The Alliance of the Two Hearts and Mariology
Arthur Burton Calkins
It is my privilege to reflect with you on the Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary and the relationship of
this alliance with the theological science known as Mariology. While there are surely any number of legitimate
approaches to exploring this relationship, mine will be to explore the Alliance of the Two Hearts, especially as
this concept may be understood from the ordinary magisterium of Pope John Paul II, and then to examine some of
the ways that this may shed light on the science of Mariology. To put it in another way, I will endeavor
to examine the symbolic theology of the Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary in terms of the light that this
can shed on the speculative discipline of Mariology 1 within the limits necessarily imposed by the requirements of this symposium. But in order to do
this, let us briefly review what is meant by this alliance and how this specific terminology came about.
A. Recent History of the Term “Alliance of the Two Hearts”
On the 25th of February 1985 Cardinal Jaime Sin, Archbishop of Manila, wrote to the Holy Father, proposing the
convening of “a symposium of a highly scientific nature on the theological basis of devotion to the Most Sacred
Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” 2 He further suggested that ten to fifteen qualified theologians might be invited to investigate
“the foundations and inter-relationships between the Hearts of Jesus and Mary” in terms of the biblical, Patristic,
theological and mystical roots of the devotions. “It is my humble opinion,” he wrote,
that, while much has been
has already been written, the time is ripe for a theological synthesis which could break new ground in proclaiming
to the whole Church that these intimately related devotions are not optional or peripheral practices of faith,
but an integral and integrating force at the very heart of our faith.
On the 6th of August 1985 Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, then Secretary of State of His Holiness, wrote to Cardinal
Sin informing him that the Holy Father, having received positive opinions on the proposal from the Congregations
for the Doctrine of the Faith and of Divine Worship, had favorably accepted the initiative.3 A steering committee meeting was held at the Pontifical Athenaeum
Antonianum, seat of the Pontifical International Marian Academy, on the 8th of October 1985 and the symposium itself
was held at Fatima from the 14th to the 19th of September 1986 with Cardinal Sin presiding.
A further significant factor in the evolution of the symposium is that between the time of the papal approval of
the symposium and the meeting of the steering committee in Rome in October of 1985 the Holy Father had delivered
a very evocative address as part of a series of Angelus addresses on the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
On the 14th of September the Church had celebrated the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and on the following
day, even though it was a Sunday, the Pontiff wished to acknowledge that, though not liturgically observed, it
was the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. (In both Toronto and Vancouver the year before he had also made a point
of catechizing on the Hearts of Jesus and Mary on the recurrence of the second of these observances and again a
few days later.4) On this occasion
(15 September 1985) he said:
At the foot of the Cross there
was his Mother. The Sorrowful Mother. We remember her especially on this, the day after the Triumph
of the Cross. When the side of Christ was pierced with the centurion's lance, Simeon’s prophecy was fulfilled
in her: “And a sword will pierce through your own soul, also” (Lk. 2:35).
The words of the prophet
are a foretelling of the definitive alliance of these hearts:
of the Son and of the Mother; of the Mother and of the Son. “Heart of Jesus, in whom dwells all the fullness
of the divinity.” Heart of Mary – Heart of the sorrowful Virgin – Heart of the Mother of God!
our prayer of the Angelus unite us today with that admirable alliance of hearts. 5
the choice of this term alleanza, which may justly be rendered into English as “alliance,” but which
may also be translated as "covenant" with all the biblical overtones of that word, the Pope had providentially
offered a marvelous way of synthesizing the doctrine which he had been presenting and continues to present in the
exercise of his ordinary magisterium and of focusing the work of our symposium.
Interestingly, in his Angelus address of the 9th of June 1985 the Pope had already used this terminology and the
English translator of that address had rendered it “covenant”: “Through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, let
us remain in the Covenant with the Heart of Jesus.” 6 The point may well be taken, then, that not only are the Hearts of Jesus and Mary in a covenant
relationship with each other, but we, too, are invited into that covenant, into that alliance.
