Why is the Immaculate Heart Important?

Richard Salbato


Why do we, as Catholics, pay so much attention to Mary, and the purity and love of Mary, as represented in Her Heart?  Mary is just a creation of God, like all other creations, but we place Her creation above all others in the heavens and earth.  And yet the great Christian thinkers, even from the very first century, have known this without any doubt. 

To understand the mystery of Mary you must go way back to the very reason God created.  He first created matter and energy or all physical things. (Genesis 1:1-2) He then created the spiritual world, Heaven and the Angels. (Genesis 1:3)  The Angels He made somewhat God-like in that He made them with as pure spirits that would last forever and with free will.  He then tested the love of the Angels. (Genesis 1:4)  Love must be free and not forced.  The very nature of love requires free-will and must be tested so that we freely choose to love or not to love.  The first test of love was the Angels, before humans were created. 

What was the test of the Angels?

We find the answer to that in the vision shown to Saint John in Revelation or Apocalypse 11:19 - 12:4.  Keep in mind that this was just a sign and not the real thing.  The Angels in Heaven were shown a Woman as Queen (a woman who had not been born yet) and greater than all of creation. The dragon, Lucifer, rejected the Woman and the test of love.  The vision was a woman with child.  Lucifer and his followers were cast out of Heaven. They had rejected God’s vision of the future Queen and King and had rejected the love of God, which requires obedience.    

Lucifer, the light bearer, was from that moment on filled with hatred for the Woman. He waited to destroy this perfect creation who had not yet been born.  When God created Adam and Ever Satan thought Eve was this same woman and tried to destroy her.  When he realized it was not Eve, he continued to look for this Woman with child for 4000 more earthly years.

From before creation, God planned that His creation of Angels and Humans would be closely united to Him in a spiritual and even physical way.  The Angels in Heaven are spiritually united to God but he wanted humanity to be both spiritually and physically united Him, and therefore He created the fruit of the Tree of Life and that fruit was Christ.

After the fall of man, which God knew would happen even before creation, He prepared mankind for the creation of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, by giving them an example of Her in the making of the Ark of the Covenant,  the spiritual (not physical) tabernacle of God.  From this Ark or tabernacle, God spoke to and let His people.  But it was only a symbol of the real tabernacle of God, the Virgin Mary.

Now it is time for God to create His greatest creation, the real Tabernacle that will hold God, Himself, for nine months Her womb and care for Him for 30 years on earth.  In order to create a perfect and pure Tabernacle, God had to make Her free of original sin and filled with every possible grace and virtue even during conception. This creation of Mary is described symbolically in Apocalypse 21.

Mary was born in a natural way except being free of original sin and full of grace and virtue from conception.  He parents, Joachim and Anne, sent her to the temple at the age of 5 years.  From 5 to 15 years of age Mary was taught in the temple by the great prophetess’, Anna and Naomi.  At the age of 15 years of age, the High Priest of the temple had a vision that he was to pick a husband for Mary from the line of David.  In the vision he was told to have all the single men from the line of David to bring their staffs, and the staff that would blossom flowers would be God’s choice for her husband.  This happened as God had prophesied.  Joseph of Bethlehem took Mary home to her parent’s house in Nazareth.  Joseph left and began building a home for themselves. Both had taken a vow of virginity but trusted God and were always obedient to the Church and the law.

It was during this time of waiting that the Angel appeared to Mary. This was not unusual for Mary because in her first 15 years of life she often saw angels and even played with them in the temple.  What troubled Mary was that the angel was complimenting Mary, and she was not used to that because She was very humble.

When the Angel told Her that She would conceive a son, who would be called Jesus (God with us) and that He would be the awaited Messiah, She tested the Angel.  “How can this be, since I do not know man?”  The Angel explained to her the she would conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit and this would not change her vow of virginity.  The Angel went on to ease Her concern and explained that even her cousin Elizabeth, in her old age was already in her sixth month of pregnancy by the power of God.  No word (rama) is impossible with God.

