Rosary Crusade Clarion
Devotional bulletin of the Rosary Crusade in Canada

September 2002 Issue #21

The Name of Holy Mary

To be holy is the first and foremost task of the Christian. A certain minimum of holiness is necessary for salvation, but the higher degrees of holiness are the aspiration and hope of all true lovers of God. Nothing bestows upon man greater worth and dignity. The beginning of Christian holiness was given us in baptism, and it is the win of God that we guard and develop it. Therefore St. Peter writes, "As the One who called you is holy, be you also holy in all your behavior; for it is written, 'You shall be holy, because I am holy'" (1 Pet. 1: 15). As Mary is our leader to Christ, so she is our leader to holiness. The more we appreciate and desire her guidance, the more freely she can act. Hence our first petition in the litany is: Holy Mary, pray for us.

When St. Paul tells us that by baptism we have been transformed into Christ, when St. Peter speaks of the Christian as having been made a partaker in the divine nature, when St. John reminds us that we are children of God, all these inspired writers state the same truth: we have been raised to a higher order of life, we have been incorporated into Christ the Holy One, we abide in Him and He in us, we live because of Him as He lives because of the Father. This divine life is the most precious treasure given into our care. In virtue of this life we are holy, but we are to become more holy from day to day, "for this is the will of God, your sanctification " (i Thess. 4: 3).

Mary, the Mother of the Holy One and full of grace, must be holy; the Queen of all saints must possess the highest degree of holiness. This holy Mother is also our Mother, and she desires nothing more than to see her children resemble her and her divine Son. Therefore we turn to her more than to any other saint in our efforts to become holy. In doing this we are encouraged by the beautiful words of Pius XII: "There is no one who has followed in the footsteps of , the incarnate Word more closely and with more merit than she; and no one has more power over the Sacred Heart of the Son of God and through Him with the heavenly Father. ...Since she is, therefore, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope, let us all cry ,to her, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears, and confidently place ourselves and all we have under her patronage. ...She teaches us all virtues; she gives us her Son and with Him all the help we need, for God wishes us to have everything through her " (Mediator Dei).

There is no agreement as to the exact meaning of the name of Mary, and many interpretations of it have been given. Among these interpretations the most popular must be said to be: Mistress and Star of the Sea.

As Mother of Christ Mary exercised authority over her divine Son; should she not have been given authority over her spiritual children, the other Christs? Having co-operated with her divine Son in the sacrifice of our salvation, should she not have authority over those toward whose salvation she contributed so much? Let us listen to the way in which holy Church speaks of this authority on the feast of Mary, the Mediatrix of all graces. In the antiphon for the Magnificat of the first Vespers she puts these words on the lips of Mary: "Behold, my Lord has delivered all things to me; there is nothing that is not subject to my power, nothing that He did not turn over to me. " In the antiphon for the Benedictus we hear the words of God conferring this authority upon her: "Without thy authorization no one in the whole land shall move hand or foot. " But Mary's authority is kind and gentle, loving and appealing. She is like her divine Son meek and humble of heart; she loves those over whom she rules and uses her authority only to make them happy for time and eternity.

Life is often compared to a journey across a sea agitated by violent storms, with waves rising to frightening heights and falling to abysmal depths. The strong winds of temptations and adversities blow all around us. We feel that we are in danger of losing life and all. Yet we are not left without hope. There is a star in the sky that lights up our way and shows us the right course through the raging waves: Mary, the Star of the sea. This star is ever shining in peaceful radiance, untouched by the fury of the storms, ever pointing to heaven; it speaks to us of eternal peace that awaits us in the heavenly homeland. It remains for us to look up to this star and to follow its guidance; it is the only way to peace and safety. The love-inspired words of St. Bernard will ever remain true: "0 you all who are tossed about on the stormy waters of life and exposed to its violent tempests, do not turn away your eyes from this bright star of the sea, if you would not be swallowed up by storm. When tornado-like temptations assail you and your boat is drifting upon rocks, look up to the star, call upon Mary. When buffeted by the billows of pride, of ambition, bitterness, envy, look up to the star, call upon Mary. When anger or avarice or the violence of sensual passions beat upon the boat of your soul, look up to Mary. When feeling crushed by the burden of sin, appalled by the foulness of a guilty conscience, terrified by the thought of the judgment to come, sinking into an abyss of sadness, a whirlpool of despair, then think of Mary, call upon her holy name. Following her you will never go astray, invoking her you will never lose hope, thinking of her you will make no mistake. ...Thus you will learn by your own experience how truly it is said that the Virgin's name is Mary - Star of the Sea "

(Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary, second nocturn).     
 -from Our Lady's Litany, by Rev. A Biskupek.

The Green Scapular

green scapular

The principal earthly character now has the habit of the Sisters of Charity in common with her predecessor in this role, Catherine Laboure. Sister Catherine remained in obscurity all her life, an obscurity which deepened with the years. Our Lady's next intermediary was to be quite the opposite. The endowment of heroic virtue was to be her only trait in common with her sister-religious.

Sister Justine Bisqueburu was our Lady's choice for the Green Scapular, as Sister Catherine was her choice for the Medal of the Immaculate Conception. They were contemporaneous Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.

In contrast to Sister Laboure's oblivious retirement, Sister Bisqueburu was to head military hospitals in Paris and Algiers, she was to be seen spending three days and three nights on the battlefield of Mentana, would organize ambulance corps in Rome, and accompany Pius IX on walks in his private garden.

Almost nothing is known of her life prior to her entry into the Sisters of Charity. Two coincidences stand out in the foreground of her career: on her journey from Pau to Paris to embrace the religious life, she was accompanied by Father Aladel, her future spiritual director, who had also been the director of Sister Catherine Laboure. She entered the seminary there on November 27,1839, on the ninth anniversary of our Lady's Miraculous Medal apparition to St. Catherine.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death!

Sister Justine was making her entrance retreat when she was favored with her first vision of our Blessed Lady before the Blessed Virgin's statue in the retreat hall on January 28, 1840. This sister was at prayer when our Lady appeared dressed in white, her feet bare and showing just below the hem of the white gown over which there was a mantle of blue. Unlike most of her other apparitions, she wore no veil, but instead her hair hung loose about her shoulders. She was holding her heart in her hand, from the top of which leapt flames of fire. The sister was awe-struck by her heavenly beauty and majesty. Four or five times during the year, on principal feasts of the Blessed Virgin, the vision reappeared. During meditation on September 8, 1840, feast of the Nativity of Mary, our Lady held her heart in one hand and a green scapular in the other. It was not the conventional type of scapular, but only one rectangular piece of green cloth, fastened to a green string to be placed about the neck. On one side of this was a picture of our Lady as she had appeared previously. On the other, in the words of Sister Justine, there was 'a heart all ablaze with rays more dazzling than the sun, and as transparent as crystal." The heart, emitting flames and pierced with a sword was surrounded with a circular inscription, over which was a gold cross. The inscription was an ejaculatory prayer: "Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.'

The green scapular, or "Badge of the Immaculate Heart of Mary," as it is variously called, was to be an instrument for the Daughters of Charity to be used in the conversion of sinners and infidels, especially in the matter of obtaining for them the grace of a happy death, Sister Justine was told. The interior voice also made known to her that they were to be made and distributed as soon as possible. The report of the apparition and the requests of our Lady were reported to Sister Justine's superior with the utmost of caution and deference.