B. The Fatima Symposium of 1986
In his letter to Cardinal Sin for that original symposium’s opening the Holy Father stated:
Your Symposium will provide
biblical scholars and theologians the valuable opportunity for reflecting on devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
and the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the perspective of Sacred Scripture and Tradition. Much research has
already been done on devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, but it is your aim to focus
attention on the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the interrelation of love between the Hearts of the Son of God and
his Mother. Your reflection will also endeavor to explain the Christian’s participation in these mysteries
and thereby render a worthwhile service to the whole Church by clarifying the importance of devotion to the Hearts
of Jesus and Mary. 7
Unfortunately, the acts of that first symposium 8 were never published in a single volume, although a number of the original participants did publish their
contributions in various scholarly journals and books. 9 In following year in the Philippines, however, there was a follow-up “International Theological-Pastoral
Conference on the Alliance of the Two Hearts” which was held in Manila from the 30th of November to the 3rd of December 1987 and whose
texts and documents were published there under the title of The Alliance of the Hearts
of Jesus and Mary: Texts and Documents. 10 This volume contains a number of documents from the Fatima symposium 11 including an important consensus document. 12 Since that time the Alliance of the Holy Family Foundation International
of the Philippines has been instrumental in promoting numerous conferences to continue studying and making known
this concept of the Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary including this present symposium.
II. The Theology of the Two
Hearts According to John Paul II
In order to present the thought of our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, on the Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and
Mary, it is first necessary to review what one might describe as his “anthropology of the heart”, then to assess
his numerous references to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary and finally his comments on the union of these Two Hearts
in the work of our salvation. I did this five years ago in a paper, which I presented at the International
Marian Congress held in Huelva, Spain in 1992, entitled “The Hearts of Jesus and Mary in the Magisterium of Pope
John Paul II”. Unfortunately, the acts of that congress are not yet published, but should be available within
the year. I refer those who are interested to that presentation because here I can only sketch what I treated
there at length.
In his preaching and teaching the Pope has highlighted in one way or another virtually all of the great themes
developed by his predecessors on the two Hearts. There can be no doubt that he has fully assumed and integrated
the great patrimony of the papal magisterium, which he has inherited. 13 At the same time he has done so in his own unique way and from his own phenomenological perspective.
A. Anthropological Perspective
Probably the most comprehensive treatment of this “theology of the heart” 14 which he has thus far made occurred in his homily at the Gemelli Polyclinic and Faculty of Medicine in
Rome on 28 June 1984. On that occasion he referred to “the richness of anthropological resonance ... which
the word ‘heart’ awakens.” He said:
This word evokes not only
sentiments proper to the affective sphere, but also all those memories, thoughts, reasonings, plans, that make
up man's innermost world. The heart in biblical culture, and also in a large part of other cultures, is that
essential center of the personality in which man stands before God as the totality of body and soul, as I who am
thinking, willing and loving, as the center in which the memory of the past opens up to the planning of the future.
B. The Heart of Jesus
In that same remarkable homily the Pope gave us this marvelous description of the Heart of Jesus:
From our faith we know that
at a determined time in history, “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (Jn. 1:14). From
that moment God began to love with a human heart, a true heart
capable of beating in an intense, tender and impassioned way. The Heart of Jesus has truly experienced feelings
of joy before the splendor of nature, the candor of children, the glance of a pure young man; feelings of friendship
toward the Apostles, Lazarus, the disciples; feelings of compassion for the sick, the poor, the many persons tried
by struggle, by loneliness, by sin, feelings of anguish before the prospect of suffering and the mystery of death.
There is no authentically human feeling that the Heart of Jesus did not experience. ...
Of the infinite power
that is proper to God, the Heart of Christ kept only the defenseless power of the love that forgives. And
in the radical loneliness of the cross, he accepted being pierced by the centurion's lance so that from the open
wound there might pour out upon the world’s ugly deeds the inexhaustible torrent of a mercy that washes, purifies
In the Heart of Christ,
therefore, there meet divine richness and human poverty, the power of grace and the frailty of nature, an appeal
from God and a response from man. In the Heart of Christ the history of mankind has its definitive place
of arrival, because “the Father has assigned all judgment to the Son” (Jn. 5:22). Therefore,
willing or not, every human heart must refer to the Heart of Christ. 16
Not only is this powerful and magnificent
prose, but it is an extraordinarily rich and evocative meditation on the meaning of the Heart of Jesus with the
final part displaying a sense of balance not unlike that manifested by Leo the Great in his Christmas sermons and
in his Tome to Flavian. 17
Taking into account the papal magisterium of his predecessors as well as his own deep convictions, the Pope stated
in Vancouver on 18 September 1984 that “When we say ‘Heart of Jesus Christ,’ we address ourselves in faith to the
whole Christological mystery: the mystery of the God-Man.” 18 With such an understanding, then, we can grasp why the Pope wrote in his Letter to Father Peter-Hans
Kolvenbach, the Superior General of the Jesuits, on 5 October 1986: “the essential elements of this devotion
[to the Sacred Heart of Jesus] belong in a permanent fashion to the spirituality of the Church throughout her history”.
