Devotion to Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Mother Mary
August 26, 2018
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
First, I invite you to attend the Church of St. Michael Festival held this weekend. There are many activities for all ages. I especially point out the wonderful roast beef dinner that will be served Sunday from 11am to1pm. Come and join the fun!
This month of August has a special emphasis on devotion to Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Mother Mary. As part of this special emphasis I want to share with you a special devotion that has the approval of the Catholic Church: devotion to the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
“Elizabeth Szántò was born in Budapest, a city of about 1.6 million people. She was the thirteenth child (preceded by six pairs of twins). She, alone, survived into adulthood.
Elizabeth was orphaned at a young age. Her father died when she was about five. Due to poor health, she lived for a time with her grandparents in the countryside. From ages 6 to 10, she attended elementary school. She then went to Switzerland for a time, returned to Budapest, and later was supposed to be adopted by a Swiss family. However, she was late for the train and a young couple took her back to Budapest.
Back in Budapest the 13-year-old orphan struggled to find work in order to not starve. As a lonely orphan who was often taken advantage of, she had many different jobs. Twice she tried to enter religious congregations, but was rejected. Fortunately, she discovered a Father Motray who became her confessor for many years.
The turning point came in August 1929 when she was accepted for the parish choir. There she met Karoly Kindlemann, a chimneysweeper instructor (a good paying position). She was married at age 16 (May 25, 1930). They had six children (1931 – 1942). In 1946, her husband passed away.
In 1948, the Communist Nationalization of Hungary was harsh. She was fired from her job for political reasons (having a statue of the Blessed Mother in her home). By May 1951, she was destitute and a hopeless situation. However, our Lord came to her aid and she became a technical supervisor at a foundry (alluded to in her diary). This providential outcome saved her family from starvation.
Thereafter, she worked at a number of factories. Her children married and, with their grandchildren, moved to the home of Elizabeth. Her diary begins on July 13, 1960, when she wrote about a beginning religious experience that introduced her to God’s presence. It speaks of three years of spiritual darkness (1958 – 1961) that prepared her for locutions. The decisive moment came on July 16, 1961, the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Elizabeth was a lay Carmelite). This leads us into her diary, where she herself tells the story.
Our Lady told her to gather 12 special pastors, four from within Budapest and 8 from outside the city to start a Movement to spread this special Grace to the whole world. Elizabeth was instructed to keep a Diary, which explains the special Grace, which God calls the “Grace from the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” and “the greatest Grace given to mankind since the Incarnation”. God promised that this Grace would be spread to the whole world. In the Diary, our Lady always speaks about the “Cause”, i.e. the Flame of Love Movement. She asks Elizabeth to be zealous and to speak often to these priests about “moving the Cause ahead.” Her priest confessors were sometimes slow to understand and slow to act, even though our Lady asked for action. Yet, they were accepting and sympathetic toward Elizabeth.
Fr. Gabriel Rona, S.J., a Hungarian priest, was also a missionary to Latin America and translated her diary into Spanish. He was appointed the Spiritual Director of the Movement for many years. In 1989, Cardinal Echeverria Ruiz (Archdiocese of Guayaquil, Ecuador) approved Fr. Rona’s translation. In 1996, he
approved the statutes of the Flame of Love Movement for his archdiocese and asked the Holy Father to approve the Movement for the whole world.
Cardinal Peter Erdo, Archbishop of Elizabeth’s Archdiocese of Budapest, went more deeply into the question by establishing a theological commission. In 2009, Cardinal Erdo said that the commission found her writings free from error. He gave his imprimatur; wrote about the importance of this Movement of Grace as a gift from God; and also formally established the Flame of Love as a lay movement in his archdiocese.
Since then, other Hungarian dioceses have done the same, as have other dioceses around the world. In the United States, the Flame of Love Movement is just beginning under the International Pious Association of the Faithful established to spread the Message to the whole world. This association has been in existence for many years in other countries of the world.” (taken from www.flameoflove.us)
Through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Grace, St. Joseph, and St. Columbkill, may we all grow in desire for and knowledge of Living in the Divine Will!