The Founder of the Anawim Community, Fr. Francis Marino, used to point out that throughout the liturgical year there are a number of “companion feasts” – feasts that are closely associated with each other and that mutually enrich each other. One obvious example of this phenomenon is the two-day celebration that takes place three weeks after Pentecost: the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. These two feast days together bring to a glorious completion the series of celebrations that overflow from the Easter Season into Ordinary Time: Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi, Sacred Heart, Immaculate Heart.
In the devotional life of the Church, the Hearts of Jesus and Mary are often honored separately. There is certainly merit in this practice. However, by placing their feast days together, the Church shows the value of honoring the two Hearts together. Jesus and Mary show us the way of unity in love. It is as if their Hearts, beating in unison, have become one single principle of love, mirroring the unity of the three Persons of the Trinity who are eternally one. The union of these two human Hearts is also a sign of the unity of the Church, which, though comprised of many members, is “of one heart and one mind” (Acts 4:32).
In the Icon of Our Lady of the Liturgical Life, the Sacred Heart appears superimposed on the Eucharistic Host, enshrined within the Heart of our Queen Mother. This symbolizes their mysterious compenetration of hearts, the Heart of Jesus in the Heart of Mary. When we receive the Eucharist, we are drawn into this union. We become like Mary, enshrining the Heart of Jesus in our own hearts. Thus, the Church grows in unity – a sacred communion of hearts – through the power of the Eucharist, received in the immaculate faith of Mary our Mother.
Excerpt from The Anawim Way, Volume 19, no. 5. More information about The Anawim Way may be found here.