C. The Heart of Mary
Building upon the “anthropology of the heart” while keeping the analogy of proper proportionality in mind, 20 we could say, following the Pope's line of reasoning
above, that “when we say ‘Heart of Mary,’ we address ourselves in faith to the whole Mariological mystery:
the mystery of the Theotókos.” Here, in fact, is how the Pontiff clarified the Church's and his own understanding of the Immaculate
Heart of Mary in an important address, which he gave to participants in the International Theological Symposium
on the Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary on 22 September 1986:
It is worthy of note that
the Decree by which Pope Pius XII instituted for the universal Church the celebration in honor of the Immaculate
Heart of Mary states: “With this devotion the Church renders the honor due to the Immaculate Heart of the
Blessed Virgin Mary, since under the symbol of this heart she venerates with reverence the eminent and singular
holiness of the Mother of God and especially her most ardent love for God and Jesus her Son and moreover her maternal
compassion for all those redeemed by the divine Blood” (S.C.R., 4 May 1944; AAS 37, 1945, p. 50). Thus it can be said that our devotion to Mary’s Immaculate
Heart expresses our reverence for her maternal compassion both for Jesus and for all of us,
her spiritual children, as she stood at the foot of the Cross.
I presented this same
thought in my first Encyclical Redemptor Hominis, in which I
pointed out that from the first moment of the Redemptive Incarnation, “under the special influence of the Holy
Spirit, Mary's heart, the heart of both a virgin and a mother, has always followed the work of her Son and has
gone out to all those whom Christ has embraced and continues to embrace with inexhaustible love” (#22).
We see symbolized in
the heart of Mary her maternal love, her singular sanctity and her central role in the redemptive mission of her
Son. It is with regard to her special role in the Son's mission that devotion to Mary's Heart has prime importance,
for through love of her Son and of all of humanity she exercises a unique instrumentality in bringing us to him.
In the now famous Angelus address of 15 September 1985 the Pope spoke about the piercing of Mary's Heart as she
stood beneath the Cross of her Son as a fulfillment of the prophecy of Simeon (Lk. 2:35). The text itself
says that “a sword will pierce through your own soul,” but Christian tradition has long made the use of the terms
“soul” and “heart” interchangeable in this context. 22
In a touching and poetic way the Pope spoke thus in Fatima on 13 May 1982 prior to his Act of Entrustment to the
Immaculate Heart of Mary:
When Jesus on the cross said:
“Woman, behold your son” (Jn. 19:26), in a new way he opened his mother's heart, the Immaculate Heart, and revealed
to it the new dimensions and extent of the love to which she was called in the Holy Spirit by the power of the
sacrifice of the cross. ...
On the cross Christ
said: “Woman, behold your son!” With these words he opened in a new way his mother’s heart. A
little later, the Roman soldier’s spear pierced the side of the Crucified One. That pierced heart became
a sign of the redemption achieved through the death of the Lamb of God.
The Immaculate Heart
of Mary opened with the words “Woman, behold your son!” is spiritually united with the heart of her Son opened
by the soldier’s spear. Mary’s heart was opened by the same love for man and for the world with which Christ
loved man and the world, offering Himself for them on the cross, until the soldier’s spear struck that blow. 23
In a dramatic way, he says that the words
of Jesus entrusting John to Mary, had the same effect on her Heart that the spear had on his: they opened
her Heart. Notice how beautifully here he relates the Hearts of Jesus and Mary to each other in the moment
of their “opening”! In Los Angeles on the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows in 1987, a feast on which he has chosen
more than once to speak about the Heart of Mary, he further illuminated this insight with regard to Mary:
It is precisely in being the
Mother of Sorrows that she is a mother to each one of us and to all of us. The spiritual sword that pierces
her heart opens up a river of compassion for all who suffer. 24
III. The Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary
Now let us return once again to that original International Symposium on the Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and
Mary held in Fatima in from 14 to 19 September 1986. In an autographed letter of 8 September 1986 addressed
to Cardinal Sin the Holy Father made this very important point:
We can say that just as the
mystery of Redemption began in the womb of the Virgin of Nazareth, so did that splendid union of the hearts of
Christ and his Mother. From the very moment when the Word was made flesh beneath the heart of Mary, there
has existed, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, an enduring relationship of love between them. The heart
of the Mother has always followed the redemptive mission of her Son. As Jesus hung on the Cross in completion
of his salvific work, Simeon’s prophecy foretelling the definitive alliance of the hearts
of the Son and of the Mother was fulfilled: “And a sword will pierce your own soul
too” (Lk. 2:35). Indeed the centurion’s lance that pierced the side of Christ also penetrated the heart of
his sorrowful Mother and sealed it in sacrificial love. 25
a way of shedding further light on this profound statement of the Holy Father I would like to offer a commentary
made by Father Peter Damian Fehlner:
Two points, absolutely basic
to the economy of salvation and a Christian life, are asserted here: the mystery of our Redemption and the
mystery of the Incarnation begin simultaneously, that is to say, the Incarnation is the first moment of our Redemption.
