Feast of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Immediately following the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the feast of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Theologians have written extensively about Mary and these great treatises often are echoed in the great works of art that have the Blessed Mother as their subject. One of my favorite is the Madonna of the Pilgrims, a work by the great 17th century artist Caravaggio that still hangs in its original location, the Church of St. Augustine in Rome.
This painting portrays Mary holding the baby Jesus showing her child to two pilgrims who kneel before the baby in adoration. The picture provides a pictorial representation of a phrase from the Hail Mary,”show us the fruit of your womb, Jesus.” Throughout the history of art Mary has been portrayed as showing us Jesus, sometimes as a baby, sometimes as a broken body, but also showing us her son.
It was this undivided love of the will of God that has made Mary the model of all Christians and it is this undivided and uncompressed love that we celebrate today and attempt to imitate every day of the year.