Celebrate the Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary: Liturgical Living Ideas this August
In August, the Church honors the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This month, we remember in a special way the interior life of the Blessed Mother...
In August, the Church honors the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
This month, we remember in a special way the interior life of the Blessed Mother––her joys and sorrows, her virtues and perfections––and seek to emulate her love for Jesus.
Here are five ways to honor the Immaculate Heart and grow closer to Jesus through Mary during the month of August.
Consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart
Marian consecration is the act of entrusting one’s self––body and soul–– to the protection, guidance, and intercession of Our Lady. You are giving the Blessed Mother, who always brings us to her Son, permission to take you by the hand and lead you to holiness. In giving yourself to Mary, she will give you fully and more perfectly to Jesus.
Many people use St. Louis de Montfort’s Preparation for Total Consecration or Fr. Michael Gaitley’s 33 Days to Morning Glory as a way to prepare for consecration but you can also offer a simple and sincere prayer like this Solemn Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by Venerable Pope Pius XII:
Most Holy Virgin Mary, tender Mother of men, to fulfill the desires of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the request of the Vicar of Your Son on earth, we consecrate ourselves and our families to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, O Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and we recommend to You, all the people of our country and all the world.
Please accept our consecration, dearest Mother, and use us as You wish to accomplish Your designs in the world.
O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and Queen of the World, rule over us, together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, Our King. Save us from the spreading flood of modern paganism; kindle in our hearts and homes the love of purity, the practice of a virtuous life, an ardent zeal for souls, and a desire to pray the Rosary more faithfully.
We come with confidence to You, O Throne of Grace and Mother of Fair Love. Inflame us with the same Divine Fire which has inflamed Your own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Make our hearts and homes Your shrine, and through us, make the Heart of Jesus, together with your rule, triumph in every heart and home. Amen.
Begin the First Saturday Devotion
The First Saturday Devotion aims at making reparations for the blasphemies and offenses spoken against the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The devotion was first explained to Sister Lucia dos Santos, one of the Fatima visionaries by Mary herself. Our Lady told Sister Lucia:
Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.
This beautiful practice will bring so much joy to the hearts of both Jesus and Mary and beginning this devotion during the month of our Lady’s Immaculate Heart will bring her much honor. If you miss the first Saturday of August, commit to starting in September.
Wear your Miraculous Medal
The Miraculous Medal, one of the most popular Catholic devotions, goes back to France in 1830 when the Blessed Mother appeared to Saint Catherine Laboure. Mary gave Saint Catherine the symbolic designs for a medal that grants those who wear it devoutly a multitude of graces. You can find this medal at any store that sells Catholic goods and it’s a simple way to honor Our Lady every day, especially during this month.
Meditate on the life of the Blessed Mother
As Christians trying to live a life of holiness, we have so much to learn from Mary during her earthly life. Spending time with her in prayer gives us a chance to, in some sense, observe her example of virtue and help us imitate her.
One way to meditate on her life is, of course, by praying the Rosary. By praying either the traditional mysteries of the rosary or the Seven Sorrows Rosary, you can pray with the significant moments in the life of Jesus and Mary.
You can also read through key passages in Scripture and, using forms of prayer like Lectio Divina or Ignatian Meditation, gleam wisdom on how to live a life with God at its center. Not sure where to start? Try Luke 1: 26-28 or John 2:1-12. Invite the Spouse of Mary, the Holy Spirit into this time of prayer to guide your thoughts.
Observe the major Marian feast days this month.
During this month dedicated to Our Lady, the Church also observes two of her feast days.
On August 15 we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which remembers Mary being brought body and soul to heaven. Consider placing flowers by a statue of Mary or praying a decade of the rosary before bed. And don’t forget, this Solemnity is a holy obligation so make sure you go to mass!
Then on August 22 we celebrate the Feast of the Queenship of Mary. You can honor the Queen of Heaven and Earth doing something as simple as praying the Hail Holy Queen before bed or something more extravagant like making a dinner feast fit for a royal. If you have a statue of Mary in your home, you can make a crown and place it on her head.
Get creative with your celebrations and have fun embracing the liturgical year.