Second, that moment is also the beginning of an enduring relationship between the two Hearts: of Christ and
of His Mother, a union which defines the Alliance of Two Hearts for the sake of our salvation, for the conversion
and sanctification of every soul for whom the Heart of Christ was opened and that of the Virgin Mother pierced.
The alliance of the Two Hearts, then, is a way of speaking of the partnership of Jesus and Mary in the work of
the Incarnation and the Redemption. This is not, however, to put them both on the same level. The Heart
of Mary is the heart of a creature; the Heart of Jesus is the Heart of the God-Man. Yet between these two
human hearts there is a complementarity, which is without parallel in the rest of the universe. Cardinal
Christoph Schönborn put it this way:
Christ is God’s word, Mary
is the answer: in Christ, God has “come down from heaven”; in Mary the earth has again become fruitful.
Mary is the seal of perfected creatureliness: in her is illustrated in advance what God intended with creation.
Mary is the guarantor
that the Church rightly bears the attribute "holy" not only as promise, as horizon of what is hoped for,
but already as presence of what has been given. In her, the Church is already holy, perfect church in advance;
in her the Church is already the bride who with the Spirit calls “Maranatha” (cf. Apoc. 22:17). The “real
symbol” for this is the cor immaculatum of Mary: in this
heart God has inaugurated for himself in advance the sphere of pure, unconditioned assent; it is the very “essence
of the church, as the adorned bride (cf. Apoc. 21:2) and as the mother” (cf. Apoc. 12:17). ... The Heart of Mary
is the real symbol: at the point of intersection of body and soul, of material and spiritual cosmos, her
Immaculate Heart is the locus in which the new creation is already realized. 28
the Heart of Mary, then, we find the perfect creaturely response to God, his perfect human collaborator.
The alliance or partnership between Jesus and Mary, which began with Mary’s consent at Nazareth reaches its culmination
on Calvary. Let us listen once again to the powerful words of the Holy Father in his homily of 13 May 1982
On the cross Christ said:
“Woman, behold your son!” With these words He opened in a new way His Mother’s heart. A little later, the Roman soldier’s spear pierced the side of the Crucified One. That pierced heart became a sign of the redemption achieved through the death of the Lamb of God.
Immaculate Heart of Mary opened with the words “Woman, behold, your son!” is spiritually united with the heart
of her Son opened by the soldier’s spear. Mary’s heart was opened by the same love for man and for the world
with which Christ loved man and the world, offering Himself for them on the cross, until the soldier’s spear struck
that blow. 29
way of commentary on this magnificent text, I turn once again to Father Peter Damian Fehlner.
Very simply and very profoundly
Pope John Paul has defined what is unique in the maternal mediation of Mary when that mediation is consummated
at the foot of the cross. Just as her virginal maternity is the means by which the Son of God becomes flesh
and the new Head of our human race, so her maternal compassion at Calvary is the means by which our liberation
from sin is effected.
This is why every conversion,
every sanctification of a soul by the Church and in the Church involves the maternal mediation of Mary: because
underlying every aspect and moment of our salvation is the alliance of the Immaculate and Sacred Hearts. 30
IV. Implications of the Alliance
I would now like to draw out some of the many possible implications of the Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and
Mary, which could be studied and deepened in the science of Mariology.
A. Marian Component in Incarnation and Redemption
“That splendid union of the hearts of Christ and his Mother” is, according to the Pope, the beginning of not only
the Incarnation but also of the Redemption. 31 Thus as Father Fehlner says, employing the terminology of St. Bonaventure:
The mode of the Incarnation
is Marian, from its first to its last moment. ... As the first moment of the Incarnation is inseparable from and
colored by the divine Maternity of the Virgin, so the hour in which the Savior’s Redemptive sacrifice is consummated
on the cross in inseparable from and colored by the coredemption, co-oblation and compassion of the Immaculate
The Alliance of the Two Hearts, then,
brings home to us the fact that, by God’s design, Mary played an active role in the Incarnation and as well as
in the Redemption. The Pope consistently emphasizes Mary’s fiat as well as the “piercing of her heart”. It is to be noted that among our separated brethren outside
of Catholic and Orthodox circles, Mary’s active collaboration in the Redemptive Incarnation is often not well accepted
or appreciated, but it is a truth of faith that is only ignored at great cost to the integrity of Catholic faith.
