Category Archives: Immaculate Heart

Make reparation to Her!

 

During this Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, make reparation to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart for the outrages and sacrileges committed against that Most Blessed and Pure of all Hearts.

Prayer of Reparation to the Blessed Virgin Mary

How do I grieve, O holy and spotless Virgin, when I reflect on the insults thou hast received, and still receivest every day from the malice and ingratitude of men! Thou hast been outraged by heretics, and insulted by bad Catholics: how could any heart have been so hard and impious? Alas! even some Catholics are cold and indifferent towards thee, and do not in the least endeavour to show thee their love and gratitude, neglecting to honour or invoke thee, or to deserve thy protection. I myself have many times afflicted thee, most holy Virgin, by offending thy Divine Son, Whom thou lovest a thousand times more than thyself: my sins have pierced thy heart with a two-edged sword! What return have I made, what gratitude have I shown for all thy goodness to me, my beloved Mother? How have I tried to imitate thee, or what zeal have I felt for thy service?

Mother of mercy, I should not dare to lift up my eyes to thee, if thou wert not the Refuge of sinners: oppressed by the weight of my crimes I cast myself at thy feet, to implore thy pardon for my ingratitude, and for that of all mankind, Mother of sorrows, who wert appointed our Mother on Mount Calvary, I implore thee to forget our past conduct, which I most earnestly wish to atone for, as far as possible. I offer thee my homage and praise, and I profess aloud my conviction that thy glory exceeds that of all creatures; with the Church I revere thy immaculate conception and thy glorious assumption; I believe that thy power and thy perfection are such as suit thy dignity of Mother of God; I joyfully acknowledge thee for my mother, my Advocate, and my Refuge; and as long as I live I will be among the most devoted of thy children, and will endeavour to win souls to thy love. Most holy Mother be pleased to accept my desires; bless and protect them, that so, by copying thy virtues, I may deserve to see thee in Heaven for all Eternity. Amen.

 Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great

O Immaculate Heart of Mary, I have nothing in myself to offer thee that is worthy of thee; but what thanks ought I not to pay thee, for all the favours which thou hast obtained for me from the Heart of Jesus! What reparation ought I not to make thee for all my tepidity in thy service! I desire to return thee love for love; the only good that I possess is the sacred Heart of Jesus, which thou thyself hast given me. I offer thee this treasure of infinite price; I cannot do more, and thou dost not deserve less at my hands; but, receiving from me this gift most precious in thy sight, be pleased, I beseech thee, to accept my heart, which I here offer to thee, and I shall be for ever blessed. Amen.

 

An Act of Atonement to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

O Mary, Mother of my Saviour, chosen before all ages to crush the head of the infernal serpent, how can there have been men capable of insulting thy name, thy images, and thy glorious privileges, and even of abolishing all devotion to thee! How can there ever have been hearts so unnatural as to despise and hate thee, who so fully deservest the utmost respect, and the most tender affection of angels and of men! Prostrate at thy feet my august Queen, I grieve for such insults, which have afflicted thy heart; and to this heart therefore I offer my atonement. Accept, O Mary, this act of reparation; I wish to feel for thee all the respect, love, and gratitude, which are so justly due to thee; I offer thee my homage, my praise, and my grief, regretting that I cannot by these sentiments make reparation for the contempt, hatred, and blasphemies of thy enemies. Amen

Immaculate Heart of Mary

On this the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer a meditation from Fr. Arthur Ryan, 1877. Remember to pray and offer sacrifices in reparation for the sacrileges and outrages committed against the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin, as She most urgently asked of us at Fatima:

“The Church, dear brethren, places before us to-day, as the object of our devotion on this feast, the Heart of Mary in what may be called its characteristic virtue–its purity. Purity has been called “Mary’s virtue,” not because she had it in fuller measure or in greater brightness than the other virtues contained in the absolute fulness of her grace, but because it best suits our view of the Virgin Mother, and because it has been ever held the special grace and charm of womanhood. But this is not the feast of Mary’s Purity (that is kept on another day), but of Mary’s most pure heart: that is, it is the feast of that wondrous union and interdependence, in the character of our Holy and Immaculate Mother, of purity and love. It will instruct us to-day, and also help us to honour our Lady in the spirit of her feast, if we reflect for a few moments on this union. We shall find that Mary’s purity of heart came from the love of her heart, and the sorrow perfecting that love; and we shall learn that in love and in sorrow are to be found the surest foundation and the lasting protection of our own purity of heart.

