“You have seen hell where the souls of poor 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.”
– Our Lady of Fatima, July 13th, 1917
Dear Friends of Carmel,
August 22nd is traditionally the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and though not many know it, the Church dedicates the entire month of August to Our Lady under this title. As we know from devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, honoring the Immaculate Heart is honoring of the love of Our Lady. We would like to give some small tribute to her, during this, her 30 Days, especially since in our current culture and society, even within the Catholic Church, she is misunderstood by so many – and even attacked and calumniated. How someone so good, so loved by Our Lord Jesus Christ, can be despised, is beyond comprehending!
It can be said that devotion to the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart are one and the same. Christ chose in the scheme of His all-wise Providence, to have His humanity, His very Heart, depend on His Mother. It was with her consent, her “Fiat!” at the Annunciation, and from her heart that His most Sacred Heart was formed. Yet most certainly, it is also true that Christ created His Mother’s heart and gave to His Mother all that she had: an immaculate and perfect love, the unique love of a Virgin-Mother, the love of God as both her Creator and her Son, a mother’s tender love for us. These two hearts possess and pour forth one love: for both God and men. Christ and His Mother, intimately united in the work of Redemption.
All of this was expressed beautifully in a symbol that was given to us by the Blessed Mother herself when she showed St. Catherine Laboure in an apparition the design for the Miraculous Medal. The front of the medal presents to our devotion Our Lady herself, the Mediatrix of all grace, with rays of light falling from her hands upon the world. On the reverse of the medal, Our Lady gave us a symbol that perfectly expresses her union with her Divine Son. It displays the letter “M” connected beneath a cross, Mary, as it were, hanging upon, depending upon the Cross. As with every soul, all she has depends upon her Son and the Redemption He accomplished for the world. But while she depends upon it the cross also comes from the “M,” just as Our Lord’s Incarnation rested upon the Blessed Mother’s cooperation. Below the Cross, we see, side by side, the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. These two Hearts, ever joined in purpose and destiny, for love of us!
How mistaken those are who accuse Catholics of honoring His Mother in place of Christ. Christ Himself honored her! She, who is the most perfect and unflawed expression of His will, she whom He loves above all other created beings, she whom He Himself obeyed, and of whom He said to all of us in the last moments of His life, “Behold your mother.” She does not compete with Christ – rather she is our greatest teacher and model, our greatest advocate before the divine throne, our mother in our pursuit of Heaven. As is said in the Collect for today’s Feast: “All Powerful, eternal God, in the Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary You prepared a dwelling place worthy of the Holy Spirit. Grant that, after celebrating with love the feast of her Immaculate Heart, we may live according to Your Heart.”
“O blessed heart, thou hast hated nothing, fled from nothing, feared nothing, except what could injure the interests of thy beloved Son, and hast never known anger except towards that which was opposed to His glory!
O blessed heart, so completely closed to the vanities of the earth and of self-interest that not one trace of them ever found place in thee! Thy confidence in God was equaled by thy firm trust in divine bounty, and, fired with holy generosity; never didst thou give way before the obstacles raised by hell and the world to prevent thee from advancing along the path of sacred love….
Blessed indeed are the hearts of the true children of Mary, who strive to live in conformity with the most holy heart of their Mother most admirable!
Think, think of the honor that is due to her heart, most noble part of the virginal body that gave flesh to the eternal Word…What honor is due to her heart, life principle of the Mother of God and God made man!
Above all, what great veneration is merited by the heart that God Himself loved and glorified most highly, the heart that adored and loved God more perfectly than all the hearts in Heaven and upon earth! May every heart praise and magnify thee forever and ever!”