B. Heart of the Coredemptrix
To speak of the suffering of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary for our salvation necessarily leads us to recognize Mary’s
absolutely unique role in the redemption. 33
Traditionally, her active collaboration in the work of our Redemption has been described as the Coredemption.
This is always understood as a collaboration, which is subordinate to that of Christ, but nonetheless the greatest
possible cooperation on the part of a creature in the sublime work of our salvation. Our Holy Father Pope
John Paul II, by means of his frequent references to the Heart of Mary in prayers, addresses, homilies and more
solemn pontifical documents, often illustrates Mary’s coredemptive role in our salvation.
Here is a striking example of the Pope’s usage in this regard from an address at the Marian shrine in Guayaquil,
Ecuador on 31 January 1985:
Mary goes before us and accompanies
us. The silent journey that begins with her Immaculate Conception and passes through the “yes” of Nazareth,
which makes her the Mother of God, finds on Calvary a particularly important moment. There also, accepting and assisting at the sacrifice of her son, Mary is the dawn of Redemption;
... Crucified spiritually with her crucified son (cf.
Gal. 2:20), she contemplated with heroic love the death of her God, she “lovingly consented to the immolation of
this Victim which she herself had brought forth” (Lumen Gentium,
In fact, at Calvary
she united herself with the sacrifice of her Son that led to the foundation of the Church;
her maternal heart shared to the very depths the will of Christ “to gather into one all the dispersed children
of God” (Jn. 11:52). Having suffered for the Church, Mary deserved to become the Mother of all the disciples of her Son, the Mother of their unity. ...
The Gospels do not
tell us of an appearance of the risen Christ to Mary. Nevertheless, as she was in a special way close to
the Cross of her Son, she also had to have a privileged experience of his Resurrection. In fact, Mary’s role as Coredemptrix did not cease with the glorification of her Son.
In the above text we have a fine illustration
of the various ways in which Mary’s collaboration in the Redemption is described by the Pope, culminating in his
reference to her “role as Coredemptrix”. It should be noted that he presents Mary’s coredemptive role here
with reference to Paul’s statement, “I have been crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20) while he underscores how this
is encapsulated in the mystery of her Heart. While I have presented my research on Pope John Paul II’s teaching
on Marian Coredemption 35 and on Mary’s
Heart as a symbol of her Coredemptive role 36
elsewhere, I would simply cite as a final text recapitulating this theme in the context of the “alliance” a passage
from the Pope’s letter to Cardinal Sin of 8 September 1986:
The heart of the Mother has
always followed the redemptive mission of her Son. As Jesus hung on the Cross in completion of his salvific
work, Simeon’s prophecy foretelling the definitive alliance of the hearts of the Son and
of the Mother was fulfilled: “And a sword will pierce your own soul too” (Lk. 2:35).
Indeed the centurion’s lance that pierced the side of Christ also penetrated the heart of his sorrowful Mother
and sealed it in sacrificial love. 37
C. Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
The concept of the Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary sheds light on the practice of consecration to the
Immaculate Heart of Mary. 38 In
my book Totus Tuus: John Paul II’s Program of Marian Consecration and Entrustment I have analyzed at length the Pope’s theological justification and rationale for consecration to the
Immaculate Heart of Mary. Perhaps nowhere does he present a more cogent argument for this consecration than
he did in his homily at Fatima on 13 May 1982:
Consecrating the world
to the Immaculate Heart of Mary means drawing near, through the mother’s intercession, to the very fountain of
life that sprang from Golgotha. This fountain pours forth unceasingly redemption
and grace. In it reparation is made continually for the sins of the world. It is a ceaseless source
of new life and holiness.
the world to the Immaculate Heart of the mother means returning beneath the cross of the Son. It means consecrating
this world to the pierced Heart of the Savior, bringing it back to the very source of its redemption. 39
Here the Holy Father explains magnificently
how consecration to the Heart of the Mother is ultimately a consecration to the Heart of the Son. 40 Mary’s Heart is never the terminus
ad quem, the ultimate object of our consecration, but it is the chosen means. The
Pope himself offered a further precision on this theme in his address to those who had participated in the original
1986 International Theological Symposium on the Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary:
Our act of consecration [to
the Immaculate Heart of Mary] refers ultimately to the Heart of her Son, for as the Mother of Christ she is wholly
united to his redemptive mission. As at the marriage feast of Cana, when she said “Do whatever he tells you”,
Mary directs all things to her Son, who answers our prayers and forgives our sins. Thus by
dedicating ourselves to the heart of Mary we discover a sure way to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, symbol of the merciful
love of our Saviour. 41
I have dealt in a fuller way with this
theme in a paper which I gave on 23 October 1994 in Manila and which has been subsequently published. 42
D. Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
The Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary also sheds light on the theology and practice of reparation as it
is practiced on First Fridays and First Saturdays of the month. 43 We may say that the alliance reached its zenith on Calvary where Jesus and Mary were united in
making reparation to the Eternal Father as they suffered for the world's redemption. Here is a description
of Mary’s collaboration in the reparation of Christ from the pen of the distinguished nineteenth century spiritual
writer, Father Frederick William Faber:
During those hours of the
Passion, each oblation was a double one; the offering of Jesus and the offering of Mary were tied in one. ... they
were offered with kindred dispositions. Thus there is a sacrificial and expiatory character in Mary’s Compassion
which is peculiar to itself. The world was redeemed by the Passion of our Lord.