We say anything is pure or clean when there is nothing of a lower or coarser nature mixed with it or resting on it. In this way we speak of a pure spirit as one not made for union with a material body; pure water, again, that is not mixed with any foreign matter that will dull its brightness. Remark that purity does not mean coldness or stiffness. If snow is the emblem of purity, it is because of its heaven-born whiteness and stainlessness–not because of its coldness. Once let the clay and soilure of earth be mixed with the drift, and though it has not ceased to be cold it has ceased to be pure. The icicle which the poet has made the emblem of chastity is no fitting emblem either in its coldness or sharpness–but (if it be a fit emblem at all) in its transparent clearness. To-day, however, we see the true emblem of purity, better than snow or ice, however spotless; for we see a human heart, warm with the warmest human love, throbbing and yearning as with the love of all hearts in one, and yet, nay by very reason of its vehement love, the home and emblem of purity–the most loving of the loving, and the purest of the pure.

For think, brethren, how could it be otherwise. Loving Jesus as Mary did, how could her love know that mixture of other love which alone could make her love impure? What drop of tainted earthly love could find room in the crystal vessel of her heart, full to the very brim of the heavenly love of Jesus? Her warm, womanly heart, so gentle and tender, so fitted and attuned to the finest pulsations of love–made by the Eternal God to be, next to the Heart of Jesus, the most perfect instrument of love, that heart had found complete and perfect rest in the love of God–in the love of its Jesus, and what more could it hold? Love filled that inner house, occupied every chamber and stood at the door, so that no other love could enter. Thus was Mary’s love the cause and the guard of Mary’s purity–enough of itself to be the full account of Mary’s stainlessness.

But yet another cause we seem to see. I say “seem,” brethren, for in a perfect work, such as Mary’s heart is, we find that the virtues are not separable in themselves or in their causes, as they are in works less perfect. In fact, the unity of God’s holiness, in Whom all perfections are as one, seems thus reflected in His most perfect creatures. It is, then, only as of another phase of Mary’s love that I would speak of Mary’s sorrow. She sorrowed because she loved, and for her love; and the purity that was founded in that love takes, in our eyes, its lustre and refinement from that sorrow. The Holy Scriptures speak, as men have in every land and literature spoken, of sorrow typified by fire. Prophet and poet are one in telling of the fire of affliction, the furnace of pain; and when the passing woes of earth shall find their awful and eternal home in Hell, they shall dwell there as in a pool of fire. But it is in the purifying qualities of sorrow that has been found the fitness of its comparison with fire. Not to mention many passages in the Old Testament, St. Peter speaks of the soul made sorrowful in divers temptations like the precious gold which is tried by the fire: and St. John commends gold fire-tried, and in the next verse explains this by the words: “Such as I love I rebuke and chastise.” You know that gold, though so precious, is seldom (if ever) found pure. It has to be made pure by the process of fire: the dross is thus taken from it, and nothing but the bright ore remains.

So is it with the human heart. Precious as is that heart and dear to God, it is yet mixed up with much that is of earth–with sin and the effects of sin. Jesus Christ Himself has told us of the defilements of the heart of man. “From the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies. These are the things that defile a man.” Such an admixture of what is impure makes the purifying of the heart a necessity: and the fire that loosens this dross, and makes the heart an offering acceptable to God, is the fire of sorrow–sorrow as it is sent us by our loving Father in the chastisement of His love–sorrow as it meets us at the hands of our fellow-men–sorrow as we embrace it ourselves and choose it freely as our lot in the generosity of Penance. The example of this sorrow, if not the example of its work, we behold in the pure and sorrowing heart of Mary. She needed not that fire for herself. No smallest atom of earthly defilement was on that pure heart for the furnace of pain to burn away. Love had done all, and left sorrow nothing to do. But, brethren, for your sakes and mine Mary plunged her heart down into that fire, deeper than any heart has ever gone, save only the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Man of Sorrows.

