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Votive Mass of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Pontifical Mass with the Solemn Consecration of Marian Catechists

Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe

La Crosse, Wisconsin

4 May 2024

Is 61, 9-11

1 Sam 2, 1. 4-5. 6-7. 8

Lk 2, 41-51


The Finding of Our Lord in the Temple, recounted in today’s Gospel, is part of the Mystery of Faith, the Mystery of the Redemptive Incarnation. The Child Jesus remained “in [H]is Father’s house”[1] after the feast of the Passover, manifesting His divine nature. He is God the Son. He also “went down with [Mary and Joseph] and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them.”[2] He is God the Son Incarnate, the Son of Mary whose husband Joseph is His Virginal Father. As we profess in the Nicene Creed, God the Son, “consubstantial with the Father,”[3] “[f]or us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.”[4] It is the Mystery of Faith, manifested to the Virgin Mother of God through the Finding of the Divine Child in the Temple, that she kept in her heart,[5] for her Immaculate Heart was in perfect union with the Most Sacred Heart, divine and human, of Jesus, God the Son and her Son.

Blessed Columba Marmion, in his spiritual masterpiece, Christ, The Life of the Soul, reflecting on the words of the angel of the Lord to the shepherds at the Nativity of Our Lord,[6] comments on the union of Mary’s Immaculate Heart with the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus:

It is with heart and soul that the Virgin Mary enters into the mysteries of her Son. St. Luke tells us that the mother of Jesus “kept in mind all these words” – the words of her Son – “pondering them in her heart” [Lk 2, 19]. The words of Jesus were for her sources of contemplation: may we not say the same of the mysteries of Jesus? Assuredly Christ, when He was living these mysteries, illumined the soul of His mother with light upon each one of them. She understood them; she associated herself with them; everything Our Lord said and did was – for her He loved among all women – a source of graces. Jesus, so to say, gave back to His mother in divine life (of which He is the source) what He had received from her in human life. That is why Christ and the Virgin are so indissolubly united in all the mysteries; and it is also why Mary has united us all, in her heart, with her Divine Son, [our head].[7]

Christ received His human nature in the womb of Mary so that she, first of all – in anticipation of the fruit of His Saving Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension – , and all who would come to life in Him through Faith and Baptism, might share in His divine nature, the life of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Mary’s union of heart with the Heart of the Savior was consummated at the Foot of the Cross. Blessed Columba Marmion concludes his reflection:

Now, the work par excellence of Jesus, the holy of holies of His mysteries, is His Passion. It is by His Sacrifice, the shedding of His blood on the cross, that He completes His restoring of divine life to men, that He reinstates them in their dignity of children of God. Christ Jesus willed to make His mother enter into that mystery in a capacity so special, and Mary united herself with the will of her Son the Redeemer in that mystery so fully, that, while keeping her rank as simply a creature, she truly shares with Him the glory of having at that time brought us to birth in the life of grace.[8]

So intimately and uniquely united to her Divine Son in the Mystery of the Redemptive Incarnation, the Virgin Mary, while remaining the first of the redeemed by the Mystery of the Immaculate Conception, shares in the work of the Redeemer to bring all souls to Himself.

Blessed Columba declares:

By giving her consent to the Divine proposing of the Incarnation, [the Virgin] agreed to enter into the plan of the Redemption in a unique capacity; she agreed not only to be the mother of Jesus but to associate herself with the whole of His mission as Redeemer. To each one of the mysteries of Jesus she was to renew this Fiat that was so full of love, right up to the moment when, after having offered on Calvary for the salvation of the world this Jesus, this Son, this body she had formed, this blood that had been her own, she was able to say “All is consummated.” At that blessed hour, Mary had entered so far into the [sentiments] of Jesus that she can be called “Co-redemptrix.” Like Jesus, she at that time, by an act of love, completed the bringing of us forth to the life of grace. According to the thought St. Augustine expressed, she, mother of our head, by having borne Jesus in her womb became, through her soul, will and heart, the mother of all the members of the Divine head: “In body, mother of our head; in spirit, mother of His members” [St. Augustine, De sancta Virginitate, n. 6].[9]

Given to us as our eternal Mother by her Divine Son as He died on the cross for our salvation, the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Immaculate Heart draws our hearts ever more completely into the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus so that, purified of sin, we may live more and more in Him, in His Divine Truth and Love.