But there never was, in the ordinance of God, such a thing as a Passion of Jesus disjoined from the Compassion
of Mary. The two things were one simultaneous oblation, interwoven each moment through the thickly-crowded
mysteries of that dread time, unto the Eternal Father, out of two sinless Hearts, that were the Hearts of Son and
Mother, for the sins of a guilty world which fell on them contrary to their merits, but
according to their own free will. Never was any sanctified sorrow of creatures so
confused and commingled with the world-redeeming sorrow of Jesus as was the Compassion of His Mother. 44
description is remarkably similar to that of the Venerable Pius XII in his great Sacred Heart encyclical, Haurietis Aquas of 15 May 1956 where he speaks about the desirability of joining devotion to the Immaculate Heart of
Mary to that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus:
By the will of God, the most
Blessed Virgin Mary was inseparably joined with Christ in accomplishing the work of man's redemption, so that our salvation flows from the love of Jesus Christ and His sufferings intimately united with the love and
sorrows of His Mother. It is, then, highly fitting that after due homage has been paid to the Most Sacred
Heart of Jesus, Christian people who have obtained divine life from Christ through Mary manifest similar piety
and the love of their grateful souls for the most loving Heart of our heavenly Mother.
Even as the Hearts of Jesus and Mary were united in offering reparation to the Father, so they are also worthy
of receiving our reparation for the sins committed against them. In a way analogous 46 to the Heart of Jesus -- while always keeping the right proportion
-- one may also speak of reparation offered to the Heart of Mary. 47 I have developed this topic at some length in an article published in the course of the past year.
E. Spirituality of the Two Hearts
As the conclusion of that now celebrated Angelus address of 15 September 1985 the Holy Father said “May our prayer
of the Angelus unite us today with that admirable alliance of hearts.” 49 It was a beautiful lead-in to the Angelus on that occasion, but it is much more than that:
consciously or not, the Pope has offered us a program for life. He has issued an invitation to us to enter
into that admirable alliance which is at the very center of the order of our salvation. “Apart from this
alliance of the two Hearts,” says Father Fehlner,
there is no order of salvation.
That is why any cooperation to fill up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the Church (cf. Col. 1:24)
presupposes this mysterious alliance and why the distribution of grace to be fruitful must reflect the love which
unites the Immaculate and Sacred Hearts. 50
I have already touched on two cardinal facets of the spirituality of the alliance: consecration and reparation
to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. But, these are really meant to be a way of living the Christian life and
ever since the Holy Spirit began proposing the veneration of the Two Hearts to the Church in seventeenth century
France 51, the Church has continued to
be enriched with confessors, doctors, virgins, martyrs, men and women saints who have been inspired to holiness
by the spirituality of the Two Hearts. Some have been drawn in a special way to the Sacred Heart of Jesus,
others to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, but always with reference to the other. The teaching of the saints
52 in this regard is a fathomless gift
to spiritual theology in general and to Mariology in particular.
I would like to conclude with the Holy Father's reflection on one of these saints, Saint Damien de Veuster of Molokai.
It was addressed to members of the Congregations of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, of which he was a member,
on the day of his beatification, 4 June 1995:
The fact that the congregation
to which Fr. Damien belongs is consecrated to the Heart of Jesus and to the Heart of his Mother is eloquent.
