This dissertation of 694 pages (including appendices and bibliography) draws its inspiration from a Sept. 22, 1986 address of Pope John Paul II to theologians gathered at Fatima, Portugal for a conference on the Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, in which he urged them to “reflect upon devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the perspective of Sacred Scripture and Tradition, while at the same time concentrating on the intimate link that unites the hearts of Jesus and his Mother.” With these words Pope John Paul sets forth two important principles: 1) that the truth about Mary’s Heart, as well as the union or alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, is revealed in Scripture and Tradition; and 2) that devotion to Mary and her Heart must always be viewed in relation to Jesus and His Heart.This dissertation consists of two major parts. Part One, which makes up the bulk of the work, traces the historical development of both doctrine and devotion concerning the Immaculate Heart of Mary in relation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in light of Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. The purpose of this historical survey is to demonstrate how over the centuries both doctrine and devotion pertaining to Mary’s Heart has made progress alongside the developing doctrine and devotion concerning the Heart of Jesus. After a brief discussion of the anthropological, biblical and Patristic foundations of the development, the survey continues tracing this same development throughout the medieval, modern and contemporary periods with various chapters dividing each of the major periods.
The historical survey makes evident that the development of the doctrine concerning the two Hearts in Tradition over the centuries – as seen in the writings of the Fathers, saints and spiritual authors, in papal teachings and in the liturgy – provides a solid foundation for the devotion which developed towards the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, largely independent of private revelation. However, the survey also demonstrates the impact of private revelations – especially those granted to medieval mystics like St. Gertrude, Mechtilde of Magdeburg and St. Bridget of Sweden, and later apparitions granted to St. Margaret Mary and to the Fatima seers – on the development of doctrine and popular devotion, as well as the influence of these revelations on the development of the liturgical cultus of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
Part Two sets forth the theological foundations for devotion to Mary’s Immaculate Heart, again in relation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It contains four chapters: (1) devotion to Our Lady’s Heart in the context of Marian devotion in general, wherein are treated the material and formal objects of Marian Heart devotion along with its purpose or end in relation to devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus; (2) an analysis of the findings in the historical survey and an evaluation of the impact of key factors (heavenly communications, the papal Magisterium, schools of spirituality, etc.) that contributed to the development of doctrine and devotion concerning Our Lady’s Heart and the union between the Hearts of Jesus and Mary; (3) the theological foundations for Marian Heart devotion; specifically, the doctrinal principles which should be reflected in authentic devotion to Our Lady’s Heart: anthropological, biblical, Trinitarian, Christological, pneumatological, ecclesiological, Mariological and liturgical; and (4) theological foundations for Marian Heart devotional practices of consecration and reparation in relation to consecration and reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This final chapter offers suggestions to renew devotion to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart and to the united Hearts of Jesus and Mary in the lives of the faithful.