Through the Solemn Consecration of Marian Catechists, we give our hearts, one with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus for the teaching of Divine Truth and Love in the Church. The Solemn Consecration of Marian Catechists is a sacramental which confers actual grace for a life lived totally in Christ the Teacher for the salvation of many souls. It is the grace of cooperating with Christ in His mission of salvation, in that sense, of being co-redeemers with Him.

I am offering the Holy Mass today for the intention of our seven brothers and sisters who, in California, Halifax (Canada), Michigan, Ohio, and South Carolina are making, for the first time, the Solemn Consecration of the Marian Catechist, and for all, here and in various parts of the world, who are renewing the Solemn Consecration. Praying for all Marian Catechists, I offer you the exhortation of Blessed Columba Marmion:

Let us ask of the Virgin that grace will flow down to us in abundance from the humanity of her Jesus who possesses the fullness of it, so that we may more and more be conformed, through love, to this beloved Son of the Father, who is also her Son. That is the best request we could possibly make to her. At the Last Supper, Our Lord said to His apostles: “My Father loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came forth from Him” [Jn 16, 27]. He could say the same thing to us of Mary: “My mother loves you, because you love me and believe that I was born of her.” Nothing is more pleasing to Mary than hearing it proclaimed that Jesus is her Son, and seeing Him loved by all creatures.
The Gospel, as you know, has preserved for us only a very few sayings of the Virgin. I have … recalled one …: what she said to the servants at the wedding-feast at Cana – “Do whatever He tells you” [Jn 2, 5]. These words are like an echo of the words of the Eternal Father: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear Him” [Mt 17, 5; Mk 9, 6; Lk 9, 35]. We can apply to ourselves that saying of Mary: “Do everything my Son tells you to.” That will be … the best form of our devotion to the Mother of Jesus. The Virgin Mary has no greater wish than to see her Divine Son obeyed, loved, glorified, exalted. As is so with the Eternal Father, Jesus is the object of all her delight.[10]

May Our Lady intercede powerfully for the Apostolate which our beloved and saintly Founder Father John Anthony Hardon placed into her care under her title of Our Lady of Guadalupe. May our members find their joy and peace in her Divine Son, and may they be worthy messengers of her Divine Son so that many may know His joy and peace, now and in eternity.

One with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Woman of the Eucharist, let us now, through the Eucharistic Sacrifice, give our hearts completely to the glorious-pierced Heart of Jesus. May we, one in heart with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, keep always in our hearts the Mystery of Faith, so that we may faithfully bring Christ to others through the Marian Catechist Apostolate.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke

[1] Lk 2, 49.

[2] Lk 2, 51.

[3] “… consubstantialem Patri.” “The Order of Mass, Creed,” Daily Roman Missal, 7th ed., ed. James Socias (Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, 2019), Latin: p. 722, English: p. 723.

[4] “… propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem descendit de caelis. Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine, et homo factus est.” Ibid., Latin: pp. 722 and 724; English: pp. 723 and 725.

[5] Cf. Lk 2, 51.

[6] Cf. Lk 2, 10-12.

[7] “C’est de cœur et d’âme que la Vierge Marie entre dans les mystères de son Fils. S. Luc nous dit que la mère de Jésus « conservait dans son cœur les paroles de son Fils et les méditait » : Maria autem conservabat omnia verba haec conferens in corde suo [Luc. II,19]. Les paroles de Jésus étaient pour elle des sources de contemplation ; ne pouvons-nous pas en dire autant des mystères de Jésus ? Le Christ assurément, quand il vivait ces mystères, éclairait l’âme de sa mère de lumières sur chacun d’eux ; elle les comprenait, elle s’y associait ; tout ce que disait ou faisait Notre-Seigneur était pour sa mère, qu’il aimait entre toutes les femmes, une source de grâces. Jésus rendait pour ainsi dire à sa mère en vie divine dont il est la source, ce qu’il en avait reçu en vie humaine. C’est pourquoi, le Christ et la Vierge sont si indissolublement unis dans tous les mystères ; et c’est pourquoi aussi Marie nous a tous unis, dans son cœur, avec son Fils, notre chef.” Columba Marmion, Le Christ vie de l’âme. Conferences spirituelles (Maredsous [Belgique]: Abbaye de Maredsous, 1914), p. 493. [Marmion]. English translation: Columba Marmion, Christ the Life of the Soul, tr. Alan Bancroft (Bethesda, MD: Zaccheus Press, 2005), p. 478. [MarmionEng].

