show mercy to sinners who invoke her in whatever manner she might please.”

Father Bob Williston (Redemptorist) singing, “Mother of Perpetual Help”

Immaculate Heart of Mary

Last spring I was exploring the inseparableness of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (which feastday was yesterday) and the Immaculate Heart of Mary (which feastday is today), and posted some entries on united novenas, Two Hearts United, etc. This year the unification of the Two Hearts is still on my own heart, along with how Fatima, where Mary first revealed her Immaculate Heart (as I posted about a few days ago) plays a role in this unification.

From, “Fatima. Mary’s Immaculate Heart and Your Salvation”, by Frère François de marie des Anges (pgs. 17-18), I would like to share the following:

Thus the revelation of Fatima comes to complete that of Paray-le-Monial [where Jesus revealed His Sacred Heart to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque], and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be joined to the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, commanded three centuries ago.  Indeed, most certainly, these two devotions, as the two Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, are inseparable and could not ever proceed one without the other.  Such is the great design of our Heavenly Father for <<the last centuries of history>>:  the reign and universal triumph of Their two Hearts united.

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My friend Carol shared a link with me from the Catholic Online video section; it’s called “Our Lady Smiles”. I think it will make your heart smile too.

Our Lady Smiles

Thanks, Carol.

The Revelation of the Immaculate Heart

Immaculate Heart of Mary 3The second apparition of Our Lady of Fatima occurred on June 13, 1917 (the first was on May 13, 1917, on which we celebrate the Feastday of Our Lady of Fatima).

It was on the occasion of this second apparition that the Blessed Virgin revealed her Immaculate Heart to Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco. Lucia had asked Mary to take them to heaven, to which the Blessed Virgin replied:

 

Yes, I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon. But you are to stay here some time longer. Jesus wishes to make use of you to make Me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. To whoever embraces this devotion I promise salvation; these souls shall be dear to God, as flowers placed by Me to adorn His throne.

The Blessed Virgin then opened her hands and rays of intense light shone out from them. Lucia’s writings tell us: “In front of the palm of Our Lady’s right hand was a heart encircled by thorns which pierced it. We understood that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins of humanity, and seeking reparation.”

Lucia expressed her sadness to Mary at the thought of being left all alone on earth while Jacinta and Francisco would be taken sooner to heaven.  Mary replied, “Don’t lose heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”

[Source: The Whole Truth About Fatima, Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, pgs. 158-159]