Post by Elizabeth on Aug 22, 2019 15:17:44 GMT
The Immaculate Heart of Mary
In 1917 the Mother of God appeared six times at Fatima in Portugal. After showing the three children a vision of hell, She informed Lucy of Fatima, the oldest of the visionaries: You have seen hell, where the souls of poor sinners will go. To save them, the Lord desires to establish devotion to My Immaculate Heart in the world. The Saviour Himself, when He appeared to Lucy again on December 10, 1925 with His Mother, indicating with His hand the Heart of His Mother, said: Have pity on this gentle Heart, continually martyred by the ingratitude of men.
Christians have long known that at the very origin of the world God threatened the ancient enemy, disguised under the form of a serpent, that the Woman he had seen in vision with Her Son, the Son of God, would eventually crush his head. I Myself, God told him, will place an irreducible enmity between Her race and your race. Thus Satan was informed at that moment, after he had just seduced the first human couple, that in the end, it would be this other Woman and Her Son, who would vanquish him. He had refused to honor the incarnate Son of God in His future human nature, inferior to his own angelic nature; his pride would not permit him to abase himself to serve God in that form. Christian hope has been nourished ever since by the prospect of this victory; nonetheless, the Mother of God wanted the twentieth century from its early years to understand that the time was drawing near when Her Immaculate Heart would triumph, as She explicitly said at Fatima, but that it was only through Her, uniquely by Her maternal aid, that this victory could be attained.
Mary is indispensable to the sanctification of each soul. This is the great truth which in the Latter Times must be better understood. For that purpose, consecration to Her Immaculate Heart was given us at Fatima, as the means She Herself desired, with the daily Rosary. Devotion to Her Heart is not new in the Church; Saint John Eudes, Saint Louis Mary de Montfort, how many others, in truth all the Saints have loved the Heart of their Mother in Heaven. But to know Her well, each one must individually establish the relationship of a child with its loving Mother. For this purpose She asks for our personal and effective consecration to Her Immaculate Heart. The child of Mary turns to Her constantly for counsel, force and courage, gentleness and humility in the affairs of daily life. Many prayers of consecration to Mary exist, in particular that of Montfort; but one may use any simple formula such as the following: Blessed and beloved Mother, I am Your child and I wish to belong to You; I give and consecrate myself forever to Your Immaculate Heart, renewing in Your hands my baptismal promises, and I ask You to ratify my filial homage to Your Immaculate Heart — that of my person and my activities, my temporal and spiritual goods, my resolution to have frequent recourse to Your maternal and merciful intercession. And, insofar as it is within my scope to do so, I offer You also my family, my homeland and all of humanity.
About the year 180 a great procession in honor of the Roman goddess Ceres was organized at Autun in southern France. Among the crowd was one who refused to pay the ordinary marks of worship. That non-conformist was therefore dragged before the magistrate and accused of sacrilege and sedition. When asked his name and condition, he replied, My name is Symphorian; I am a Christian. He was the son of a noble Christian family, still young and so innocent that he was thought to converse with the holy Angels. The Christians of Autun were few in number and little known, and the judge could not believe that the youth was serious in his purpose. He caused the laws enforcing pagan worship to be read, expecting a ready compliance. The young man replied that it was the law of the King of kings that he must obey. Give me a hammer, he said, and I will break your idol in pieces.
He was scourged and thrown into a dungeon. Some days later this son of light came forth from the darkness of his prison, haggard and worn, but full of joy. He despised the riches and honors offered to him as he had despised torments. He died by the sword, and went to the court of his heavenly King. The mother of Saint Symphorian stood on the city walls and saw her son taken out to die. She knew the honors he had refused and the dishonor of his death, but she esteemed the approval of Christ better than all the riches of the earth, and she cried out to him, My son, my son, keep the living God in your heart; look up to Him who reigns in heaven! Thus she shared in the glory of his passion, and her name lives with his in the records of the Church. Many miracles spread the glory of Saint Symphorian, and of Christ, the King of all Saints.