The Five Blasphemies against the Immaculate Heart of Mary

10-14-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Robert Aliunzi

Dear Friends,

Through the many eras of our Church we have encountered great evils and sufferings in and of the world. We have seen this in the various instances of war, hatred, violence, division, and the disregard for the inherent human dignity that every life possesses. As our Pastor, Fr. Robert touched on last week, we commemorate October as the month of the Rosary and as Respect Life month in the Church. These two go hand in hand as our Lady, Mary the Mother of the Church works tirelessly to guide not only those who profess the faith, but all peoples to her Son, the Prince of Peace, our Lord Jesus Christ.

We see this in her many apparitions; instances in history when Mary has guided lost sheep back to the Lord, inspired conversion of the hearts and souls of many, and commissioned those of the Church to pray for Christ’s peace in the world through her intercession. Mary has appeared during crucial moments in history, from Japan to Mexico to Portugal with the message of repentance, hope, and peace. As Fr. Robert has already explained, we are engaging with our Lady’s request to pray the First Five Saturdays devotion as a parish community. This is an opportunity for us to commend the various struggles and anxieties of a suffering world to Mary, our mother as we make reparation to Mary for blasphemies against her immaculate heart.

Our Lady of Fatima appeared to Lucy of the three children of Fatima and told her:

My child, behold My Heart surrounded with the thorns which ungrateful men place therein at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me. Announce in My name that I promise to assist at the hour of death, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall, Go to confession and receive Holy Communion, Recite the Rosary, and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to Me. I promise to assist them at the hour of their death with all the graces necessary to save their souls.

It was explained by Lucy that Our Lady asked for the Church to partake in these five Saturdays as they each correlate with the five blasphemies against the immaculate heart of Mary. Now, you may be asking yourself as I did, “how can we blaspheme against Mary? Mary isn’t God.” This is true, and we must never confuse our devotion to Mary with our worship of God. Mary has a special place of honor as the Theotokos (the Mother of God) and the Mother of the Church, but she is not God. When we think of a blasphemy we usually associate it with the third commandment, thou shall not use the Lord’s name in vain. However, we can blaspheme beyond directly misusing or abusing the name of God. To blaspheme is not only to use God’s name in an inappropriate or abusive manner, but to mock, misuse, or abuse anything or anyone set aside as sacred or relating to God and his Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church assists us in understanding the grave sin of blasphemy and all that constitutes blasphemy, as follows:

Blasphemy is directly opposed to the second commandment. It consists in uttering against God - inwardly or outwardly - words of hatred, reproach, or defiance; in speaking ill of God; in failing in respect toward him in one's speech; in misusing God's name… The prohibition of blasphemy extends to language against Christ's Church, the saints, and sacred things. It is also blasphemous to make use of God's name to cover up criminal practices, to reduce peoples to servitude, to torture persons or put them to death. The misuse of God's name to commit a crime can provoke others to repudiate religion. Blasphemy is contrary to the respect due God and his holy name. It is in itself a grave sin. (CCC 2148)

Blasphemy extends to even the Saints and Our Lady. Does this mean we venerate Mary and the Saints as gods? No, but it does mean that we recognize those who are sacred as intercessors and champions of Christ’s Church. To speak ill of the Saints or to mock Mary are grave acts of blasphemy. We see this form of blasphemy towards Mary’s Immaculate Heart in the form of five particular blasphemies. As we pray the Five First Saturday Devotion as a parish community, it is these blasphemies that we make reparation for.

The Five Blasphemies are as follows:

Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception. That is, denying that Mary was immaculately conceived without sin so that she could bear the Son of God in her womb. “The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.” (CCC 491)

Blasphemies against Mary’s Virginity. That is, denying that Mary miraculously conceived Jesus at the moment of the Annunciation and that she remained pure in her virginity for the remainder of her earthly life. “The Gospel accounts understand the virginal conception of Jesus as a divine work that surpasses all human understanding and possibility: "That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit", said the angel to Joseph about Mary, his fiancee. The Church sees here the fulfillment of the divine promise given through the prophet Isaiah: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son.” (CCC 497)

Blasphemies against Mary’s Divine Maternity, in refusing at the same time to recognize Her as the Mother of men. That is, denying that Mary is the Mother of God in that she truly conceived of Jesus, the Word made flesh, in her womb and bore him as his mother. “Called in the Gospels "the mother of Jesus", Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as "the mother of my Lord". In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly "Mother of God" (Theotokos).” (CCC 495)

The blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children indifference or scorn, or even hatred of this Immaculate Mother. That is, to erroneously teach about Our Lady and to cultivate a hatred for Mary as is often seen in the teachings of many of our Christian brothers and sisters outside of the Church.

The offenses of those who outrage Her directly in Her Holy Images. That is, to openly mock or profane an image depicting Our Lady as an act of hatred or abuse directed to Mary or the Church.

I echo the encouragement of our Pastor that in the following months we continue to engage with the First Five Saturday devotion, not only once a month, but every day by asking Our Lady for her intercession and protection. Not only in our lives, but in the lives of so many who do not know her message of peace as she directs the wounded hearts of the troubled to the Prince of Peace.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.