And shall we refuse to enter our fiery furnace? Shall we refuse to purchase our purity at the price of our pain? Ah no! Our love will make that pain bearable, and will make its work less.

To love and to suffer–be this our lot with the loving, suffering hearts of Jesus and Mary–if only by that love and by that sorrow we may come to something of that purity!

“Who, then, shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or persecution, or the sword? For in all these things we overcome because of Him that hath loved us. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The Pure Heart of Mary

During this month of the Immaculate Heart, I post a meditation on the Heart of Mary by St. Alphonsus Liguori

Under the Old Law there were two precepts concerning the birth of first-born sons. One was that the mother was regarded as unclean and was to remain in her house for forty days and then purify herself in the Temple. The other was that the parents of the first-born son should take him to the Temple and offer him there to God.

On the day of Her purification, the Blessed Virgin carried out both these precepts. Although She was not bound by the law of purification since She was still a virgin and was absolutely pure, Immaculate, nevertheless Her humility and sense of obedience made Her wish to go and purify Herself like other mothers.

At the same time, She fulfilled the other precept by presenting and offering Her Son to the Eternal Father. And when the days of Her purification were fulfilled according to the law of Moses, they took Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord [Lk. 2: 22]. But the Blessed Virgin did not offer Him as other mothers offered their sons. The others offered them to God, but they knew that this offering was a mere ceremonial fulfillment of the Law. By symbolically redeeming their children they made them truly their own, and they would not be obliged to sacrifice them to death at some other time. Mary, however, really offered Her Son to death. She knew for certain that the sacrifice of the life of Jesus which She was then making would actually be consummated on the altar of the cross. Because She loved Him so much, in offering the life of Her Son Mary actually sacrificed Her entire self to God.

Let us leave aside all other considerations that we might reflect on today and dwell only on the greatness of the sacrifice Mary made of Herself to God when She offered Him the life of Her Son. This will be the subject of our discourse.

The Eternal Father had already determined to save man who had fallen through sin, and to deliver him from eternal death. At the same time He willed that Divine justice should not be deprived of a worthy and fitting satisfaction. And so He did not spare the life of His Son Who had already become man to redeem men, but willed that He should pay with the utmost rigor the penalty which all men deserved. He who has not spared even His own Son, but has delivered Him for us all [Rom. 8: 32].

Sending Him to earth to become man, He gave Him a mother. He willed that this mother should be the Blessed Virgin. But since He willed that the Divine Word should not become Her Son before She had accepted Him by an express act of Her will, so He also willed that Jesus should not sacrifice His life for the salvation of mankind without the consent of Mary. The heart of the Mother was to be sacrificed along with the life of the Son.

St. Thomas teaches that the very office of motherhood gives mothers a special right over their children. [1] Thus, inasmuch as Jesus Himself was innocent and did not deserve punishment, it seemed only fitting that He should not be condemned to the Cross as a victim for the sins of the world without the consent of His Mother.

Now while Mary consented to His death from the moment that She became the Mother of Jesus, God nevertheless wished that She should make a solemn sacrifice of Herself in the Temple on this day by making a solemn offering of the life of Her Son. And it is because of this sacrifice that St. Epiphanius calls Mary a “priest.” [2]

We begin to see now how much this sacrifice cost Mary in the way of sorrow, and what heroic virtue She had to practice in order to assent to the sentence of death passed on Her Son.