Between these Two Hearts there is an exchange of gifts in the mystery of the Incarnation
and the Redemption. Fr. Damien drew inspiration from this exchange and he followed it to the end. “How sweet it is do die as a son of the Sacred Heart”, he would say on the day of his death, Monday
of Holy Week 1889. Today, his gift is returned to the hands of that same Mother, to whom he entrusted himself
and gave himself from the very beginning of his vocation: this gift becomes total in the glory of God. 53
Laus cordibus Jesu
Acta Apostolicæ Sedis (1909 – )
Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, I (1978 – 2005) (Città del Vaticano: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1979 – 2005)
L’Osservatore Romano, weekly edition in English. First number = cumulative edition number; second number = page
9 April 1997
11 February 2014
1. On the distinction between symbolic and speculative theology cf. François-Marie Léthel,
O.C.D., Connaître l'amour du Christ qui surpasse toute connaissance:
La Théologie des Saints (Venasque: Éditions du Carmel, 1989) 31-43, esp. 40-43.
2. A copy of this letter was provided in a dossier prepared by Cardinal Sin's collaborators for the participants
in the steering committee meeting held in Rome at the Antonianum on 8 October 1985.
3. Secretariat of State Prot. N. 150.957, cf. steering committee dossier.
4. Cf. Inseg VII/2 (1984) 550-556 [ORE 855:7-8]; Inseg VII/2 (1984) 598-603 [ORE 855:16-17].
5. Inseg VIII/2 (1985) 671 [ORE 904:1]. Italics my own.
6. Inseg VIII/1 (1985) 1759; [ORE 890:1].
7. Miles Immaculatae 23 (1987) 42-43. Italics my own.
on the symposium were made in Ephemerides Mariologicae 37 (1987)
229-238; Miles Immaculatae 23 (1987) 178-179 and Marian Studies 38 (1988) 182-183. Cf. also Arthur Burton Calkins, Totus Tuus: John Paul II's Program of Marian Consecration and Entrustment
(New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate, 1994), 281-282.
9. Cf. Ignace de la Potterie, S.J., “L’Alleanza dei Cuori di Gesù e di Maria” in Il mistero del cuore trafitto: Fondamenti biblici della spiritualità del Cuore di Gesù (Bologna: Centro Editoriale Dehoniano,
1988) 137-180; Domiciano Fernandez, C.M.F., “El Corazon de Maria en Los Santos Padres,” Ephemerides Mariologicae 37 (1987) 81-140; Michael O’Carroll, C.S.Sp., “Les Cśurs Sacrés de
Jésus e de Marie. Un thème renouvelé” in Kecharitoméne: Mélanges René Laurentin (Paris: Desclée, 1990), 417-430; Christoph Schönborn,
O.P., “Maria - Herz der Theologie - Theologie des Herzens,” in Weisheit
Gottes – Weisheit der Welt, I (Erzabtei St. Ottilien: EOS Verlag, 1987), pp. 575-589; Arthur Burton Calkins, “The Union of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary in St. Francis
de Sales and St. John Eudes,” Miles Immaculatae 25 (1989) 472-512.
Bahay Maria; Fatima: Santuario de Nossa Senhora de Fatima, 1988). Henceforth referred to as Texts and Documents.
translations of the original papers of Father de la Potterie and Archbishop Schönborn were provided (cf. Texts and Documents 68-117 and 260-282) as well as a great deal of other documentation
coming from the Fatima symposium.
12. Texts and Documents 14-26.
Timothy T. O'Donnell in his Heart of the Redeemer: An Apologia for the Contemporary
and Perennial Value of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Manassas, VA:
Trinity Communications, 1989) after an extensive examination of the magisterium on the Heart of Jesus in the post-conciliar
period concludes that one may “find a solemn affirmation of all previous Papal teaching concerning the devotion
to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. There is no rupture in the continuity or power of this teaching” (p. 255).
One could also claim that this is true of the teaching of the present Pope.
Pope John Paul II’s development of the “theology of the heart”, cf. Arthur Burton Calkins, Totus
Tuus: John Paul II’s Program of Marian Consecration and Entrustment 75-79; 248-256.
15. Inseg VII/1 (1984) 1974 [ORE 843:9].
16. Inseg VII/1 (1984) 1975-1976 [ORE 843:9]. Final italics
Heinrich Denzinger, Compendium of Creeds, Definitions, and Declarations on Matters of
Faith and Morals, 43rd Edition
(San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2012) #293-294.
18. Inseg VII/2 (1984) 600 [ORE 855:16].
19. Inseg IX/2 (1986) 843 [ORE 960:5, 7].
Arthur Burton Calkins, “The Cultus of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary in the Papal Magisterium from Pius IX to Pius
XII,” Acta Congressus Mariologici-Mariani Internationalis in Sanctuario Mariano Kevelaer
(Germania) Anno 1987 Celebrati II: De Cultu Mariano Saeculis
XIX et XX usque ad Concilium Vaticanum II Studia Indolis Generalioris (Rome: Pontificia
Academia Mariana Internationalis, 1991) 384: “There is a similarity or proportion between the person of Jesus
and the person of Mary, the Heart of Jesus and the Heart of Mary, the Kingship of Jesus and the Queenship of Mary,
but we cannot forget that Jesus is a divine person and Mary is a human person; that His Heart is the heart of the
God-Man, her Heart is that of a creature; that He is King by nature while she is Queen by grace.”