– Saint John Eudes, The Admirable Heart of Mary
The vision of the Miraculous Medal was not the first, nor the last time Our Mother in Heaven visited earth. Might anyone believe it not possible for her to visit earth? Not possible that God, with Whom nothing is impossible, could and would send her as His emissary to His children – her children? The world, having gone so far astray from His merciful designs for it, often remains deaf to His pleas for conversion, often grows cold to the graces that are so readily at our fingertips. But this conversion is so necessary for the salvation of souls. Therefore, in another “merciful design” of His untiring will to bring souls to Heaven, yes, Our Lord has sent His Mother to earth – many times. We should not shut our eyes and ears to messages of hope, nor to reliable witnesses and historical testimony. Our Blessed Mother is a true prophet – speaking for the living God, and the Church has always discerned with grave prudence and lengthy investigations the true from the false apparitions. Guadalupe, Lourdes, Fatima, La Salette, Quito, as well as the apparitions that gave to us the Brown Scapular, the Rosary, and the Miraculous Medal (to name just a few!) – the Church has long promoted these messages to the great benefit of all her members. Just as in the Gospel, the proof has been in miracles and in innumerable conversions, bringing hope and guidance in times of great need – and not neglecting warnings for the future.
Some years ago, on the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, we published a newsletter in which we gave parallel quotations from St. Margaret Mary’s visions of the Sacred Heart, and the apparitions at Fatima. We provide them again at the end of this newsletter and urge you to read again for yourselves these important words from Heaven. The messages were essentially the same – the neglect of mankind, the need for reparation, the desire to save souls through these two devotions. Christ draws all souls to Himself. The Blessed Mother draws souls in order to lead them to her Son. She who brought Him into the world, continues to bring Him into the world.
Regarding again the Marian apparitions, especially the more recent ones of Fatima, La Salette, and Our Lady of Good Success, there are those who seek to “cancel” Our Lady and her words. They claim these messages are questionable because they are all “gloom and doom” which would never come from a mother of mercy. Shallow and wayward are such interpretations! Is it not the most loving mark of a true Mother to correct her children? Time and time again God sent prophets to the chosen people of the Old Testament to reprimand them, call them away from error, and warn them of God’s punishments if they continued to worship false gods. It is important to remember that it was the false prophets of the Old Testament – not the true ones – who always foretold nothing but good tidings and prosperous ventures. They failed to warn the people, since they did not speak for God.
We might marvel at the fact that the Chosen People fell into such gross sins of idolatry in the desert after just witnessing great miracles, such as the parting of the Red Sea. But we need only look in the mirror. Is not our society, once converted from its pagan idols, turning farther every day from its Christian heritage, raising new idols of science, technology, and humanity itself? Has not Christian civilization been crumbling for the past hundred years? As Pope St. Pius X said, “The religion of God made man has encountered the religion of man who makes itself God.” We live in an age when not just the practice of abortion, but even infanticide is considered “up for debate.” We live in an age when moral perversion is not just tolerated, but promoted and enshrined. We live in an age that attempts (and has succeeded in some cases) to criminalize any attempts to convert or instruct those breaking the most basic of the Ten Commandments. And does anyone really think, that all these crimes against God’s holy law will go forever unpunished? We have been sent our prophets, our warnings. Unfortunately, as was most always the case in the Old Testament, these warnings have gone largely unheeded.
But we commend to you again the wise, instructive, encouraging words of Christ and His holy Mother at the bottom of this short newsletter. As always, Heaven has the answers for peace in this world. From the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, we were given the promise of final victory, the victory of the Cross. And while we wait, pray, and sacrifice for that day, let us join our prayers to that of St. John Vianney: “O Mary, may all the nations glorify your Immaculate Heart! May the whole earth invoke and bless your Immaculate Heart!”
May the Immaculate Heart of Mary triumph soon.
Blessed Feast day to all!
Your Carmelite Sisters
As you know we have been updating many of the pictures on our relic badges the past few years, since pixels and printers have changed so much in the past twenty years! This month we present our re-designed Sacred and Immaculate Heart badge. Of course, we included the two most common invocations, “Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us,” and “Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.” But out of all the other invocations, we could have included, we thought it important to include the words of both the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart “I will reign in spite of My enemies,” and “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” However dire the days, we know the outcome! And this hope of Christ’s future triumph should be before our eyes and the anchor of our hearts. What other foot soldier has been given such a promise of final victory?!
