(Offered by Beninese Associates of the African Vice-Province)
Saint John Eudes chose the 8th of February to celebrate the solemnity of Mary’s Heart, because God wants His Son to live and reign in the Virgin Mother’s Heart. Our Father John Eudes caused the feast of Mary’s Heart to be celebrated in the 17th century. Pope Pie XII made it be celebrated by the whole Church in 1942. Since then, we celebrate it the Saturday of the third week after Pentecost, meaning the day after the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. During February 2016, prayers and meditations will deal with Immaculate Heart of our Mother.
1- Song of entry : (choose a Marian song) ;
2- Word of God.
In the Bible, the heart stands for the personal life of Human in his major source, the center from where the thoughts spout out, as much as desires and freedom. Only God knows the hearts, these hearts which He created to fill them of His presence and His life.
God knew That Mary’s heart was safe from any selfishness, always attentive with His word, completely delivered to His Spirit. He revealed to Mary His intention of salvation and made Her cooperate to it as the mother of the Saver.
Gospel according to Saint Luc chapter 2, verses 41 to 51 « And His mother treasured up all these things in her heart ». Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the group they went a day's journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?” And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.
3- Meditation to prepare the solemnity of the Heart of Mary
May the Heart of the happy Virgin be our Sun, our Treasure and our Asylum!
Be sure that our earth good Saver gave us the earth blessed Heart of his divine Mother, like a divine sun, to light us in darkness of the earth, to overheat us in the coldness of winter of this mortal life; to delight us and comfort in the unhappiness and pains of miseries of this world, and to vivify and strengthen us in weaknesses of human brittleness.
Glory be to the adorable Sun of eternity, which is Jesus, for He gave us this pleasant sun! Mother of love, since your beloved Son gave us your maternal Heart to be our sun, clarify our spirits with your celestial lights: so that knowing perfectly Jesus, we did the favour, honor and love that we owe Him. So that knowing horror of the sin, we would have it in abomination; so that knowing the world, we would free from it; so that knowing ourselves, we should scorn ourselves.
Let we participate to the celestial heats of your holy charity, so that we love God over all things, and our neighbour as ourselves. Comfort us in our desolations, strengthen us in our weaknesses; let your Saint Heart be the true sun of our hearts for it is a treasure which contains numerous wealths.
The happy Virgin preserved in her Heart, when she was on the earth, and will preserve it eternally in the sky, all the mysteries of the life of the Redeemer: those mysteries are the price of our redemption and the sources of the sanctification of the militant Church, of the glorification of Church triumphant, and of the consolation of its sufferings.
This treasure preserves all the graces that our Saver deserved and acquired for us, through all of the sufferings of His mortal and momentary life on the earth. That’s why Saints called Her: “the admirable treasure of Church; the treasurer of God’s Graces; the holy treasure of any holiness and the treasure of salvation”.
For us, our Saver left in her and her Heart all the treasures of his graces. That’s why Saint Bernard said God gives no grace without the mediation of His Mother of grace.
4- Final prayer : AVE COR
Hail, Heart most holy,
Hail, Heart most meek,
Hail, Heart most humble,
Hail, Heart most pure,
Hail, Heart given without reserve,
Hail, Heart most wise,
Hail, Heart most patient,
Hail, Heart most obedient,
Hail, Heart most vigilant,
Hail, Heart most faithful,
Hail, Heart most blessed,
Hail, Heart most merciful,
Hail, most loving Heart of Jesus and Mary;
We adore you,
We praise you,
We glorify you,
We give you thanks;
We love you,
With all our heart,
With all our soul,
With all our strength;
We offer you our heart,
We give it to you,
We consecrate it to you,
We sacrifice it to you;
Receive and posses it totally,
That you may live and reign in it now and forever. Amen