21. Inseg IX/2 (1986) 699-700 [ORE 959:12].
Arthur Burton Calkins, “The Tripartite Biblical Vision of Man: A Key to the Christian Life,” Doctor Communis 43 (1990) 137-139, 150-151, 153-155; http://www.christendom-awake.org/pages/calkins/biblanth.htm
23. Inseg V/2 (1982) 1572-1573 [ORE 734:3].
24. Inseg X/3 (1987) 547 [ORE 1007:4].
25. Miles Immaculatae 23 (1987) 42-43. Italics my own.
26. Fr. Peter Damian Fehlner, F.F.I., “The Apostolate Alliance of the Two Hearts – The Alliance and Our
Lady,” Queen of All Hearts Vol. XLV, no. 4 (November-December 1994) 17.
27. Christoph Schönborn, O.P., “Mary – Heart of Theology – Theology of the Heart,” Texts and Documents 271-272.
28. Schönborn, Texts and Documents 275.
29. Inseg V/2 (1982) 1573 [ORE 734:3]. Italics my own.
31. Miles Immaculatae 23 (1987) 42.
33. Cf. Fatima Consensus Document, Texts
and Documents 17, 20, 21.
34. Inseg VIII/1 (1985) 318-319 [ORE 876:7]. Italics my
own. The Holy Father had already spoken in virtually the same terms, but without making explicit reference
to Our Lady’s “role as Coredemptrix” in his catechesis of 11 May 1983, cf. Inseg VI/1 (1983) 1202 [ORE 784:1].
35. Arthur Burton Calkins, “Pope John Paul II’s Teaching on Marian Coredemption,” Miles Immaculatae XXXII (Luglio/Dicembre 1996) 474-508.
36. Arthur Burton Calkins, “The Heart of Mary as Coredemptrix in the Magisterium of Pope John Paul II”
in S. Tommaso
Teologo: Ricerche in occasione dei due centenari accademici (Città del Vaticano:
Libreria Editrice Vaticana “Studi Tomistici #59,” 1995)
37. Miles Immaculatae 23 (1987) 42-43. Italics my own.
38. Cf. Fatima Consensus Document, Texts
and Documents 23-26.
39. Inseg V/2 (1982) 1573-1574 [ORE 734:3].
40. This assumes further argumentation, which I present in much more detail in my book.
41. Inseg IX/2 (1986) 700 [ORE 959:13].
42. Arthur Burton Calkins, “The Alliance of the Two Hearts and Consecration,” Miles Immaculatae XXXI (Luglio/Dicembre
43. Cf. Fatima Consensus Document, Texts
and Documents 22.
William Faber, The Foot of the Cross (Philadelphia: The
Peter Reilly Co., 1956) 384 (italics my own).
48 (1956) 352 [Our Lady: Papal Teachings, trans. Daughters
of St. Paul (Boston: St. Paul Editions, 1961) #778]. Italics my own.
46. On the principle of analogy as applied to Our Lady cf. my book, Totus Tuus, 162-168, 104.
Timothy Sparks, O.P., “Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,” in From an Abundant
Spring: The Walter Farrell Memorial Volume of the Thomist (New York: Thomist
Press, 1952) 42-43 where the author distinguishes between objective and subjective reparation and 47-48 where he
applies this distinction to the Immaculate Heart.
48. Arthur Burton Calkins, “The Hearts of Jesus and Mary and the Theology and Practice of Reparation,”
Miles Immaculatae XXXII (Gennaio/Giugno 1996) 91-116.
49. Inseg VIII/2 (1985) 671 [ORE 904:1].
51. Cf. Fatima Consensus Document, Texts
and Documents 16-17, 19-20.
52. On the testimony of the saints as a locus
theologicus, cf. François-Marie Léthel,
O.C.D., Connaître l'amour du Christ qui surpasse toute connaissance:
La théologie des Saints (Venasque: Éditions du Carmel, 1989) and Théologie de l'Amour
de Jésus: Écrits sur la théologie des saints (Venasque:
Éditions du Carmel, 1996). Cf. also my review of his second volume in Miles
Immaculatae XXXII (Luglio/Dicembre 1996) 727-730.
53. Inseg XVIII/1 (1995) 1667-1668 [ORE 1395:7]. Italics
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