In the time of the Mosaic Law one of the greatest wonders of the world was the temple of Jerusalem. Yet this stupendous temple was merely a figure and an image of the multitude of temples to be found in the Christian world. It prefigured particularly the Sacred Humanity of the Son of God, for Christ referring to His own body said to the Jews: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19).
The temple of Jerusalem was a figure of Holy Church and a figure of each Christian. It prefigured our churches and cathedrals, but was also a representation of a temple far more holy and august than any material structure. What then is the true temple? It is the Holy Heart of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. The Church says of her person that Mary is “the temple of the Lord, the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit,” and we can apply these words with still better reason to her admirable Heart (since)… it is the source of all the qualities and excellences with which she is adorned. If, according to the divine Word, the body of each Christian is the temple of God (1 Cor. 6:19), who will dare to deny this characterization to the most worthy Heart of the Mother of all Christians? I affirm, therefore, that the Holy Heart of Mary is the true temple of the Divinity, the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit, the Holy of Holies of the Blessed Trinity.
This temple was not like Solomon’s built by a host of workmen, but by the Almighty Hand of God, Who can achieve greater wonders in a single instant than all the powers of Heaven and earth can accomplish during the whole of eternity.
The temple of Mary’s Heart was consecrated by the Sovereign Pontiff, Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. It was never profaned by the slightest sin and stood adorned with a tremendous wealth of ordinary and extraordinary graces, and by all Christian virtues practiced in the highest degree.
Not only is her Heart entirely covered with King Solomon’s gold, but it is itself wrought of the finest and purest gold, of a metal infinitely more precious than all the material gold to be found in the universe. The Heart of our amiable Mother is filled with love of God and charity towards us. It is entirely transformed into love and charity, and completely identified with the purest love and the most perfect charity. Its love is more ardent, more pure and divine, its charity more fervent, holier and more excellent than the love and charity of all the Seraphim. The temple of Mary contains all the riches of God together with all the treasures of Heaven and earth because it keeps within its cloister all the mysteries of the life of the Son of God. “His Mother kept all these words in her heart” (Luke 2:51). Her Heart possesses the very Son of God Himself, the treasure of the Eternal Father, Who encompasses all the wealth and beauty of the Most Holy Trinity.
In this temple Christ, the Sovereign Priest, offered His first sacrifice at the time of the Incarnation. Christ, the Doctor of doctors and the Preacher of preachers, Who taught and preached so often in the temple of Jerusalem, imparts to us from the temple of His Mother’s Heart as many instructions and lessons as there are virtues exemplified in this virginal Heart.
In this temple God is adored more profoundly and worthily, praised and glorified more perfectly than in all other material or spiritual temples that ever were and shall be in Heaven and on earth, the sacred humanity of Jesus alone excepted. The smallest acts of virtue and even the prayerful thoughts of Mary’s holy Heart are more agreeable to the Divine Majesty and render God greater honor and glory than the greatest actions of the foremost among the Saints.
The Heart of the heavenly Mary is indeed a temple and a temple filled with rarest marvels. God entrusted to King David a description of the temple of Jerusalem written by His own hand, as recorded in the words: “All these things came to me written by the hand of the Lord” (1 Par. 28:19). The Eternal Father willed to place several remarkable objects in this temple to foreshadow and represent many great and wondrous mysteries that were to be found in the admirable Heart of His holy Mother. Among them I notice seven principal objects that add significance to this symbolic picture, namely: the golden candlestick, the table with the loaves of proposition, the altar of perfumes, the Ark of the Covenant, the Tables of the Law, the Propitiatory and Oracle which reposed on the Ark, and the Altar of Holocausts.