Heart of Mary
In order that (…) there may be devotion to the Heart of Mary, the attention and the homage of the faithful must be directed to the physical heart itself. However, this in itself is not sufficient; the faithful must read therein all that the human heart of Mary suggests, all of which it is the expressive symbol and the living reminder: Mary’s interior life, her joys and sorrows, her virtues and hidden perfections, and, above all, her virginal love for her God, her maternal love for her Divine Son, and her motherly and compassionate love for her sinful and miserable children here below.
- From Catholic Encyclopedia
If you are not able to assist at the public services or devotions in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary in your own church, erect a little altar to Mary in your house, and adorn her picture, or statue, with flowers, and there, every day, either alone or with others of your household, meditate upon her virtues, and implore her powerful intercession.
- Instructions for May devotions (source)
Mater Boni Consilii
Today is the feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel, an image of Mary venerated in Genazzano near Rome.
Records dating from the 1460s relate that the image miraculously appeared in Genazzano’s church of Santa Maria on the feast of St Mark, 25 April 1467.
Some weeks later two Albanian men arrived in the city. They had fled from the Ottoman armies that had occupied Albania. According to the men the image had been venerated in a church in their home town Scutari, now known as Shkodra. While the city was under siege they saw the image being transported on a cloud in the direction of Italy. The men decided to follow the image and embarked on a journey which eventually led them to Genazzona.
The old church of Santa Maria in Genazzano soon became of place of pilgrimage. The devotion of Our Lady of Good Counsel spread rapidly. It has been popular with many saints and popes, many of which have visited the shrine. The Augustinians greatly promoted the devotion: they chose Our Lady of Good Counsel as their patroness and erected churches and shrines in her honour in many countries around the world.
Nuestra Señora de la Correa
The image of Our Lady of the Cord in Valencia, Spain. According to tradition, the devotion of wearing a belt in honour of Mary was initiated by St Monica, the mother of St Augustine.
In a vision Mary gave the saint a black leather belt and told her she would grand all those who wore it special protection.
Anonymous asked: What is the iconography of Mary, Star of the Sea?
Star of the Sea is one of Mary’s ancient titles. It refers to her role as patroness of travelers, sailors and fishermen. She is also the guide of pilgrims, both on their physical and spiritual journeys.
There is no set iconography of the Star of the Sea, though sometimes Mary is depicted on a boat, standing by or floating above the sea. Images of Mary as Star of the Sea can be found in many Catholic countries, especially those by the sea.
Ave Maris Stella (Hail Star of the Sea) is a famous Catholic hymn about the title. It was composed in the 9th century.
Pilgrims filling bottles with water from the spring in the grotto of Massabielle in Lourdes.
The location of the spring was described to Bernadette Soubirous by Mary in February 1858. Since that time millions of pilgrims have followed Mary’s instruction to “drink at the spring and wash in it”.
Although never actively encouraged by the Church, Lourdes water has become a focus of the pilgrimage to the French shrine. The water is believed to possess healing power. Miraculous springs are also found at many other Marian shrines around the world.
It is the eve of the Immaculate Conception, when Columbians celebrate Día de las Velitas - or Day of the Little Candles.
On this day people place candles and lanterns in and around their houses, as well as in churches, streets and squares. The entire country becomes a sea of light in honour of Mary and her Immaculate Conception.
L’Enfant de Marie
This French devotional image was printed for members of the sodality of the Children of Mary.
This Catholic Marian confraternity began following St Catherine Laboure’s vision of Mary in Paris in 1830: It is the Blessed Virgin’s wish that you should found a Confraternity of the Children of Mary. She will give them many graces. The month of May will be kept with great splendour and Mary will bestow abundant blessings upon them.
The people of Malta have a great love for Mary, which expresses itself in many street shrines, churches, altars, pilgrimages and festivals.
Every other house has a small Madonna, Sacred Heart or saint by its front door, to protect the building and all who dwell in it.
I find these humble expressions of faith, not always executed in the best of tastes, very moving. To the mediterranean Catholic they are instantly recognisable as reminders of God’s presence in our lives through His Mother and the saints. They greet, protect and guide us all, as we are on our way.
Most Holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God, I (full name), most unworthy though I am to be thy servant, yet touched by thy motherly care for me and longing to serve thee, do, in the presence of my Guardian Angel and all the court of Heaven, choose thee this day to be my Queen, my Advocate, and my Mother, and I firmly purpose to serve thee evermore myself and to do what I can that all may render faithful service to thee.
Therefore, most devoted Mother, through the Precious Blood thy Son poured out for me, I beg thee and beseech thee, deign to take me among thy clients and receive me as thy servant forever.
Aid me in my every action, and beg for me the grace never, by word or deed or thought, to be displeasing in thy sight and that of thy most holy Son.
Think of me, my dearest Mother, and desert me not at the hour of death. Amen.
- St Francis de Sales’ Consecration to Mary