The feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is celebrated on the Saturday following the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which falls on the Friday 19 days after Pentecost. Notice the proximity of the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary; one follows the other and they are inseparable, just as the Hearts of Jesus and Mary are inseparable. After all it was Mary who gave Jesus his human heart. A mother’s heart is always united to that of her children. We are Mary’s “spiritual children” because she is the Mother of the Church, therefore we also have recourse to her maternal, Immaculate Heart.
It is in St. Luke’s Gospel that we first learn about Mary’s heart. Luke introduces us to Mary’s heart when the shepherds come to adore the Christ child and share with St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary what the angels had proclaimed, Luke tells us that “Mary kept all these words and pondered them in her heart” (Lk 2:19). Again, we see Mary’s heart in the Gospel of St. Luke at the presentation of the Christ Child in the temple, Simeon prophesies of the Child and then turns to Mary and exclaims that a sword will pierce her heart (Lk 2:34-35). Finally, St. Luke tells of the finding of the Child Jesus in the temple when He asks Mary, “did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business” and Mary did not understand these words, but “kept all these words in her heart” (Lk 2: 48-51). Mary does not understand everything all at once, she must take it all and keep it in her heart, pondering all the while. We too can ponder Jesus’ words in our hearts and go to Mary, our Mother in her Immaculate Heart as a “refuge and the way” that will lead us to God.