Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart oil on Prayer Cloth
The Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart oil on prayer cloth is dedicated to the 19th century German nun.
Mary of the Divine Heart (1863 – 1899), born Maria Droste zu Vischering, was a German noblewoman. She was a Roman Catholic nun of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd. Maria was known for influencing Pope Leo XIII. He made the consecration of the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Pope Leo XIII himself called the solemn consecration “the greatest act of my pontificate”.
Maria Droste was born with her twin brother Max on September 8, 1863. This is the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Because of the fragility of her health, Maria was baptized immediately at birth.
Maria Droste spent her childhood with her family in the Castle of Darfeld, in Rosendahl near Münster. She was a child full of life. Her mother stated, “She doesn’t mind her dress. She is running into the mud, jumping into the wet grass and the bushes. Maria gets so dirty that she has to change every stitch.”
Maria’s aspires to be a religious
Vischering was taught at home by governesses. On April 25, 1875, Vischering and her brother Max received their First Communion. In April 1879, Vischering continued her education at the boarding school of the Sacré-Coeur Sisters. While there, she heard a homily on Psalm 45. This said. “Listen, my daughter,… forget your father’s house…, the king will fall in love with your beauty.” Vischering decided that she should become a religious. During the spring of 1879, Maria reached an important conclusion. “I understood that without the spirit of sacrifice the love of the Heart of Jesus is merely an illusion
Charism of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
While at school, she contracted pneumonia and, shortly before her 18th birthday, returned home to recover. In 1883, at the chapel of the Castle of Darfeld, Vischering is said to have had an interior locution of Jesus Christ. Jesus told her: “Thou shalt be the wife of My Heart.” On 5 August of that same year, on the Silver Jubilee of her parents’ marriage, Vischering told them of her desire to become a religious.
In 1888, she visited with her mother the Hospital of Darfeld. There found a girl who had given scandal. Maria Droste zu Vischering reached out to the unfortunate. That episode can be considered her first contact with the charism of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. In the parish church, a short time later, she heard again the voice of Jesus, who told her: “You must enter in the Convent of the Good Shepherd.” On November 21, 1888, at the age of 25, Maria Droste zu Vischering joined the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd. After she received the white religious habit of the religious congregation, Vischering also received the name that became for her a program of life: Sister Mary of the Divine Heart.
Sister Maria of the Divine Heart
For Maria Droste zu Vischering, the devotion to the Heart of Christ always merged with the devotion to the Blessed Sacrament: “I could never separate the devotion to the Heart of Jesus from the devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and I will never be able to explain how and how much the Sacred Heart of Jesus deigned to favor me in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist.”
In 1891, she devoted herself to the girls sent to the Good Shepherd Sisters in Münster for rehabilitation and care. With an ardent love for youth ministry, she maintained that “the most needy, the most miserable, the most forsaken are the children I love best.”
Vischering spent only five years in Münster because she was called by obedience to a special mission. In 1894, at the age of 31, she was transferred to Portugal, where she was initially sent as assistant of the Mother Superior of the Convent of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Lisbon. From February to May 1894, she remained in the Portuguese capital but then was appointed to the position of Mother Superior of the Convent of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Porto.
In Porto, Vischering reported several messages from Jesus Christ in which she was asked to contact the Pope to request the consecration of the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
World Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Jesus had revealed to her, “By the brightness of this light, peoples and nations will be illumined, and they will be warmed by its ardour.”
On June 10, 1898, her confessor at the Good Shepherd monastery wrote to Pope Leo XIII to state that Vischering had received a message from Christ requesting the Pope to consecrate the entire world to the Sacred Heart. The Pope initially did not believe her and took no action. However, on January 6, 1899, she wrote another letter asking that in addition to the consecration, the first Fridays of the month be observed in honour of the Sacred Heart. In the letter, she also referred to the recent illness of the Pope and stated that Christ had assured her that Pope Leo XIII would live until he had performed the consecration to the Sacred Heart. The theologian Laurent Volken states that this had an emotional impact on Leo XIII, despite the theological issues concerning the consecration of non-Christians.
Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII commissioned an inquiry on the basis of her revelation and church tradition. In his 1899 encyclical letter Annum sacrum, he decreed that the consecration of the entire human race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus should take place on June 11, 1899. In the encyclical, he referred to the illness about which Vischering had written: “There is one further reason that urges us to realize our design: We do not want it to pass by unnoticed. It is personal in nature but just as important: God the author of all good has saved us by healing us recently from a dangerous disease.”
Pope Leo XIII also composed the Prayer of Consecration to the Sacred Heart and included it in the encyclical. Pope Pius X later decreed for the consecration of the human race, performed by Pope Leo XIII, to be renewed each year.
Death and incorruptibility/Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart oil on prayer cloth
Vischering died on Thursday, June 8, 1899, the eve of the Feast of the Sacred Heart (properly, the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus), three days before the world consecration that Pope Leo XIII had scheduled for the following Sunday.
Vischering’s incorrupt body is exposed for public veneration in the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Ermesinde, in northern Portugal. The church is adjacent to the Convent of the Good Shepherd Sisters. There is also a relic of her body exposed for public veneration at the Sanctuary of Christ the King in Almada, near Lisbon, Portugal.
In 1964, Sister Mary of the Divine Heart, officially received the title of Venerable by the Catholic Church. On November 1, 1975, she was declared Blessed by Pope Paul VI.
Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
In His revelations to Sister Mary of the Divine Heart, Jesus is said to have revealed to her two promises:
Promise of obtaining graces through the intercession of Sister Mary of the Divine Heart
“Know this, that by the charity of My Heart I desire to pour out floods of graces. This will be through your heart over the hearts of others. This is why people will get close to you with confidence. …No one, even the most hardened sinner, will not leave your presence without having received, in one way or another, consolation, relief, or a special grace.”
Promise of obtaining graces in the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Ermesinde
“For a long time, as you know, I have wanted to build a church on the Good Shepherd property. Uncertain as to whom this church should be dedicated, I have prayed and consulted many people without reaching a decision. On the First Friday of this month, I asked Our Lord to enlighten me. After the Holy Communion, He said to me: I desire that the church be consecrated to My Heart. You must erect here a place of reparation. For My part I will make it a place of graces. I will distribute copiously graces to all who live in this house [the Convent], those who live here now, those who will live here after, and even to the people of their relations. He wished this church to be a place of reparation for sacrileges. Also, to obtain graces for the clergy.”
Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart oil on prayer cloth/Tradition of oils
The tradition of anointing with sacred oil is very old indeed. It is used in sacraments and also as a devotional practice. The sick person applies the oil and blesses themselves. As they do so, they are asked to pray to whomever the oil is dedicated to. The Irish blessings oils do not have miraculous power. It is God who has the power to heal. Applying the oil while praying are important ways for us to express our faith in God’s power. Moreover, by doing so we place our trust in God.
The Irish Blessings oils are dedicated to the Holy Spirit, Our Lady and the saints. The oils come through prayer. They are placed on their designated altars for a period of prayer before being sent out. The oils are of therapeutic grade.
The bottles of oils going out are accompanied with a prayer card. In addition, they are personalised for the saint to whom the oil is dedicated to.
Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart oil on prayer cloth
The Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart oil on prayer cloth is available here at our website.