In Church History, the interest and devotion to the Immaculate Heart and the Sacred Heart of Jesus seemed to have reached a spiritual height in the 16-1700’s. This was a period of rapid development of philosophical thought and its application to religious teachings. The spiritual writer. Sister Mary of Jesus of Agreda (1601-1665) Mary of Jesus wrote 14 books, including a series of revelations about the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary. An excerpt of her revelations is as follows; In this Queen alone are comprehended and contained more treasures than in all the rest of things joined together, and the variety and preciousness of her riches, honor the Lord above all the multitudes of the other creatures.
Here (according to our way of understanding) the promise and, as it were, the contract was made with the Word as to the degree of sanctity, and perfection and the gifts and graces, which were to be possessed by Mary his Mother. Also as to the protection, support and defense, which was to be provided for this true City of God, in which his Majesty contemplated the graces and merits, which She earned for Herself, as well as the fruits to be gathered for his people by the loving returns, which She was to make to his Majesty. . . God determined to create a locality and an abode, where the incarnate Word and his Mother should converse and dwell. For them primarily did He create the heaven and earth with its stars and elements and all that is contained in them. Secondarily the intention and decree included the creation of the members, of which Jesus was to be the Head, and of whom He would be the King; in order that with kingly providence, all the necessary and befitting arrangements might be made beforehand.
St John Eudes, (November 14, 1601 – August 19, 1680) was a French priest, missionary, founder of religious congregations and writer. In his book La Vie et le Royaume de Jésus, St John Eudes taught about the mystically united hearts of Jesus and Mary:
“You must never 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.”
Through the image of Mary, New Ark of the Covenant, St John provides a beautiful illustration of this union:
“The heart of Mary was represented by Moses’ ark. Firstly, like the ark, which was made of incorruptible wood, the Immaculate Heart of the Queen of Angels was never corrupted by any kind of sin.
Secondly, like the ark, which was overlaid with pure gold inside and out, the Heart of the Mother of fair love was completely transformed by love and charity in the sight of God and before our own eyes.
Thirdly, like the ark, which held the tablets of the Law, the Holy Spirit wrote in gold letters on his divine Mother’s sacred heart all the saintly laws that our Redeemer brought to us from heaven.
Fourthly, like the ark, which contained a portion of the manna that God caused to fall from heaven to feed his people when they were in the desert, the Heart of the Mother of Jesus kept in itself the mysteries that her Son performed for us on earth, with the words of life and the divine truths that he brought to us from heaven, like a most sweet and precious manna to nourish us and give life to our souls.”
Furthermore, St. Louis de Montfort (1673-1716) explained in his book True Devotion to Mary that prayers to Mary are immediately transferred to Jesus. She is an echo of God, speaking and repeating only God. If you say “Mary” she says “God.” When St. Elizabeth praised Mary calling her blessed because she had believed, Mary, the faithful echo of God, responded with her canticle, “My soul glorifies the Lord.” What Mary did on that day, she does every day. When we praise her, when we love and honor her, when we present anything to her, then God is praised, honored and loved and receives our gift through Mary and in Mary.
The 19th-century book The Golden Manual (a guide to Catholic devotion) offers a similar correlation when referring to the Heart of Jesus and the Heart of Mary;
Let us love and honor these two Hearts, so intimately united; let us go to the Father through the Heart of Jesus; let us go to the Saviour through the Heart of Mary. Let us render to God the Father, through the Heart of Jesus, what we owe to his infinite justice and goodness; and let us render to God the Son, through the Heart of Mary, what we owe to his mercy, and all his benefits to us. We shall obtain every thing from the Father and the Holy Spirit through the Heart of Jesus, and we shall obtain every thing from the Son through the Heart of Mary.
The Heart of Mary is so intimately in union with the Heart of Jesus that one cannot be separate from another. If we desire to deepen our love of God, go first to Mary and she will lead us along the surest path to the Heart of her Son.
Pope Benedict XVI explained on the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, “The heart that resembles that of Christ more than any other is without a doubt the Heart of Mary, his Immaculate Mother, and for this very reason the liturgy holds them up together for our veneration.”