Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,
I place my trust in Thee!
"It is altogether impossible to enumerate the heavenly gifts which devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has poured out on the souls of the faithful, purifying them, offering them heavenly strength, rousing them to the attainment of all virtues. Therefore, recalling those wise words of the Apostle St. James, "Every best gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights,"(2) We are perfectly justified in seeing in this same devotion, which flourishes with increasing fervor throughout the world, a gift without price which our divine Savior the Incarnate Word, as the one Mediator of grace and truth between the heavenly Father and the human race imparted to the Church, His mystical Spouse, in recent centuries when she had to endure such trials and surmount so many difficulties.
“…Is Mary the rose then? Mary the tree?
But the blossom, the blossom there, who can it be?
Who can her rose be? It could be but one:
Christ Jesus our Lord, her God and her son.
In the gardens of God, in the daylight divine
Shew me thy son, mother, mother of mine….”
-Excerpt from “Rosa Mystica” by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Perhaps it is Our Lady’s title of Rosa Mystica, under which we invoke her in the Litany of Loretto, that flora such powerful connection to devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary—particularly during her month of May, when flowers are abundant (especially here in Santa Rosa!). Devotions such as May Crowning, wherein Our Mother is decorated with a corona of blossoms, are endearing displays of devotion—but they are also much more when one takes into account the symbolism behind such an action:
In the beautiful litany of St. Joseph, we call upon our spiritual Father under many varied titles:
Guardian of Virgins…
Head of the Holy Family…
Mirror of Patience….
Each invocation is striking in its individuality and yet seamlessly part of the whole in painting for us, by the strokes of these titles, the figure of the greatest and last of the patriarchs. Any of these is worthy to be the subject of our meditation, but one that brings itself to the forefront on this occasion is: “Christi Defensor Sedule”, Zealous Defender of Christ.
St. Joseph, Spouse of the Mother of God and Foster Father of Jesus, is our father in a special way. To him we confide our temporal wants, to him we confide our vocations, to him do we go when in need spiritually or temporally. Each year, we pray a novena leading up to his feastday, thanking him for his care of our Community and entrusting to him our petitions.
“The dignity and glory of St. Joseph is such
that the Eternal Father conferred upon him with greatest liberality,
a likeness to His own supremacy over his incarnate Son.”
- St. Bernadine of Siena
"What was family life in Nazareth like? In the home of the Holy Family in Nazareth, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph sanctified their ordinary life, without doing anything spectacular or newsworthy. They led a life that was to all appearance the same as that of their neighbors, a life that was important, not because of the material things they did, but because of the love that they put into these things, in perfect union with the Will of God the Father."
- St. Josemaria Escriva
Hymn from Vespers of the feast of the Holy Family
Blest light of all the heavenly hosts,
Sole hope of them that well on earth,
The purest love that ever graced
A home, did smile upon thy birth.
Mary, dear Mother, who but thee
Was ever yet so rich in grace?
Didst nourish Christ upon thy knee
And fold him in a sweet embrace?
And Joseph, chosen out to guard
The Virgin with thy gentle might,
The Infant Jesus smiled on thee
And called thee father as by right.
You, who to save a guilty race
Were born of David’s noble line
O hear the humble prayers of all
Today, who gather round your shrine.
The sun now wends his way to rest
And earth is veiled in shadows gray;
Yet hearts a-fire with joy and love
Still bid us linger on to pray.
O may the grace of that sweet home
Which held the earthly Trinity.
Be shed abroad upon the world
And bless the Christian family.
O Jesu, born of a Virgin bright,
Immortal glory be to thee;
Praise to the Father infinite
And Holy Ghost eternally.
Holy Family, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love Thee.
"Almighty and everlasting God, Who hast granted to honor in one solemn Feast
the merits of all Thy Saints: we beseech Thee, that through the multitude of intercessors, Thou wouldst bestow upon us the desired abundance of Thy atonement."
- Collect: Solemnity of All Saints
"In me is all grace of the way and of the truth;
in me is all hope of life and of virtue.
Like a rose planted on the rivers I have borne fruit."
- Offertory: Mass of the Most Holy Rosary of the B.V.M.
“I gaze upon the children of men to see whether anyone feels compassion for me, and alas, I see but few! …Do not forget me. Consider how much I have suffered.”
- Our Lady to St. Bridget
In the 14th Century, Our Lady appeared to St. Bridget of Sweden revealing the seven promises for those who honor meditate on her Seven Sorrows:
“I want My Church to…put the devotion to this Immaculate Heart
beside the devotion to My Sacred Heart.”
- Our Lord to Sr. Lucia
"God began the work of our redemption in the Heart of Mary, given that it was through Her ‘fiat’ that the redemption began to come about. This Immaculate Heart must be for us a refuge and the way that leads to God ... We see that devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary must be established in the world by means of a true consecration, through conversion and self-giving. Christ began, with Mary, the work of our salvation. It was from Mary that Christ received the Body and Blood that are to be poured out and offered up for the salvation of the world. Hence, Mary, made one with Christ, is the co-Redemptrix of the human race.” - Sr. Lucia on devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary