IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
This feast has its roots in the Marian devotion of St Jean Eudes, an outstanding apostle of devotion to the Hearts of Mary and Jesus. The first feastday was celebrated at Autun in 1648, and later in a number of French Dioceses.
His efforts to secure the approval of an Office and Feast failed at Rome, but still devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary continued.
In 1699 Father Pinamonti published (in talian) a beautiful little work on the Holy Heart of Mary, and in 1725 Pere de Gallifet combined the cause of the Immaculate Heart of Mary with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in an attempt to get Rome's approval of the two devotions and the institution of the two feasts.
In 1729 this movement was defeated, and in 1765 the two causes were separated.
In 1799 Pope Pius VI, then in captivity in Florence, granted the Bishop of Palermo the feast of the Most Pure Heart of Mary for some of the churches in the Diocese of Palermo.
In 1805 Pope Pius VII made a new concession, which allowed the feast to be widely observed.
Two factors then arose and helped further this devotion . These were firstly the apparitions of Mary at Rue de Bac, Paris, which produced the Miraculous Medal, and secondly the establishment of the Archconfraternity of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Refuge of Sinners, which rapidly spread throughout the world.
On July 21, 1855, the Congregation of Rites finally approved the Office and Mass of the Most Pure Heart of Mary, but did not impose them on the Universal Church.
On December 8, 1942, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fatima apparitions, Pope Pius XII dedicated the Church and the human race to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and extended it to the entire Latin Church.
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