June 13 Fatima apparition explains devotion to Mary’s Immaculate Heart

By Barb Ernster –

One hundred years ago today, Our Lady kept her promise and appeared again to the three shepherd children at the Cova da Iria at Fatima, Portugal. During this second apparition, she began to lay out the broader mission that would become Lucia’s for the next 87 years. She told Lucia that, unlike Jacinta and Francisco who would be taken to heaven soon, she would remain on earth for some time longer: “Jesus wishes to use you to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.”

The Fatima apparitions are different from other Marian apparitions in that Our Lady presented a whole spirituality centered on devotion to her Immaculate Heart, and she extended her dialog with humanity for nearly nine decades through Sister Lucia.

What is the meaning of devotion to her Immaculate Heart? Our Lady is inviting us into her own heart where we will discover the treasure that is there – the life and presence of her beloved Son, Jesus. It is here that we are “schooled” in the deeper mysteries of the Gospel and the person and mission of Jesus.

In the Gospel of Luke, 2:19, the visit of the shepherds at the birth of Jesus, the gospel writer states: “And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” And again, in Luke 2:51, when Jesus is found in the temple: “His mother kept all these things in her heart.”

Two times, Luke informs us that Mary kept these treasures in her heart where she could reflect on them and come to understand more fully the mission of Jesus, and her own role in that mission. She would not have known what the full plan of God’s salvation was when the Angel visited her; therefore, her “yes” was particularly indicative of one who fully trusted in the will of the Father, was abandoned to it and obedient, as was Jesus.

Mary wants our abandonment and deep trust in Jesus. God wants our devotion to her Immaculate Heart so that we can learn from the best, so that His graces can flow freely to us through this immaculate vessel. Where does she lead us? Directly to her Son, and she will never lead us anywhere else.

Her promise to 10-year-old Lucia on this day 100 years ago, “My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God,” was never broken. Lucia turned to that Immaculate Heart often for protection, solace, peace and to seek God’s will. She developed a deep and affectionate love for the Blessed Virgin, trusting in her guiding hand and in Jesus’ plan, even when that plan seemed totally unattainable. Abandoned to His will and obedient to His commandments, Lucia, like Mary, was able to carry out all that God wanted of her.

We will celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Heart in 11 days, on Saturday, June 24, the day after the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on Friday. If you have not yet consecrated yourself to Mary, do a nine-day novena to the Immaculate Heart starting this Thursday, June 15.  Learn from her and allow her to lead you to God.  Mary told Lucia: “I promise salvation to whoever embraces (devotion to her Immaculate Heart). These souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by me to adorn his throne.”

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