Rekindling devotion to not two but three Most Merciful Hearts

Matthew 20:23 by Blair Piras (2019): Mary, Jesus, and St. Joseph. Commissioned by Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC.

The Holy Family shows forth a perfect union of mercy, almost as if the Three Hearts of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph beat as one Heart.

By Br. Eliott, MIC

Saint John Eudes once said:

[N]ever separate what God has so perfectly united. So closely are Jesus and Mary bound up with each other that whoever beholds Jesus sees Mary; whoever loves Jesus, loves Mary; whoever has devotion to Jesus, has devotion to Mary.

Ironically, this statement is true even for our non-Catholic brethren who might not understand the Christian authenticity of Marian devotion.

Saint Faustina referred to Christ’s Merciful Heart more than 20 times in her Diary: “Your merciful Heart can do all things” (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 228). When we recognize the profound depths of Christ’s Merciful Heart, we notice that this mercy is also reflected in the Hearts of Mary and Joseph. 

Honor the Three Hearts
Catholic devotion to the Two Hearts — the Sacred Heart of Jesus (June 7) and the Immaculate Heart of Mary (June 8) are increasingly popular, especially on First Fridays and First Saturdays.

The Alliance of the Two Hearts Novena is under way, concluding on June 6. Join now!

The Three Hearts devotion is easy to understand — it is nothing other than honoring the Three Hearts of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. 

This is often done by making reparation to:

  1. The Sacred and Merciful Heart of Christ, whose solemnity we celebrate on June 7 this year (also First Friday).
  2. The Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, whose feast we celebrate on June 8 this year.
  3. The Most Pure and Chaste Heart of St. Joseph.

Catholics recognize a hierarchy within the Three Hearts, in that order. The Holy Family shows forth a perfect union of mercy, almost as if the Three Hearts of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph beat as one Heart.

In God’s providence, this year there was a beautiful harmony in our devotion to the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary that led naturally to the Feast of Divine Mercy Sunday. Many Catholics participated in the First Friday devotions to the Sacred Heart on April 5. Many participated in the First Saturday devotions to the Immaculate Heart (in accordance with the desires of Our Lady of Fatima) on April 6. And Divine Mercy Sunday fell on April 7 this year.

Immaculate Heart of Mary
Christ’s Merciful Heart helped to shape and form His Mother’s Heart. “Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Lk 2:19). Christ’s Heart was also shaped and formed by Mary’s Heart. 

Any scene where Mary appears in Scripture shows her practicing some act of mercy. One prominent act of mercy is when Mary stays with her dying Son at the foot of the Cross. Here, we begin to understand Simeon’s prophecy to Mary: “ … and a sword will pierce through your own soul also, that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed” (Lk 2:35). Mary’s Heart was spiritually pierced with a lance when she saw her Son’s Merciful Heart being pierced with a lance. 

Mary learned about the depths of Christ’s Merciful Heart by witnessing His redemptive love on the Cross. Saint Faustina writes, “O most merciful Heart of Jesus, opened with a lance, shelter me at the last moment of my life” (Diary, 813). Faustina’s writings also show that Mary desires us to recognize her as our mother with a merciful Heart: “I am not only the Queen of Heaven, but also the Mother of Mercy and your Mother (Diary, 330).”

Chaste Heart of St. Joseph
What about St. Joseph? We find St. Joseph’s Heart beating in unison with the Merciful Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Even though there are fewer passages about St. Joseph in Scripture, whenever he appears, he too is practicing acts of mercy.

For example, Joseph mercifully led the Holy Family to Bethlehem, and into Egypt to protect the Christ Child. In fact, throughout his few appearances in the Gospels, we find a perfect equilibrium between Joseph’s justice (for instance, his performance of his duties as Jewish man, a fiancé, a spouse, and a father) and mercy.

We know that St. Joseph has a merciful Heart because, St. Faustina writes, “Saint Joseph urged me to have a constant devotion to him … He looked at me with great kindness and gave me to know how much he is supporting this work [of mercy]” (Diary, 1203).

Perfect example for every family
The Holy Family was not only present in the October 1917 apparition in Fatima; the Holy Family is present and alive today. The Three Merciful Hearts are beating in unison as the perfect example for every family. Cultivating devotion to the Three Hearts will help every Catholic imitate their virtues and bring their powerful intercession to our world, so badly in need of conversion. 

Merciful and Sacred Heart of Christ, have mercy on us!
Merciful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!
Merciful and Chaste Heart of St. Joseph, pray for us! 

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SHGM

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