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CATHOLIC CHURCH OF MARY
MOTHER OF GOD, PONDERS END (WESTMINSTER DIOCESE)

Immaculate Heart-Introduction

The Immaculate Heart of Mary originally, ‘The Sacred Heart of Mary’ is a devotional name used to refer to the interior life of Mary, her joys and sorrows, her virtues and hidden perfections, and, above all, her virginal love for her God, her maternal love for her Son, Jesus, and her compassionate love for all people.

History of the Devotion

Devotion to the Heart of Mary is connected on many points with that to the Heart of Jesus. The attention of Christians was early attracted by the love and virtues of the Heart of Mary. The gospels recount the prophecy delivered to her at Jesus' presentation at the temple: that her heart would be pierced with a sword. This image (the pierced heart) is the most popular representation of the Immaculate Heart. The St. John's Gospel further invited attention to Mary's heart with its depiction of Mary at the foot of the cross at Jesus' crucifixion. St. Augustine said of this that Mary was not merely passive at the foot of the cross; "she cooperated through charity in the work of our redemption".

Growth of Devotion

It is only in the twelfth, or towards the end of the eleventh century, that slight indications of a regular devotion are perceived in a sermon by St. Bernard (De duodecim stellis), from which an extract has been taken by the Church and used in the Offices of the Compassion and of the Seven Dolours. Stronger evidences are discernible in the pious meditations on the Ave Maria and the Salve Regina, usually attributed either to St. Anselm of Lucca (d. 1080) or St. Bernard; and also in the large book "De laudibus B. Mariae Virginis" (Douai, 1625) by Richard de Saint-Laurent, Penitentiary of Rouen in the thirteenth century. In St. Mechtilde (d. 1298) and St. Gertrude (d. 1301) the devotion had two earnest adherents.

Baptism Celebrations

A little earlier it had been included by St. Thomas Becket in the devotion to the joys and sorrows of Mary, by Blessed Hermann (d.1245), one of the first spiritual children of Saint Dominic, in his other devotions to Mary, and somewhat later it appeared in St. Bridget's "Book of Revelations". Johannes Tauler (d. 1361) beholds in Mary the model of a mystical soul, just as St. Ambrose perceived in her the model of a virginal soul. St. Bernardine of Siena (d.1444) was more absorbed in the contemplation of the virginal heart, and it is from him that the Church has borrowed the lessons of the second nocturn for the feast of the Heart of Mary. St. Francis de Sales speaks of the perfections of this heart, the model of love for God, and dedicated to it his "Theotimus."

FIRST SATURDAY DEVOTION

The first Saturday Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was first mentioned by Our Lady of Fatima on July 13th 1917. After showing the three children a vision of hell, she said, “You have seen where the poor souls of sinners go. To save them God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace... I shall come to ask for ... the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays.”

Eight years later, on December 10th 1925, Mary and the Child Jesus appeared to Lucia, the sole surviving Fatima visionary, at a convent in Pontevedra, Spain. Our Lady rested her hand on Lucia’s shoulder, revealing a heart encircled by thorns.

The Child Jesus said: “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 none to make an act of reparation to remove them.” Then the Most Holy Virgin said: “Look, my daughter, at My Heart, surrounded with thorns which ungrateful men pierce Me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console Me and announce in My name that I promise to assist, at the moment of death, with all the graces necessary for the salvation of all those who:

  • On the first Saturday of five consecutive months,
  • Shall make a good confession
  • Receive Holy communion
  • Recite the five decades of the Most holy Rosary
  • And keep Me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary*
  • With the intention of making reparation for me.
* It is not required to meditate on all fifteen mysteries. To meditate on one or two is sufficient.

St. Alphonsus Ligouri's Prayers, Consecrations, and Acclamations to the Blessed Virgin Mary. CLICK HERE Holy Rosary - Origin, How to Say the Rosary and the Mysteries. CLICK HERE

OUR LADY OF LOURDES

‘Our Lady of Lourdes’ is easily the most well renowned of Marian apparitions worldwide. Please visit the official Lourdes Sanctuary website HERE for anything you would like to know further about ‘Our Lady of Lourdes.’ Our very own Parish Grotto dedicated to ‘Our Lady of Lourdes’. If you are not aware of the location of the grotto, it is in the garden between the Church and the Church Hall (as you come out of the Church turn right, and just as you start walking down Nags Head Road you’ll see a black gate immediately to your right. Please enter this gate).

Please take a moment perhaps before or after mass (especially during the Marian months of May and October); or even just in passing, to pay tribute to ‘Our Lady of Lourdes’.
VIDEO CLIP(S) OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES

MARY, MOTHER OF GOD

Our very own parish statue of Mary, Mother of God (holding the child Jesus).

"There is a long standing tradition in our parish of Mary, Mother of God to Crown the Statue of Our Lady with a Crown of Flowers. Because Mary is so beautiful and so good, we Crown her with flowers because they are a sign of our love for Mary but also because it is springtime and there are so many flowers and so much growth in our world that they remind us of the new life of Jesus, her Son that she is giving to us.

The Crowning always takes place in the Month of May which is a special time of Devotion to Mary. We begin, before Mass, in the garden by the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes where we sing hymns and say prayers in honour of Our Lady and then the Statue is carried into the church in procession where it is crowned with flowers. This is always done for us by children from our parish family. We then celebrate Mass together.

It is a lovely occasion and it is very special to us here in Ponders End because we are dedicated in a special way to Mary as Mother of God. Always remember her because she loves us so much and wants to be part of our lives.”
– Father John Shewring

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