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THE HEARTS OF JESUS AND MARY

The stained glass windows in our Lower Church Hall are a remnant of the old parish church of St. Mary's which used to be on Chestnut Street. When the new St. Mary's was being built here in 1909-10, these windows were taken from the old church, together with some of the pews, and used for the downstairs chapel. On opposite sides, there are two windows which have the emblem of a heart as their top panel: one of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (wrapped in thorns), and the other of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (pierced by a sword).

This is a theologically meaningful juxtaposition. If indeed there is a vital union in the supernatural order between Christ and every baptized Christian this is true in an excellent and unique way of Our Lady. I quote here from Fr. Jose Guadalupe Trevinyo's Rules for the Spiritual Life.

St. Jerome says that all the grace which is found in Christ is found also in the Most Blessed Virgin, although in a different way. Grace is found in Jesus Christ as in our Redeemer and Sanctifier par excellence: it is in the Blessed Virgin as our Co-redemptrix and Mediatrix. This is why we affirm, in contrast to Protestants, that the Blessed Virgin has an indispensable and necessary role in the actual economy of man's sanctification and salvation. In God's actual plan it is not possible to prescind from her, any more than it is possible to prescind from Jesus Christ.

If Jesus Christ is our life, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary is truly our Mother, because she has given us Jesus Christ. Our relations with the Incarnate Word necessarily include the Blessed Virgin; Jesus Christ does not come to us except through her, nor does grace, the life of our souls, reach us except in passing through Mary. All men ought to have a special devotion to the Mystery of the Immaculate Conception, on order to admire and venerate in this Mystery the fullness of grace which God poured into Mary. In both the Gospel and the Offertory of the Mass of the Immaculate Conception, the Church repeats the angelic salutation: "Ave Maria, gratia plena-Hail Mary, full of grace." Mary received grace in its fullness in order from that fullness to pass on grace to us.

With this background we can be all the more amazed at Our Lady's answer to Bernadette's question, "Would you be so kind as to tell me your name?": I AM THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION.

Into the pure heart of Mary's Immaculate soul has been poured the fullness of Christ's grace (the image of the water from the rock at Lourdes), and from that fullness she passes Christ's grace on to us.

About Our Parish

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes is Newton and Needham Massachusetts's oldest Roman Catholic Parish. Founded as Saint Mary's Parish in 1870 it was renamed "Mary Immaculate of Lourdes" when the new Church was dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, 1910. In addition to being a regular territorial parish of the Archdiocese of Boston it is also a "Mission Parish" since 2007 with a special apostolate for the Traditional Latin Mass (1962 Missal).

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"If you are willing to serenely bear the trial of being displeasing to yourself, then you will be for Jesus a pleasant place of shelter."
- St. Therese of Lisieux (+1897)

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