“God wishes to establish in the world the devotion to My Immaculate Heart”
– Our Lady of Fatima
If you ask a child who it feels most close to, there is a very strong likelihood that it will be their mother, unless there are very good reasons to the contrary. There is something deeply intimate about the bond between mother and child, a bond which lasts throughout life. Even in the very elderly, this seems to be retained and those nearing death will often think about, speak about (and even ask for) their mother.
Jesus was fully human as well as fully divine. It should be no suprise, therefore, that His relationship with His own Mother was profoundly deep. He responded immediately to Her requests; He had Her always nearby, from the Crib to the Cross, and beyond; and as He was dying, He shared Her with every single one of us – “Behold Thy Mother”.
And in the heavenly appearances which took place in 1929 and 1932, following the ‘public’ appearances at Fatima in 1917, the Lord spoke in a way that clearly indicated the infinite love He has for His Mother. His comments had to do with the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
In Her appearances at Fatima in 1917 – and also in those later appearances – the Blessed Virgin spoke about the devotion to Her Immaculate Heart. From the outset, She made it very clear that the establishing of this devotion throughout the world was the express will of God –
“God wishes to establish in the world the devotion to My Immaculate Heart; if what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved..”
And She made it clear what the outcomes of this devotion would be – salvation for many who, otherwise, would not attain it. Without this devotion, such souls would be lost forever.
This fits very well with the words of many Saints over the years who have noted – accurately – that Mary is able to obtain the eternal salvation even of souls whom the Divine Justice would rightly have condemned. The Saints have also noted that whatever the Blessed Virgin asks of God, He grants out of love for Her. What a huge relief that is to us!
Speaking to Sister Lucia in 1932, the Lord told her –
‘Have compassion on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce It at every moment, and there is no-one to make an act of reparation to remove them’
Clearly, offences against the Immaculate Heart of Mary are deeply offensive to Her Son.
Our Blessed Lady then added this, concerning reparation by means of the Five First Saturdays devotion –
“Look, My daughter, at My Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce Me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console me and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep Me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to Me.”
This, then, was a devotion specifically intended to make reparation for those offences committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Later on, Lucia asked the Lord why ‘five’ first Saturdays; He replied –
“Daughter, the motive is simple. There are five kinds of offences and blasphemies spoken against the Immaculate Heart of Mary – against Her Immaculate Conception; against Her perpetual virginity; against Her divine maternity, refusing at the same time to to accept Her as the Mother of mankind; by those who try publicly to implant in the hearts of children an indifference, contempt and even hate for this Immaculate Mother; and for those who insult Her directly in Her sacred images.”
God loves the Blessed Virgin Mary very much indeed. He also loves all of us very much indeed. And He is deeply offended by us whenever we offend Her. And yet, in His infinite mercy, the Almighty provides us with a way to make reparation, whilst potentially saving our souls in the process.
Wonderful though that certainly it, it could be viewed as being driven by a motive of fear – the fear of damnation and Hell. While that is perhaps a good motive for change, it is not the best motive – the best motive is always driven by love.
In this instance, to be driven by love means to look upon the image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, surrounded by those piercing thorns, and to feel compassion for this most tender Heart – and to desire to do whatever we can to remove those thorns. And we desire this not only from ourselves but from others – and for them as much as for ourselves.
And so, we now have some very good reasons for loving the Immaculate Heart of Mary –
- She loves us. She is our heavenly Mother and She deserves to be loved.
- God desires that we do so, for He also loves Her.
- He wishes us to make reparation to Her Immaculate Heart for sins – our own, and those of others.
- In doing so, we may well attain salvation even if Justice would have otherwise condemned us.
- In this way, we can help attain salvation for others, too.
There is also one further reason.
The more we love the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we encourage others to love Her also. And as more and more of us love Her, listen to Her and respond whole-heartedly to Her requests, so we help to bring about what She has promised –
“In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph.”