Imagine, for instance, Mary on the road to Jerusalem on the first Presentation Day. She hurries toward the place of sacrifice and holds the beloved Victim in Her arms. She enters the Temple, approaches the altar, and there, unassumingly, humbly and devoutly presents Him to the Most High. Meanwhile holy Simeon, who had been promised by God that he should not die without first having seen the expected Messias, takes the Divine Child from the hands of the Blessed Virgin and, inspired by the Holy Spirit, tells Her how much the sacrifice of Her Son will cost Her. He tells Her too that together with Him Her own blessed soul will also be sacrificed.

In a sermon on the Purification, St. Thomas of Villanova pictures the holy old man becoming troubled and silent at the thought of having to make such a gloomy prophecy. Then he pictures Mary asking: “Why are you troubled on such a happy day, Simeon?” “O royal Virgin,” he replies, “I wish I did not have to give You such bitter news. But God wills it for Your greater merit. Listen then to what I have to say. This Child who is now such a joy to You——and how rightly so, O God——this Child will one day cause You such bitter grief as no other creature has ever experienced. You will see Him persecuted by men of all types and made a butt for their scoffing and outrages. They will even go so far as to put Him to death as a criminal before Your very eyes. You are most happy to have this Child, but I tell you that He will be a stumbling block to many, a sign of contradiction. After His death there will be many Martyrs who will be tortured and put to death for the love of Your Son. They will suffer Martyrdom in their bodies, but You, O holy Mother, will suffer it in Your heart.”

<>Yes, Mary was to suffer in Her heart. Her compassion for Her most beloved Son was the sword which was destined to pierce Her motherly heart, as St. Simeon accurately foretold: And Thy own soul a sword shall pierce [Lk. 2: 35].

St. Jerome assures us that the Blessed Virgin was well versed in the Sacred Scriptures and therefore was aware what the Redeemer would have to suffer during His life, and even more at the time of His death. She fully understood from the Prophets that He was to be betrayed by one of His own disciples: Even My friend who had My trust and partook of My bread, has raised his heel against Me [Ps. 40, 10]. And that He would be abandoned by them: Strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered [Zach. 13: 7]. She knew all about the contempt, the spitting, the blows, the scorn that He would be made to suffer at the hands of the people: I have given My body to the strikers, and My cheeks to them that plucked them: I have not turned away My face from them that rebuked Me and that spit upon Me [Isa. 50: 6]. She knew that He was to become the reproach of the vilest men and the outcast of the people, and would be overwhelmed with insults and injuries: But I am a worm, not a man: the scorn of men, despised by the people [Ps. 21, 7]; He shall be filled with reproaches [Lam. 3: 30]. She knew also that at the end of His life His most sacred flesh would be tom and mangled by scourges: But He was wounded for our iniquities, He was bruised for our sins [Isa. 53 : 5]. She knew that His whole body would be disfigured and become like that of a leper——all wounds, with the bones exposed where they pierced the flesh: There is no beauty in Him nor comeliness . . . and we have thought Him, as it were, a leper [Isa. 53: 5]. They have numbered all His bones [Ps. 21, 18]. She knew that He was to be pierced by nails: They have pierced My hands and My feet [Ps. 21, 17]. And would be ranked with criminals: And He was reputed with the wicked [Isa. 53: 12]. And that finally, hanging on a Cross, He would die for the salvation of mankind: And they shall look upon Me, Whom they have pierced [Zach. 12: 10].

Mary, I say, was already well aware of all these tortures that Jesus would have to suffer, but Simeon’s words, And Thy own soul a sword shall pierce, revealed to Her all the details of those sufferings, internal and external, that were to torment Him, as Our Lord Himself revealed to St. Teresa. [3] She consented to everything, however, with a steadfastness that filled even the Angels with astonishment. She pronounced the sentence that condemned Her Son to death——a death so ignominious and painful——when She said: “Eternal Father, since You will that it should be so, not My will, but Thine be done [Lk. 22: 42]. I unite My will to Your most holy will, and I sacrifice My Son to You. I am happy to have Him lose His life for Your glory and the salvation of the world. At the same time I sacrifice My heart to You so that it may be pierced with sorrow as much as You please. It is enough for Me, O My God, that You be glorified and content with My offering: Not My will, but Thine be done.”

