Let us state immediately and with fervor that, in one sense, the Immaculate Heart of Mary has already triumphed. In one true sense, Our Lady has already conquered and the definitive victory belongs to Her. Bl. Dom Columba Marmion confirms this: “Her privileges have raised her above all creatures and now she reigns triumphant in Heaven on the right hand of Jesus as Queen of the Angels and of the Saints.”(1) In this article we will treat of the triumphant Heart of Mary as Immaculate, Maternal, Sorrowful, and Glorious. Then we will respond to a question regarding the prophecy of Fatima about the triumph of the Immaculate Heart and our role in bringing about such a triumph.
First of all, blessed Mary was created victorious. “I am the Immaculate Conception,” She said at Lourdes. From the first moment of Her existence, the Immaculate had a twofold victory over the enemy: a negative victory and a positive victory. Her negative victory was the fact that She was conceived without sin: the Immaculate was never subject to the devil; rather, She was victorious, regal and “utterly” triumphant over the infernal enemy from the first moment of Her Conception.(2) Her positive victory was the perfect union of Her will with the Holy Spirit: Our Lady was the Spouse of the Holy Spirit by name, that is, the created Immaculate Conception so completely united with the uncreated Immaculate Conception (the Holy Spirit) as to “receive the name of the bridegroom.”(3) Through this double victory Her Heart was already triumphing from the time of Her Immaculate Conception and has never ceased to be triumphant.
In fact, She was predestined to be the Mother and Queen in the order of grace from all eternity. From all eternity, before any consideration of sin, God willed both the Incarnation of the Word and the divine maternity of Mary in “one and the same decree.”(4) This means that the Immaculate was chosen and created by God as “predestined Mother”(5) and triumphant Queen at the moment of Her Conception. In other words, Her Immaculate Heart triumphs immediately after being conceived in the womb of St. Anne. Behold Her Heart separated from sin, “holy, innocent, without sin, separated from sinners and elevated above the heavens” (cf. Heb. 7:26), which will give human nature to the King of kings; behold Her Heart elevated “above every other created perfection… and this from the first instant of Her conception”(6); behold the Immaculate Heart of Mary which triumphs with every heartbeat.
“But when the fullness of time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman” (Gal. 4:4), namely that Woman who “shall crush” the head of the serpent (Gen. 3:15), who shall appear “clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars” (Rev. 12:1). This Woman, in pronouncing Her Fiat, became the Virgin Mother of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. At that moment Her Immaculate Heart became a Maternal Heart: a Mother’s Heart for Jesus and for all those who would be united to Her only Son in the Mystical Body of Christ.(7) For this reason St. Bonaventure exclaims: “The Holy Spirit transformed the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God into a furnace of His love and instrument of His marvelous operation.”(8)
The obedience of the Immaculate in Her Fiat indicates a new triumph for Her Heart, the triumph over the disobedience of Eve, the triumph of the coming of Christ the King—the New Adam—the triumph of Her divine and virginal maternity, the triumph of the most profound intimacy between God and humanity in the virginal womb beneath Her Maternal Heart.
One cannot overlook the triumph of Her Heart when She intervened with Her maternal mediation for the spouses at the wedding feast of Cana. In fact, it is precisely Her Heart as “Mother of Jesus” that hastens the hour of the King: “This first of His signs Jesus worked at Cana of Galilee; and He manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him” (Jn. 2:1, 11).
However, we know all too well that after the fall of the human race through original sin there was an impenetrable wall between God and man. Consequently, there was an obstacle which impeded man from profiting from the coming of the King and Queen. Christ and Mary could not grant divine grace to man because man, as a result of original sin, had become filius irae.(9) The Hearts of the Mediator and Mediatrix had to redeem humanity by destroying the curse of sin and opening the gate of divine mercy. They had to reclaim Their kingdom which humanity had given over to Satan in the Garden of Eden.
When the hour of glory arrived and the Divine King was raised up on the Cross, there stood at the foot of the Cross the Mother and Queen—Mary. Their royal Hearts, united and pierced through, redeemed the world, destroying the wall that separated God and man. For this reason Jesus said to St. Bridget, “The Heart of My Mother was like My Heart; I can say that My Mother and I, with one Heart only, accomplished the Redemption of the human race.”(10) Therefore, on Calvary the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with and subordinate to Christ, conquered the enemy in a definitive manner, reclaiming the kingdom of God on earth as Coredemptrix of the human race.