We also designed a second Our Lady of Fatima badge to promote her Immaculate Heart in particular as well as her message of reparation. On the back is printed the small prayer of reparation that was given to the children. Reparation is greatly needed for the world – a world that so offends the good God! The Sacred Heart asked for it; Our Lady asked for it. May this badge be a daily reminder we can carry in our pocket of this important work in the Mystical Body of Christ.
– Filled with inspiration and devotion
– Finest Traditional Calendar available today
– Elegant and classic reproductions for each month – depicting the most beloved liturgical scenes
– All Feast Days accurately listed
– Includes special guide, summary of truths of the Catholic Faith, Patron Saints and Prayers section – useful to all Catholics
to St. Margaret Mary and the three children of Fatima
“My Divine Heart is so inflamed with love for men, and for you in particular, that being unable any longer to contain within Itself the flames of Its burning Charity, It must needs spread them abroad by your means, and manifest Itself to souls in order to enrich them with the precious graces of sanctification and salvation necessary to withdraw them from the abyss of perdition.”
“Jesus wishes to use you in order to make me known and loved. He wishes to establish devotion to my Immaculate Heart in the world. I promise salvation to those who embrace it; and these souls will be beloved of God like flowers arranged by me to adorn His throne.”
“Behold the Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, in order to testify Its love; and in return, I receive from the greater part of souls only ingratitude…”
“Let them offend Our Lord no more for He is already much offended.”
“I will be your strength. Fear nothing, but be attentive to My voice that you may be in the requisite disposition for the accomplishment of My designs.”
“Do not be dismayed. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart shall be your refuge and the road that shall lead you to God.”
“My Sanctity of justice is satisfied by the sacrifice you have made…therefore, from this time forward, you must no longer lay any claim to whatever you may do or suffer, either to increase your merits or to make satisfaction by penance or otherwise, since everything is sacrificed in favor of charity.”
“Sacrifice yourselves for sinners and say many times, especially when you make a sacrifice, “O Jesus, this is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
“… In return for My love, I receive from the greater part only ingratitude, by their irreverence and sacrilege, and by the coldness and contempt they have for Me in the Sacrament of My love. Therefore, I ask of you that the Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi be set apart for a special Feast to honor My Heart, by communicating on that day, and making reparation to It by a solemn act, in order to make amends … I promise you that My Heart shall expand Itself to shed in abundance the influence of Its Divine Love upon those who shall thus honor It, and cause It to be honored … To all those who receive Communion on the first Fridays of nine consecutive months, I will give the grace of final perseverance and eternal salvation.”
“See, my daughter, my Heart encircled by thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. Do you, at least, strive to console me. Tell them that I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation all those who, in order to make reparation to me, on the First Saturday of five successive months, go to Confession, receive Holy Communion, say five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for a quarter of an hour, meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary.”
“Make known to the eldest son of My Sacred Heart that, as his temporal birth was obtained by devotion to my Holy Infancy, so will he obtain his birth into grace and eternal glory by consecrating himself to My adorable Heart. It wants to triumph over his heart and, through him, over the hearts of the great ones of the earth. It wants to reign in his palace, be painted on his standards, and engraved on his arms, so that they may be victorious over all his enemies. It wants to bring low these proud and stubborn heads and make him triumphant over all the enemies of holy Church.”
Our Lord to Sister Lucy – August, 1931: “Make it known to My ministers that given they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My command, that they will follow him into misfortune. It will never be too late to have recourse to Jesus and Mary. They did not wish to heed My request! Like the King of France they will repent of it, and they will do it, but it will be late. Russia will have already spread its errors in the world, provoking wars and persecutions against the Church. The Holy Father will have much to suffer.”
“I will reign in spite of my enemies.”
“In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”