[8] “Or, l’œuvre par excellence de Jésus, le saint des saints de ses mystères, c’est sa passion ; c’est par son sacrifice sanglant sur la croix qu’il achève de rendre la vie divine aux hommes, qu’il les restitue dans leur dignité d’enfants de Dieu. Le Christ-Jésus a voulu faire entrer sa mère dans ce mystère à un titre si spécial, Marie s’y est unie si pleinement à la volonté de son Fils Rédempteur, qu’elle partage véritablement avec lui, tout en gardant son rang de simple créature, la gloire de nous avoir, en ce moment, enfantés à la vie de la grâce.” Marmion, pp. 493-494. English translation: MarmionEng, pp. 478-479.

[9] “En donnant son consentement aux divines propositions de l’Incarnation, elle a accepté d’entrer, à un titre unique, dans le plan de la Rédemption ; elle a accepté non seulement d’être la mère de Jésus, mais de s’associer à toute sa mission de Rédempteur. A chacun des mystères de Jésus, elle a dû renouveler ce Fiat plein d’amour, jusqu’au moment où elle a pu dire, après avoir offert au Calvaire, pour le salut du monde, ce Jésus, ce Fils, ce corps qu’elle avait formé, ce sang qui était le sien : « Tout est consommé ». A cette heure bénie, Marie est entrée si avant dans les sentiments de Jésus qu’elle peut être appelée Corédemptrice. Comme Jésus, à ce moment-là, elle a achevé, par un acte d’amour, de nous engendrer à la vie de la grâce. Mère de notre chef, selon la pensée de S. Augustin, pour l’avoir enfanté dans ses entrailles, elle est devenue par l’âme, la volonté, le cœur, mère de tous les membres de ce divin chef. Corpore mater capitis nostri, spiritu mater membrorum ejus [De sancta Virginitate, n. 6].” Marmion, pp. 504-505. English translation: Marmion, pp. 487-488.

[10] “Demandons à la Vierge que l’humanité de son Jésus, qui possède la plénitude de la grâce, la fasse dériver sur nous abondamment, afin que nous soyons de plus en plus, par l’amour, conformes à ce Fils bien aimé du Père, qui est aussi son Fils. C’est la meilleure demande que nous puissions lui faire. A la dernière Cène, Notre-Seigneur disait à ses apôtres : « Mon Père vous aime parce que vous m’avez aimé et que vous avez cru que je suis né de lui » [Joan. XVI, 27]. Il pourrait nous dire la même chose de Marie : « Ma mère vous aime, parce que vous m’aimez et que vous croyez que je suis né d’elle ». Rien n’est plus agréable à Marie que d’entendre proclamer que Jésus est son Fils, et de le voir aimé de toutes les créatures.

L’Évangile, vous le savez, ne nous a conservé que très peu de paroles de la Vierge. Je viens de vous en rappeler une, celle dite aux serviteurs des noces de Cana : « Tout que ce que vous dira mon Fils, faites-le ». Quodcumque dixerit vobis, facite [Joan. II, 5]. Cette parole est comme un écho de la parole du Père éternel : « Voici mon Fils en qui j’ai mis toutes mes complaisances, écoutez-le » : Ipsum audite. Nous pouvons nous appliquer cette parole de Marie : « Faites tout ce que vous dira mon Fils ». Ce sera le meilleur fruit de cet entretien ; ce sera aussi la meilleure forme de notre dévotion envers la mère de Jésus. La Vierge-Mère n’a pas de vœu plus grand que de voir son divin Fils obéi, aimé, glorifié, exalté : comme pour le Père éternel, Jésus est l’objet de toutes ses complaisances.” Marmion, pp. 508-509. English translation: MarmionEng, pp. 490-491.

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