More stupendous still is the heavenly triumph of Mary’s Heart. Her Immaculate, Maternal and Sorrowful Heart is already glorified because it has been assumed into Heaven. It throbs with love in unison with the Heart of Jesus in the glory of Heaven amidst the Angels and the Saints. The Venerable Fr. Gabriel Allegra makes this clear: “The mystery of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a summary of all Her mysteries, […] it is the compendium of all the greatest gifts, all the virtues, all the charisms of the Immaculate Mother […] from Her holy Conception to Her glorious Assumption, even unto eternity.”(11)
After the Assumption, Her Heart, which synthesizes the entire person of Mary, is crowned by the Most Holy Trinity itself: behold the glorious and royal Heart of Mary in Heaven! It is indisputable that the Immaculate Heart is already triumphing in Heaven; in fact, every time we meditate on the Coronation of Our Lady as Queen we contemplate the heavenly triumph of Her Heart. Yes, “adorned with gold of Ophir, the queen stands at thy right hand” (Ps. 44:10).
In the End My Immaculate Heart Will Triumph?
If the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is already realized in Heaven, what do the words of Our Lady of Fatima mean: “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph”? The response is simple: Our Lady is not speaking about the triumph in Heaven, but the triumph in the world, in the Church, in hearts. Obviously the Mother’s Heart has not yet triumphed in this sense, and it is not Her fault, but ours alone.
It is for this reason that we pray to the Father day after day: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven” (Mt. 6:10). The Father’s kingdom is the kingdom of Jesus and Mary. God the Father “hast given… power over all flesh” (Jn. 17:2) to Jesus, and Our Lady reigns at His side as the Queen Mother. The Father’s will is clear: He wills the salvation and sanctification of all souls in His only-begotten Son. Our Lady has repeated this at Fatima, but She has made more specific the divine will, namely, that in order to save souls, “God has willed to establish devotion to my Immaculate Heart in the world.” God wills devotion to Her Heart, so that it might be on earth as it is in Heaven, that is, that the most Sacred Hearts might reign supreme on earth just as They already do in Heaven.
The Saints longed for this terrestrial triumph. St. Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort sighs: “Ah! When will the happy time come when the divine Mary will be established Mistress and Queen of all hearts in order that she may subject them fully to the empire of her great and holy Jesus? When will souls breathe Mary as the body breathes air?”(12) St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe also asked: “When will it happen that the souls of men shall love the Divine Heart of Jesus with Her Heart?”(13) Bl. Jacinta of Fatima exclaimed to Lucia: “Oh, if I could only put into the hearts of all, the fire that is burning within my own heart, and that makes me love the Hearts of Jesus and Mary so much!”(14) We too long for this triumph.
So it is that Our Lady has need of soldiers, of a powerful army which will advance the triumph of Her Heart in the world in this third millennium.
Fr. Maximilian Mary Dean, F.I., a member of the Franciscans of the Immaculate, is an author whose Mariological contributions include several articles and his recent book, In Pursuit of Immortal Souls.
(1) Bl. Columba Marmion, Christ the Ideal of the Priest, B. Herder Book Co., St. Louis, MO; P. II, Ch. XVIII, section I (p. 292).
(2) Bl. Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, “And indeed it was wholly fitting that so wonderful a mother should be ever resplendent with the glory of the most sublime holiness and so completely free from all taint of original sin that she would triumph utterly over the ancient serpent” (italics are mine).
(3) Cf. Scritti di Massimiliano Kolbe, 1997, ENMI Rome, n. 1229 (pp. 2161-2165).
(4) Bl. Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, “uno eodemque decreto.”
(5) Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, n. 56.
(6) Scritti di Massimiliano Kolbe, n. 1229: “If among creatures a bride receives the name of the bridegroom because she belongs to him, unites herself to him, makes herself similar to him and, in union with him, becomes the creative factor of life, how much more is the name of the Holy Spirit, “Immaculate Conception,” the name of Her within whom He lives in a love that is fruitful in the whole of the supernatural economy” (translation is mine).
(7) Cf. Pio XII, Radiom. 1947; cf. also Mystici Corporis, n. 75.
(8) Reported in Il Cuore Immacolato di Maria, Ven. Fr. Gabriel Allegra (p. 70); third edition, 1991, Cireale (CT), Italy.
(9) Cf. Eph. 2:3, “children of wrath.”
(10) Reported in Il Cuore Immacolato di Maria, Ven. Fr. Gabriel Allegra, P. II, C. I, s. 3 (p. 45).
(11) Ibid. P. II, C. I, s. 3 (p. 45); P. II, C. II, s. 2 (p. 54); P. II, C. II, s. 1 (p. 54).
(12) True Devotion to Mary, (translated by Fr. Frederick Faber), Tan Books and Publishers, Rockford, IL, 1985; n. 217.
(13) Scritti di Massimiliano Kolbe, n. 1224.