O immeasurable charity! O unparalleled constancy! O victory deserving the eternal admiration of Heaven and earth!

This explains why Mary was silent during the Passion of Jesus when He was being unjustly accused. She said nothing to Pilate who was somewhat inclined to set Him free, fully aware as She was of His innocence. She only appeared in public to be present at His great sacrifice which was to take place on Calvary. She accompanied Him to the place of execution. She was with Him from the fIrst moment He was nailed on the Cross: There stood by the Cross of Jesus, His Mother [Jn. 19: 25]. She stood there until She saw Him expire and the sacrifice was consummated. All this She did in order to complete the offering She had made of Him to God in the Temple.

To appreciate what this sacrifice meant to Mary it would be necessary to understand the love She had for Jesus. Generally speaking, the love of mothers is so great that when their children are about to die and there is danger of losing them, they forget all their faults and shortcomings. They even forget the injuries they may have received from them, and suffer unimaginable heartache. But many times the love of these mothers is a divided love, a love that extends to other children, or at least to other creatures. Mary had only one child——the most admirable ever born. He was most lovable, for He had everything to make Him so. He was most obedient, most virtuous, most innocent, most holy. In a word, He was God. And Mary’s love stopped right there. It did not extend to any other created being. She concentrated all Her love on Her only Son. Nor was She afraid of going too far in loving Him. This Son was God and He deserved limitless love. This was the Son Who was at the same time the victim She was voluntarily sacrificing to death.

Let us then imagine how much it must have cost Mary, what strength of soul it must have taken, to perform this act which amounted to sacrificing the life of Her Son on the Cross. On the one hand, She was the most fortunate of all mothers because She was the Mother of God. On the other hand, She was at the same time the mother most to be pitied, the most sorrowful mother imaginable, because She was obliged to see Her Son destined for the Cross from the day He was born. What mother would accept a child knowing that she was destined to lose him later on by a disgraceful death, and knowing that she herself would be there and see him die? But Mary willingly accepted Her Son on these difficult terms. She not only accepted Him, but on this day offered Him to death with Her own hands, sacrificing Him to Divine justice.

St. Bonaventure says that the Blessed Virgin would have gladly agreed to suffer the pains and death of Her Son personally. But in order to obey God, She made the great offering of the life of Her Son Jesus, conquering the tender love She had for Him, but with an excess of grief.

“Had it been possible, She would willingly have endured all the torments of Her Son. But God willed that His only-begotten Son should be offered up for the salvation of the human race.”
By this sacrifice Mary brought Herself more grief and was more generous than if She had offered to suffer in Her own person all that Her Son was to endure. That is why we may say that She surpassed all the Martyrs in generosity; for the Martyrs offered their own lives to God, but the Blessed Virgin offered the life of Her Son Whom She loved and esteemed infinitely more than Her own life.

The pain of this sorrowful sacrifice did not end here. This was actually only the beginning. For from that time on, during the whole life of Her Son, Mary had constantly before Her eyes the bitter death and all the torments He was to endure.

The more charming, gracious, and loving Her Son became, the more Her heart was filled with increasing anguish.

O sorrowful Mother, if You had loved Your Son less, or if He had been less lovable or had loved You less, Your sufferings would certainly not have been so great when You offered Him to death. But there never was, and never will be, a mother who loved her son more than You did. And there never was, and never will be, a son more lovable, or one who loved his mother more than Jesus did. O God, had we beheld the beauty, the majesty of the face of that Divine Child, would we ever have had the courage to sacrifice His life for our salvation? And yet You, O Mary, although You were His Mother and loved Him with such a tender love, had the courage to offer Him for the salvation of mankind, to a death more cruel and painful than any criminal ever suffered on earth!

