Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Consecration To Mary’s Immaculate Heart Renewed

Published diciembre 20, 2007  | Available In English

Since the earliest days, Catholics in the Atlanta Archdiocese carried a special devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus.

In 1956, the then diocese of Atlanta was dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a 17th-century devotion with roots in France. Bishop Francis Hyland, the spiritual leader for the new diocese, named the Immaculate Heart of Mary as the principal patroness of the Catholic Church in North Georgia and called for the faithful to commemorate the occasion on the feast day.

Continuing the tradition, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory on Dec. 12 renewed the consecration to Mary under this title at the same time as he honored Our Lady of Guadalupe.

“We recall that we have been dedicated to her Immaculate Heart and we renew that consecration because like children everywhere we need to rediscover a mother’s love which is eternal,” said the archbishop.

The local church is in a special way asking for her protection and intercession with the rededication.

Father Kevin Peek, chaplain at Blessed Trinity High School, Roswell, said Mary stands out as a witness and a model for people, despite living more than 2,000 years ago.

Mary was the “most perfect Christian, the most perfect follower of Christ,” he said.

Father Peek said the Mass on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe was a “powerful moment” as the Hispanic people showed great love for Mary.

He said Mary lived in a different time, but faced the same trials and temptations that modern people see. Father Peek said she developed virtues and character that were counter-cultural in her time in the same way Christians should today.

French priest St. John Eudes championed the devotion to Mary’s Immaculate Heart, along with recognition for the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The reverence to the heart of Mary is like the heart of Jesus, a symbol of the love and mercy available to people.

In 1646, the priest was granted approval for a Mass of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for local celebration and later came approval for the feast.

On the 25th anniversary of the 1917 appearances of Mary in Fatima, Portugal, Pope Pius XII consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.