(Painting representing the vision received by Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart. Jesus had revealed to her: “By the brightness of this light, peoples and nations will be illumined, and they will be warmed by its ardor.”)
“I could never separate the devotion to the Heart of Jesus from the devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and I will never be able to explain how and how much the Sacred Heart of Jesus deigned to favor me in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist” (Blessed Maria of the Divine Heart).
CONSECRATING THE WORLD TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
This short outline of the life of Blessed Maria (or Mary) of the Divine Heart is derived from and based on Ann Ball’s short biography of her in Modern Saints (TAN), and also from the Wikipedia article on Blessed Maria. This saint (she is beatified) shows us how much Jesus desires consecration to His Sacred Heart. The story which follows is a powerful incentive to consecrate yourself and your family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ.
A short portrait of Blessed Maria of the Divine Heart:
1. Blessed Maria Droste Zu Vischering, 1863-1899, was a Catholic nun known as “Maria of the Divine Heart.”
2. She was born to a wealthy family in Germany, and upon attending boarding school at the Sisters of the Sacred Heart (at age 15), she began to understand “that the love of the Sacred Heart without a spirit of sacrifice is but empty illusion.”
3. According to Wikipedia, “While at school, she contracted pneumonia and shortly before her eighteenth birthday, returned home to recover. In 1883, at the chapel of the Castle of Darfeld, Maria is said to have had an interior locution of Jesus Christ who said her: ‘Thou shalt be the wife of My Heart’. On 5 August of that same year, on the Silver Jubilee of her parents’ marriage, Maria told them of her desire to become a religious.”
4. Maria joined the Sisters of Charity of the Good Shepherd and made her final vows on January 29, 1891 at age 27. She received the name Maria of the Divine Heart.
5. She had considerable success as a youth worker with young girls, and “attributed all her success in her apostolate to the Heart of our Lord.”She stated: “Only the Heart of Jesus is responsible for the success I always had with the girls….When you are appealing to His Divine Heart for a soul, He will never refuse you, although sometimes He demands much prayer, sacrifice and suffering.”
6. In her mystical life, while Superior of the Convent of the Good Shepherd in Oporto , Portugal , Jesus told her of His wish to consecrate the entire world to His Sacred Heart, and directed her to make this wish known to Pope Leo XIII.
7. Sister Maria “had predicted that she would die as soon as the consecration was accomplished.”
8. According to Wikipedia:
“On June 10, 1898, her superior at the Good Shepherd monastery wrote to Pope Leo XIII stating that Sister Mary had received a message from Christ, requesting the pope to consecrate the entire world to the Sared Heart. The pope initially did not believe her and took no action. However, on January 6, 1899 she wrote another letter, asking that in addition to the consecration, the first Fridays of the month be observed in honor of the Sacred Heart. In the letter she also referred to the recent illness of the pope and stated that Christ had assured her that Pope Leo XIII would live until he had performed the consecration to the Sacred Heart. Theologian Laurent Volken states that this had an emotional impact on Leo XIII, despite the theological issues concerning the consecration of non-Christians.
Pope Leo XIII commissioned an inquiry on the basis of her revelation and Church tradition. In his 1899 encyclical letter Annum Sacrum, Leo XIII decreed that the consecration of the entire human race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus should take place on June 11, 1899. In the same encyclical, Pope Leo XIII referred to the illness about which Sister Mary had written, stating: ‘There is one further reason that urges us to realize our design; We do not want it to pass by unnoticed. It is personal in nature but just as important: God the author of all Good has saved us by healing us recently from a dangerous disease’.”
Pope Leo XIII also composed the Prayer of Consecration to the Sacred Heat, and included it in Annum Sacrum. Pope Pius X later decreed that this consecration of the human race, performed by Pope Leo XIII, be renewed each year.”
9. “On June 8, 1899 , two copies of the encyclical were personally delivered to her [Sister Maria], and at 3:05 pm [on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, according to Wikipedia, although not confirmed by Ann Ball] she quietly gave her soul to God.”
10. “On June 11, 1899, Pope Leo XIII consecrated the entire human race to the Heart of Jesus.”
11. “Pope Leo XIII called this consecration ‘the greatest act of my pontificate’. “
12. Sister Maria was declared Venerable in 1964, and was beatified by Pope Paul VI in 1975.
13. Blessed Maria of the Divine Heart, intercede for and share with us your great love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ.
Tom Mulcahy, M.A.
P.S. According to Wikipedia, “Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart’s incorrupt body is exposed for public veneration in the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Ermesinde, in northern Portugal.”
Image: Image and caption at Wikipedia (Public Domain, U.S.A.)
Book Recommendation: The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus: How to Practice the Sacred Heart Devotion by Rev, John Croiset (TAN Books).
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