What is The Immaculate Heart of Mary?
The Immaculate Heart of Mary refers to the interior life of the Blessed Virgin Mary — her joys and sorrows, her virtues and hidden perfections, and, above all, her virginal love for God the Father, her maternal love for her son Jesus, and her compassionate love for all people.
In devotional art, the Immaculate Heart of Mary is traditionally depicted pierced with seven wounds or swords, in homage to the seven sorrows of Mary. Roses or other types of flowers may be wrapped around the heart.
While the Sacred Heart of Jesus is directed especially to the “divine heart” as overflowing with love for humanity, in the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the focus is on the love of her heart for Jesus and for God.
But it is no accident that the Miraculous Medal features both, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The aim of the Marian devotion is to unite humankind to God through Mary’s heart, and this process involves the ideas of consecration and reparation. The object of the devotion being to love God and Jesus better by uniting one’s self to Mary for this purpose and by imitating her virtues.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary has scriptural foundation: In chapter 2 of his Gospel, Luke says twice that Mary kept all things in her heart, that there she might ponder over them, and recounts the prophecy of Simeon that her heart would be pierced with a sword (hence the pierced heart in devotional art).
John’s Gospel draws attention to Mary’s heart with its depiction of the Blessed Virgin at the foot of the cross at Jesus’ crucifixion.