Great and Long Silence throughout the entire universe 

Now there was silence in Heaven as the Angels waited for Her answer, because God will do nothing without our permission.  God does not force His Will on us.  Not only were the Angels in Heaven glued to Her, but all the people waiting in Sheol waited in silence for Her response.  Adam and Eve, Abraham and Moses, Enoch and Elisa, everyone who had died in the grace of God but could not enter Heaven waited in silence for Mary to answer the Angel.  Without her permission, mankind could not be redeemed.

All creation waited in silence and fear and expectations. Mary had to say “Yes” for all mankind, in the same way Eve said no.

Mary looked at the Angel and believed.

“Be it done to me according to your word.”

Suddenly the Heavens rejoiced in song and play and the shouting went from Heaven to Sheol so that such singing and hugging and rejoicing was never seen before.  She had said, “Yes!” and now mankind could be redeemed.

The Angel left and the power of God overshadowed Mary, and out of Heaven came three rays of light that entered into Mary’s heart. At that moment She conceived the Christ child, God with us.  At that moment was the beginning of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, God in His Kingdom.    

The first to worship Christ after Mary

Mary went immediately to visit Elizabeth.  Filled with the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth knew immediately that this was the Mother of God, and shouted out:

“Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why would the Mother of my Lord come to me?”  (The Hebrew, Lord, here is only for God.)

This was the first recognition that Mary was the Mother of God and that God had become Man. Mary did not deny it, but answered with Her great canticle of love:

“My soul magnifies the Lord and My spirit rejoices in God my savior, etc.”

“My soul magnifies the Lord.” Think about that statement. Mary is prophesying that we will be able to see and understand God more through Her than with our own efforts. It turned out to be true and at the council of Ephesus, where the word, Theotokos, or “God bearer”, helped to explain that Christ is God in the very best way.

In Luke, we then find that Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three more months. (Luke 1:56) That being the case, we can assume that Mary stayed with Elizabeth right up until John was born. Elizabeth was in her sixth month, as the Angel told Mary. Six months and three months are nine months. Now we have a three month pregnant Mary, who I see taking the newly born John into Her arms and next to the child, Jesus, in Her womb. We need now to contemplate the great union between Christ and John and their later meeting 30 years in the future.

The power of Mary over Christ

After finding the lost Christ child in the Temple, Mary speaks to Her Son.

“Son, why have you done this to us? You see that your father and I have been searching for you in sorrow.”

Joseph was weeping in the distance and afraid to come close because he felt that he had let Jesus down.  Speaking from His divinity, Jesus said:

        “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

The next passage is very strange. Luke 2:51 He went away with them and was subject (obedient) to them.

What does this mean, “He was subject to them?” What did they ask of Him? He is God, so what did He have to obey? We will find that answer in the mystery of the Marriage Feast of Cana. For now we have to think about the fact that the 12 year old Jesus wants to go about His Heavenly Father’s business, but He doesn't. He waits another 18 years. Why?

The divinity of Christ was ready to show Himself to the world and die for our sins at the age of twelve. Instead, He remained obedient to His earthly Mother and father. Imagine that Mary said to Him: “Son, do not go about Your Father’s business yet. I am not ready." Of course, She knew She would lose Him when He did, and that He would die a cruel death. She held on to Him as long a She could, all the time knowing His future....and Hers.  We know She knew of His crucifixion because of the paintings by Saint Luke, especially, Our Lady of Perpetual Help. 

The Marriage Feast of Cana

On the third day of the Marriage Feast, the final banquet was prepared, the bride and bridegroom danced and partied with the guests. Before the sun went down they had consumed three large vats of wine. These vats were over three feet tall and about two feet in diameter with two handles each. After three days of celebrating, they were out of wine and the banquet was not yet over.  The Virgin Mary came to Jesus and said:

“They have no more wine.”

Jesus looked at His Mother in silence for a moment. Then, in the voice of His divinity, and speaking as God, He said:

“What is that to our agreement, woman? What is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come?”

In this, He was saying that He has been waiting for 18 years for Her to give Him permission to go about His Father’s business.

Mary thought back to the time she found Him in the Temple, and He had said that He must be about His Father’s business, but She had prevented Him from starting his mission. That was 18 years ago.