How sad a scene must love have placed before the eyes of the Blessed Virgin from that day on, a scene in which all the outrages and mockeries which Her poor Son was to endure were delineated. See how love already represents Him agonized with sorrow in the garden, torn with scourges, crowned with thorns in the praetorium, and finally hanging on a Cross of shame on Calvary! “See, O Mother,” says love, “what an amiable and innocent Son You are offering to such terrible tortures and to such a horrible death!” And what is the use of trying to save Him from the hands of Herod when You are only destining Him for a far more sorrowful fate?

Mary not only offered Jesus to death in the Temple, but She renewed that offering every moment of Her life. She revealed to St. Bridget: “That sorrow [foretold by the holy Simeon] never left My heart until I was assumed, body and soul, into Heaven.” Therefore St. Anselm addresses Her in these words: “O compassionate Mother, I cannot believe that You could have endured such excruciating torments even for a moment without dying, unless God Himself, the Spirit of Life, had sustained You.” But St. Bernard, in speaking of the great sorrow which Mary experienced on this day, says that from this time on “She endured a living death, bearing a sorrow more cruel than death.” Every moment that She lived She died, for She was assailed at every moment by sorrow for the coming death of Her Jesus, a torment more cruel than any death.

Because of the immense merit She acquired for the salvation of the world by this great sacrifice to God, St. Augustine was quite right in calling the Blessed Mother the “repairer of the human race.” And St. Epiphanius, “the redeemer of captives;” St. Germanus, “our deliverer from all calamities;” St. Ambrose, “the mother of all the faithful;” St. Augustine, “the mother of the living;” St. Andrew of Crete, “the mother of life.”

Arnold of Chartres says: “The will of Mary and the will of Christ were then united so intimately that both offered up the same sacrifice. Because of that union of wills, Mary brought about with Christ that one effect, namely, the salvation of the world.” Jesus accomplished it by making satisfaction for our sins; Mary by obtaining the application of this satisfaction to us . . .

Mary then, by the merit of Her sorrows and by sacrificing Her Son, became the Mother of all the redeemed, and it is only right to believe that it is through Her hands that the milk of Divine grace, the fruit of Christ’s merits and the means for obtaining eternal life are given to men. St. Bernard refers to this when he says: “When God was about to redeem the human race, He deposited the whole price in Mary’s hands.” By this he meant that the merits of the Redeemer are applied to our souls through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, for the graces which are the fruit of the merits of Jesus Christ are dispensed by Her hands.

If God was so pleased by the sacrifice of his son Isaac which Abraham was to make to the Divine Majesty that He promised to multiply Abraham’s descendants as the stars of the heavens——Because thou hast done this thing, and hast not spared thy only-begotten son for My sake, I will bless thee, and I will multiply thy seed as the stars of Heaven [Gen. 22: 16-17]—— we must surely believe that the far nobler sacrifice of Her Son Jesus which Mary made was immeasurably more acceptable to God. And as a result, He has granted that by Her prayers the number of the elect should be increased. That is, the number of souls coming to Heaven through Her shall be great.

God promised St. Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the birth of the Messias: And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord [Lk. 2: 26]. But it was only through Mary that he received this grace, for it was in Her arms that he found the Savior. So we may say that anyone who wants to find Jesus will find Him only through Mary. Let us therefore go to this holy Mother if we wish to find Jesus, and let us go with great confidence.

Mary told Her servant Pudenziana Zagnoni that every year on the feast of Her Purification [February 2] some sinner would receive a great grace.

Who knows but that you or I may be the favored sinner this day? Our sins may be great but the power of Mary is still greater. “The Son can deny nothing to His Mother,” says St. Bernard. If Jesus is angry with us, Mary will immediately placate Him. Plutarch reports that Antipater wrote a long letter to Alexander the Great denouncing Alexander’s mother, Olympia. After reading the letter, Alexander observed: “Antipater does not know that a single tear of my mother is enough to cancel six hundred letters of denunciation.” We may also imagine Jesus giving the same answer to any denunciations made against us by the devil when we have Mary praying for us: “Does Lucifer not know that a prayer of My Mother in favor of a sinner is enough to make Me forget all the accusations against him?”

