Just as everything in Our Lord Jesus Christ is great and admirable, so also everything that concerns Mary, His holy Mother, is replete with grandeur and marvels. Every part of the sacred humanity of the Son of God is deified and raised to an infinite dignity through its union with the Divinity; so likewise everything in the Blessed Virgin Mary is ennobled and sanctified by her divine maternity. There is no part of the sacred body of the God-Man that is not worthy of the eternal admiration of angels and men, and there is nothing in the virginal body of the Mother of God that is unworthy of the eternal praise of all creatures.
The Holy Spirit, the Son of God and His Saints have given high praise to the sacred members of Mary’s immaculate body. We may therefore conclude that her blessed heart, the first and worthiest part, is deserving of especial veneration. Shall we not share the sentiments of Jesus Christ, our Head, and follow the example He gives us? Mary’s Divine Son, who has willed to be our Head and our Brother, manifests great zeal in honoring even the smallest exterior detail of the person of His Most Blessed Mother. Who therefore can dare to criticize the other children of this Mother of Fair Love, if, following the spirit and example of their divine Head and Elder Brother, they render special homage to her maternal Heart and celebrate a feast in its honor with the permission of Holy Church?
There are five marvelous prerogatives of the corporeal heart of Mary which render it forever worthy to receive the veneration of men and angels.
The first prerogative consists in the fact that the heart is the principle of the life of our holy Mother. It is the principle of all the functions of her bodily, material life, ever holy in itself and in its every function and employment. It is the source of the life of the Mother of God, the life of her who gave birth to the only Son of God, the life of the woman through whom God gave life to all the children of Adam, sunk as they were in the abyss of eternal death. Finally, her heart is the source of a life so holy, so noble, so sublime that it is more precious in the sight of God than the lives of all the angels and men.
The second prerogative of the corporeal heart of Mary is that it produced the virginal blood with which the sacred body of the God-Man was formed in the chaste womb of His blessed Mother.
The third prerogative of Mary’s heart of flesh is that it was the source of the human, material life of the Infant Jesus during the nine months that He dwelt in Mary’s sacred womb. While the infant is in its mother’s bosom, the mother’s heart is to such an extent the source of the infant’s life that both mother and infant can be said to depend upon it for their existence. Mary’s admirable heart was therefore the source of the two most noble and precious lives, at once the source of the holy life of the Mother of God and of her only son, the humanly divine as well as the divinely human life of the God-Man.
The fourth prerogative of the amiable heart is noted in the words of the holy bride to the divine bridegroom, that is, of Mary to Jesus, who is her Son and her Father, her Brother and her Spouse: “Our bed is flourishing” (Song 1:15), that is, our bed is covered and perfumed with flowers. What is this bed? It is the pure heart of the Blessed Virgin where the divine Infant so gently rested.
It was a great privilege for St. John, the beloved disciple, to have rested once on the Savior’s adorable breast, from which he drew such great light and derived the knowledge of so many marvelous secrets. But not only once but many times did our divine Savior rest on the virginal heart of His dearest Mother. What abundance of lights, of grace and of blessings the Eternal Sun, the very source of light and grace, must have poured into that maternal heart, on which He rested so often! Her heart never interposed the slightest obstacle to divine grace. On the contrary, she was always disposed to welcome every celestial favor. Our Lord loved her heart more than all other hearts put together, and was in turn loved by it more perfectly than by the hearts of all the Seraphim. What union, what intimacy, what understanding, what correspondence between these two Hearts! What fire in these two furnaces of love constantly inflamed by the breath of the Holy Spirit!
St. John Eudes, Admirable Heart of Mary, Chapter III. Edited by the Order of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary, at www.heartsofjesusandmary.org.