Christ looked at His Mother with sympathy and love, because He knew what He was asking and so did She. Tears streamed down Her cheeks as She knew that She now had to let go of her Son. She knew that He would go out to preach His Kingdom and that He would lay down His life as the new and final sacrifice for the salvation of all mankind.

Suddenly, Her heart was struck with an excruciating pain, and in that moment Her role in suffering with Christ as mediatrix of all grace had begun. With tears on her face, She turned to the head server and calmly said:

“Do whatsoever He tells you.”

In those five words Mary let go. She let go of Her Son, and She knew what awaited Him in His future.  This was Mary’s second “Yes!”   

At Jesus’ command, the waiters brought the six vats full of water to Him. He put his hands over them and said a silent prayer. He told the head waiter to draw out a cup of wine from the vats and give it to the chief steward. He was shocked at how good the wine was and all were amazed.

This was the first of Christ’s miracles. Jesus left Cana and started collecting his apostles and disciples. He started with James and John, the sons of Zebedee, and then Peter and then the rest of the twelve. After 18 years of waiting for His Mother's permission to save mankind, He now was starting His three year march to His Crucifixion. 

Queen of Heaven and Earth

After Mary’s death and resurrection, John left Ephesus and went to the Island of Patmos. There he was captured by Jewish Zealots and placed in boiling oil to cook him alive. God spared him from harm and the Zealots ran away in fright. After this, John had a multitude of visions over many days. He wrote these visions down in what we today call, the Apocalypse or Revelation.

In these visions, John was shown the sign given in Heaven before the earth was created, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feel and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She had a child. Then he saw that a third of the angels in heaven rejected the queen and her son, and were cast out of heaven to the pits of earth. Because of this the angels who were thrown from heaven warred against the woman and her seed. John goes on to say that Her children are those who keep the testimony and commandments of Her Son.

John now understood what had happened after the Virgin Mary was taken up into the Heavens body and soul. He now understood the greatness of this woman whom he took care of for 15 years after Christ’s death. He reflected on the Heavens and what place Mary has in the Kingdom on Earth and in Heaven.

John looked at a letter the Mother of God had given to him before Her death. In this letter She promised to intercede for all of us before Her Son in Heaven from now till the end of the world. Christ said: “Whoever keeps my commandments, anything you ask in my name I will give to you.”  In all of history, the only human being that always kept all of the commandments and did not sin was Mary. John knew that God could not refuse Her any prayer.

One of John’s revelations was of the final destruction of Jerusalem (the great harlot) in 70 AD by the Romans (the beast). He sent letters to the Christians to get out of Jerusalem. They went out and hid in Caesaria by the coast of the Mediterranean.

In other visions John saw that in the center of the Heavenly Kingdom of God was the throne of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In the midst of the Throne was the Lamb of God, the Son. From the throne came forth lights of every color that penetrated all heavens and all creation. Below the throne were the 24 elders, but above them was the Woman clothed in the light of the Trinity.

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit held out three rings of light and placed them on the head of Our Lady, Our Mother. From these rings of light flashed rays of colored light. This light came from the Trinity, through the crown on Mary and down to the earth.

The Son spoke to the heavenly host. “We created this Woman to bring Me into the world. As such, She had to be a pure tabernacle. Before the world was created, we resolved to make one creation that was perfect. She is that creation.

A great celebration took place in Heaven for the Coronation of Our Lady, as Queen of Heaven, Daughter of the Father, Bride of the Holy Spirit, and Mother of the Son. Standing between mankind and God, Our Lady takes all our prayers, works, joys and sacrifices, cleans them up to be more acceptable to God but also adding Her prayers to them.

Just as Lucifer was the “Light bearer” and the highest of the Angels before his fall, now Mary is the dispenser of the grace of God. From the Masses throughout the world, sanctifying grace streams up to the Trinity of God, and from there into the hands of Mary. From Her hands back down to the earth and to all who will accept it.

Never, never neglect to thank your Mother especially on Her feast days. 

Meditations On the Mysteries of the Rosary