The month of August is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. You’ve likely seen the image before—a red heart wreathed in flowers and pierced by a sword. Often, the image is paired with that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
“But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.”Luke 2:19
The Immaculate Heart is a beautiful and popular tradition. Whether you are already well-acquainted with the devotion or want to learn more about it, here are six ways to celebrate the Immaculate Heart of Mary each August.
Just type “Immaculate Heart crafts” into the search engine of your choice and you are bound to see an endless number of crafts. Most of these, however, are tailored towards kids. Getting in touch with your inner child can be a great way to relieve stress and have some fun, but if you are looking for something a bit more sophisticated than pom poms and paper plates, there are still plenty of options. Instead, consider painting or drawing an image of the Immaculate heart. Alternatively, you could try your hand at embroidery, origami or even sculpture.
Not creative? You can still flex your creative muscles while celebrating the Immaculate Heart. Rather than create something from scratch, try something more guided, like Immaculate Heart themed coloring sheets.
Make some food
Themed foods can be a lot of fun. Why not serve your family and friends some Immaculate Heart themed treats this August? Bake a heart-shaped cake, decorate cookies (heart-shaped, of course), or put together an easy fruit platter with strawberries for the heart, cantaloupe or peaches for the flame, roses or pansies for the wreath of flowers, and a fork or knife for the sword.
Decorate your home
If you don’t have an image of the Immaculate Heart hanging in your home, this month is a great time to hang one. You could also create a Marian shrine in your prayer corner, place some cut roses on your kitchen table, and display any Immaculate Heart themed crafts or art that you’ve made.
Wear a miraculous medal
The back side of the well known miraculous medal contains an image of both the Immaculate and Sacred Hearts. The Miraculous Medal was originally known as the Medal of the Immaculate Conception. After its inception, it quickly became known as the “Miraculous Medal” because of the many graces and miracles associated with wearing it. Why not wear one as a reminder of Mary this month?
Spend time in prayer
There is a treasure trove of wonderful prayers that can be said to honor the Immaculate Heart of Mary and ask for her guidance. You could pray an Immaculate Heart novena or an Immaculate Heart chaplet. You could also memorize a few breath prayers (Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for me!), meditate on scripture (try Luke 2:19, Luke 2:35, and Luke 2:51), or look around to find another option that really speaks to you.
“O Immaculate Heart of Mary, refuge of sinners, I beg of you by the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and by the graces God has granted to you since your Immaculate Conception, the grace of never going astray again. Mother, keep me, a sinner, constantly bathed in the light of your Immaculate Heart. Amen.”
Make a consecration
A consecration is more than a simple prayer. To “consecrate” means to “make holy” or to set oneself aside for service of God. This is beautiful! It is also a lifelong commitment, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you are interested in consecrating yourself or your family to the Immaculate Heart, spend some time learning about the devotion and discerning it through prayer.
Many Catholics consecrate their homes and/or families to the Immaculate Heart for the graces and special protection received. If you decide to make a consecration this month, set aside a day for prayer and celebration and hang a blessed painting of the Immaculate Heart in a prominent location in your home. There are several consecration prayers to choose from, like this one from EWTN.
Featured image: Wikimedia commons.