What the month of August means to Catholics and how to honor it in your home.
Did you know that in the Catholic Church, each of the 12 months of the year has a devotional theme? August is the beautiful month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Continuing our series on ways to showcase each month’s Catholic theme in your life, here are 10 ways you can more closely align your life to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Wear the Miraculous Medal for the entire month
This is one devotion that may just stick around even after the month is over! The back of the Miraculous Medal depicts Mary’s Immaculate Heart, pierced by a sword. If you don’t have a medal, it’s a great time to get one and have it blessed, or get one for a family member or friend. Wear as an act of great devotion and a testimony to the power of prayer.
Create a home altar honoring the Immaculate Heart
Choose a painting, holy card, or statue depicting the Immaculate Heart of Mary and place it in the center of your dining table or mantle. Have the children help to pick out the flowers that will adorn your humble home altar. Ask them to pick blooms in red or pink (whether from your home garden, or the local store) that will remind you of Mary’s beautiful heart.
Engage children by making heart-shaped cookies or cake
Decorate with pink and red icing. Have a simple home prayer service for the Immaculate Heart of Mary by saying favorite Marian prayers together as a family, playing a beautiful Marian song like “Ave Maria” (and even singing along as a family) and then enjoying the dessert in celebration of Mary. To make it even more meaningful, make enough cookies or an extra cake and bring to someone who could use a good cheering up!
Have children make Immaculate Heart greeting cards
Fold construction or computer paper in half to make a card. On the cover, have kids draw a heart. Then surround the heart with roses. Finally, include the depiction of the sword of sorrows. If children are too little to draw well, you can draw the heart, have the kids color it in and then get rose stickers or using a glue stick, paste rose petals around the heart. Help them compose a message of love inside the card, and give as a gift to a grandparent, relative, or friend to whom you want to send love.
Begin the First Five Saturdays devotion
This devotion is also called the Act of Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was requested by Our Lady of Fatima. Here’s how to do it.
Pray the Fatima Morning Offering
Celebrate the Immaculate Heart of Mary by praying the Fatima Morning Offering daily this month, as it conclude with these words, invoking the Immaculate Heart:
Precious Blood of Jesus, save us! Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us! Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us! Amen.
Spend time in prayer with the Prophecy of Simeon
The beautiful scripture of Luke 2:35 reminds us of the sword that would pierce Mary’s heart. Spend time reading, meditating, praying on and contemplating this scripture. This prophecy of Simeon is also the first sorrow of Mary.
Pray the Seven Sorrows Rosary
Here are the prayers for a Rosary that helps you meditate on the seven sorrows.
Go to Mass on August 15, the feast of the Assumption
Mark your calendar now for this holy day of obligation (on a Thursday) and attend Mass, praying to the Immaculate Heart on the Feast of the Assumption. Another special day to honor the Immaculate Heart by attending daily Mass (though not a holy day of obligation) is Thursday, August 22, the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Why not stop after Mass to light a candle for your intention at the Marian altar in your parish?
Consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart
This would be a great month to begin a consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary using this prayer or this total consecration to Mary as taught by St. Louis de Montfort.