Footnotes:
(1) Scholars have been unable to locate a text corresponding to this in the works of St. Thomas Aquinas.
(2) This title of “priest’ was also given to Mary in a prayer composed at the direction of Pope St. Pius X and approved by him on May 9, 1906.
(3) St. Teresa probably received this revelation in the Convent of the Incarnation in 1572.

Prayers to the Immaculate Heart

This Month of August is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The following are some beautiful prayers from St. Alphonsus Liguori:

Prayers of St. Alphonsus Liguori to the Blessed Mother

Prayer to Beg Graces through the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary

I humbly salute and praise thee, holy Mary, most merciful, pure, holy, and blessed Lady, powerful Queen of Angels, Patriarchs and Prophets, most glorious of Apostles, most courageous of Martyrs, wisest and most faithful of Confessors, purest of Virgins, true Mother of our God. Thou knowest my misery, my wounds, my weakness, poverty and nakedness; behold my desires and my groans are before thee, look on me and pity me. Thy servant Richard of St. Victor, says that as, according to the Scripture, Wheresoever the body shall be there shall the eagles also be gathered together, so wherever misery is found, thy mercy hastens to give help, nor canst thou know of wretchedness and not assist. Behold I, kneeling before thee, humbly call upon thee, O Refuge of the miserable, and implore of thy maternal heart, by the love which thou bearest to thy Divine Son, and by the charity with which thou didst accept us for thy clients and unworthy children, to obtain for me full forgiveness of all my sins and a true hatred of them, and worthy fruits of penance in this life, together with a generous mortification of all my senses and affections, and a complete victory over all temptation.

Obtain for me an increase of faith, a more trusting hope, a more perfect charity, an entire resignation to the Will of God, complete purity of intention, and an affectionate devotion to my crucified Jesus, to the most holy Sacrament, and to thee, my ever-blessed Mother: obtain also for me obedience to my superiors, affability and meekness to all, profound humility, patience in adversity, and finally the gift of perseverance, and of a happy and holy death. I beseech thee, most blessed Lady, to be with me at the hour of my death, and shelter me from the terrors of God’s Justice, for thou art my beloved Mother and Queen, and I resolve, with thy help, to promote devotion to thee by every means in my power. Amen.

An Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Mary

Holy and spotless Virgin, Daughter of the Heavenly Father, Mother of the Word Incarnate, Spouse of the Holy Ghost, Queen of Angels and of Saints, I acknowledge thee and choose thee for my Sovereign, my Mother, my Advocate with Jesus Christ, thy beloved Son: be thou honoured in Heaven, revered on earth, and feared in Hell. Most holy heart of Mary, inseparably united to that of Jesus, I offer thee my heart, and I consecrate it to thee, wishing that thy place in it may be next to that of Jesus, my God; thou shalt ever be the object of my veneration, love, and trust; I will daily offer thee my sincere homage, and will joyfully celebrate thy festivals; I will publish thy greatness and thy blessings, and will spare no pains to obtain for thee the homage which is so justly due to thee; I will endeavour to conform my sentiments to thine, and I will constantly study how I may imitate thy virtues, especially thy humility and purity.

Deign, O most holy Virgin, to open thy heart to me, and receive me into it, among thy children and faithful servants: obtain for me grace to imitate thee, as thou didst imitate Jesus; help me in all my necessities; assist me in every danger; console me in affliction, and teach me to make a good use of the pleasures and sorrows of this life, but above all help me, most blessed Lady, in the hour of my death. Amen.

Another Short Act of Consecration

Holy Mary, Mother of God, and my Mother, I commend myself, body and soul, into thy holy keeping, this day, and every day of my life, and especially at the hour of my death: to thee I commit all my hopes and consolations, all my trials and sorrows, my life and my death, that, through thy holy merits and intercession, all my actions may be directed and disposed according to the most holy Will of thy Divine Son. Amen.

Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Mary

To which an indulgence of 60 days, to be gained
once in a day, has been attached.

Heart of Mary, Mother of God, and our Mother, heart deserving of all love, and most pleasing to the blessed Trinity, worthy of the affection and veneration of Angels and of men, heart most resembling the Heart of Jesus, of Which thou art the most perfect image, heart full of goodness and compassion for our wretchedness, we beseech thee to soften our icy hearts, and help us to turn completely to our Divine Saviour. Inspire us with a love of thy virtues, and inflame us with the holy fire with which thou burnest; embrace and guard the holy Church, and be ever her sweet asylum, and her impregnable fortress against the attacks of her enemies; be thou our guide to Jesus, and the channel by which we may receive all the graces necessary for our salvation; be our help in our necessities, our comfort in affliction, our support in temptation, our refuge in persecution, our aid in every danger, but especially in the struggles of our last moments, when Hell will be let loose against us, to snatch our souls. In that fearful moment on which our Eternity depends, then, O most blessed Virgin, let us experience the goodness of thy maternal heart, and the greatness of thy power with the Heart of Jesus, by opening to us a secure refuge in that Source of all mercy, that so we may bless Him with thee in Heaven for ever and ever. Amen.

An Act of Atonement to the Sacred Heart of Mary

O Mary, Mother of my Saviour, chosen before all ages to crush the head of the infernal serpent, how can there have been men capable of insulting thy name, thy images, and thy glorious privileges, and even of abolishing all devotion to thee! How can there ever have been hearts so unnatural as to despise and hate thee, who so fully deservest the utmost respect, and the most tender affection of angels and of men! Prostrate at thy feet my august Queen, I grieve for such insults, which have afflicted thy heart; and to this heart therefore I offer my atonement. Accept, O Mary, this act of reparation; I wish to feel for thee all the respect, love, and gratitude, which are so justly due to thee; I offer thee my homage, my praise, and my grief, regretting that I cannot by these sentiments make reparation for the contempt, hatred, and blasphemies of thy enemies. Amen

Prayer of Reparation to the Blessed Virgin Mary

How do I grieve, O holy and spotless Virgin, when I reflect on the insults thou hast received, and still receivest every day from the malice and ingratitude of men! Thou hast been outraged by heretics, and insulted by bad Catholics: how could any heart have been so hard and impious? Alas! even some Catholics are cold and indifferent towards thee, and do not in the least endeavour to show thee their love and gratitude, neglecting to honour or invoke thee, or to deserve thy protection. I myself have many times afflicted thee, most holy Virgin, by offending thy Divine Son, Whom thou lovest a thousand times more than thyself: my sins have pierced thy heart with a two-edged sword! What return have I made, what gratitude have I shown for all thy goodness to me, my beloved Mother? How have I tried to imitate thee, or what zeal have I felt for thy service?

Mother of mercy, I should not dare to lift up my eyes to thee, if thou wert not the Refuge of sinners: oppressed by the weight of my crimes I cast myself at thy feet, to implore thy pardon for my ingratitude, and for that of all mankind, Mother of sorrows, who wert appointed our Mother on Mount Calvary, I implore thee to forget our past conduct, which I most earnestly wish to atone for, as far as possible. I offer thee my homage and praise, and I profess aloud my conviction that thy glory exceeds that of all creatures; with the Church I revere thy immaculate conception and thy glorious assumption; I believe that thy power and thy perfection are such as suit thy dignity of Mother of God; I joyfully acknowledge thee for my mother, my Advocate, and my Refuge; and as long as I live I will be among the most devoted of thy children, and will endeavour to win souls to thy love. Most holy Mother be pleased to accept my desires; bless and protect them, that so, by copying thy virtues, I may deserve to see thee in Heaven for all Eternity. Amen.