District Superior's Letter: Jul-Aug 2015
I would like to comment on the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is not a novelty that started with the apparitions at Fatima.
As the storm is raging, Holy Mother Church appears to us like the Apostles’ boat wherein Our Lord was sleeping. “I sleep but my heart waketh!” You will find with this Regina Coeli Report issue on the Pilgrim Statue of Fatima, the Letter to Friends and Benefactors from our Superior General, Bishop Fellay. In it he describes the storm and the crisis of the Church.
I would like to comment on the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is not a novelty that started with the apparitions at Fatima. In the 13th century Sts. Mechtilde and Gertrude explicitly mentioned it. In the 17th century St. John Eudes and St. Louis Mary Grignion de Montfort in their preaching united the Sacred Heart of Jesus to the Heart of Mary. In the 19th century Pius VII and Pius IX allowed certain places to have a special feast of the “Most Pure Heart of Mary.” In 1800 Fr. Pierre Coudrin founded the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, known also as Picpus Fathers which was approved by Pius VII on 1817.
In 1854, by defining solemnly the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, Pius IX affirmed that her Heart has always been immaculate. Our Lady at Lourdes would come to confirm this privilege.
In 1830, appearing at Rue du Bac in Paris, she requested St. Catherine Laboure to have a medal made with the united Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Since then this medal is called miraculous because of her wonderful mercies.
In 1905 St. Pius X granted a plenary indulgence for the 12 First Saturdays devotion in honor of the Immaculate Conception. On June 13, 1905, the pope approved the First Saturdays devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary made in reparation for the blasphemies against her name and her privileges. It is exactly six years before Our Lady would appear to the children and tell them for the first time God’s will regarding the devotion to her Immaculate Heart, showing it to them surrounded by thorns.
The devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the essential message of Our Lady at Fatima. In the apparitions it is even given as a divine order. “God wants to establish…” The consecration of Russia itself is tied to this devotion. One of the conditions of this future consecration is a promise made by the pope to approve and propagate the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In the divine plan the extraordinary consequences of the consecration of Russia will make clear for everyone the power of Mary, and the pope, in gratitude, will then promote this devotion in an official and solemn way.
Today entering into this devotion depends on us, not only by complying at certain moments with certain practices (First Saturdays, rosary, penance etc.) but by fully living it. It consists mainly in introducing into our daily lives a special motive: the spirit of reparation. It is a devotion of reparation. It implies acknowledgment of sins, conversion and Marian intercession for the salvation of souls. Is this not what men lack most in today’s storm, even inside the boat of the Church? In the Gospel, Our Lord upon waking reproaches the Apostles for lack of faith. As for us, in order to keep it, let us practice the Faith according to His desire.
He himself expressed to Sister Lucy this desire and the providential place of the Immaculate Heart in our times:
I very ardently desire the propagation of the cult and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, because that Heart is the magnet which attracts souls to Me, the Heart which radiates on the earth the rays of My light and of My love, the inexhaustible source which causes to pour over the earth the living waters of My Mercy.”
Dear faithful, may these words encourage you in your daily efforts to keep alive the light of Faith in this world and to witness the holiness of our God by faithfulness to His divine Law according to our state of life.
On our part we will continue to offer the best through our daily priestly duties. Various reasons, independent of our will, oblige us to make many changes this year and in advance, I thank you for your patience in dealing with the new assignments of priests and the changes that they imply which are often painful for you.
I thank you for your tireless prayers and generosity.
With my blessing for you and your families,
Yours in Her Immaculate Heart,
Fr. Jurgen Wegner
1 Song of Solomon 5:2.
[…] the good God promises to make an end of the persecution in Russia if the Holy Father deigns to make and orders to be made by all the bishops of the Catholic world, a solemn and public act of reparation and consecration of Russia to the Most Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, His Holiness promising, with the help of the end of this persecution, to approve and recommend the practice of the reparatory devotion.” Letter to Fr. Goncalves, Sister Lucy, May 29, 1930.
3 Communication to Sister Lucy, in a letter to Bishop Gurza, May 27, 1943.