The same vision reoccurred on August 15, 1840, and September 13,1841. A message was sent to Father Aladel. He apparently thought nothing of it and dismissed the whole matter. Nothing was done about the making and distribution of the scapular. In a vision of May 3,1842, after her Holy Communion thanksgiving, the Blessed Virgin complained of this to Sister Bisqueburu. Our Lady said she was displeased because of the delay. This message was conveyed to Father Aladel and he seemed to rush matters. At last the scapular was made, but not in large quantities, and its use seemed to be experimental and without enthusiasm. In successive apparitions during 1846, our Lady complained many times of the protracted delays and lack of confidence with which the scapular was used. In desperation, Sister Justine wrote her superior: "It is absolutely necessary that Father Aladel attend to the Scapular, that he should disseminate it and do so with confidence. Heretofore, I am sure, he did not attach great importance to it. He was very wrong. True, I do not deserve to be believed, for I am only a poor girl in every respect. May I entreat him to do this, not for my sake, but I ask him in the name of Mary to do it for these poor souls who die without knowing the true religion; yes, if it be given with confidence, there mil be a great number of conversions. ...Answer me, I beg of you, as soon as possible; we cannot lose any time."

The Green Scapular was to be different from every other scapular in one respect. It was not a habit or insignia of any confraternity, and therefore no formula or imposition was necessary. It had merely to be blessed by a priest and worn like a medal, and the wearer was obliged to say once a day the prayer inscribed on it: "Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.' In the case of sinners or infidels, the scapular could be placed in a bed or room, or sewn or slipped unknown to the person into his clothing, and the benefactor could say the prayer in his stead. Different kinds of rays fell from the Blessed Virgin's hands in the vision, signifying that the graces obtained from its use would be greater or less in proportion to the degree of confidence on the part of the devotee. Subsequent approval was climaxed by the favorable reception of the scapular by Pope Pius XI, who placed the scapular on his desk with the Miraculous Medal.

the Sacred and Immaculate hearts

The Green Scapular was the occasion of all manner of graces, of favors and cures; it is not to our purpose to cite them here. What is important to our thesis is that the Immaculate Heart of Mary was attested to by our Lady herself in anticipation to the coming of her age. Here again she was presaging the great climax in the Message of Fatima where she said: "Jesus wishes His Sacred Heart honored in union with my Immaculate Heart." Again on July 13 after the children of Fatima had seen the vision of hell: "You have just seen hell where the souls of sinners will suffer forever. To save souls from hell, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart."

The Immaculate Conception was heralded with Catherine Laboure and her Medal; it appeared with the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the back of the medal. The Immaculate Heart of Mary was proclaimed again with the Green Scapular; likewise the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary were correlated on the back of the scapular. The reverse of the medal consisted of a large "M" surmounted by a cross upright on a bar supported by the letter. Beneath the letter was the Sacred Heart on the left, crowned with thorns and across rising out of flames issuing from the top; the Immaculate Heart of Mary as on the Green Scapular was to the right, pierced with a sword, and the same flames rising forth. All was encircled by a diadem of twelve stars. St. John speaks in the Apocalypse of the "Woman clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.' She had come!

The particular power of this scapular is to help in the conversion of sinners, and in obtaining for them the grace of a happy death.


To complete the correlation there was the red scapular, given during the same period to another Sister of Charity. On July 29, 1846, another Daughter of Charity, Sister Appoline Andriveau, was favored by an apparition of our Lord, Who revealed to her a new scapular of a red color, on which, next to His Heart, was also that of His Mother, and which for this reason received the name of Scapular of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

Our Lady was building the edifice of devotion to her Immaculate Heart to save souls from hell with many means, long before her greatest plea at Fatima in 1917. The Marian Age was speedily under way; the opening strokes were completed; the essential cores were wound and energized.

-from Recent Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, by Stephen Breen.


Our Lady


With each and every Ave of the rosary, we call twice on the holy name of Mary. Her name is the source of blessings. Jesus so loves His mother that He turns to look when anyone speaks her name.

Long ago, He began to pronounce this beautiful word, and used it honour His most beautiful creation. On Mary's lap He sat and learned to repeat her name: "Maria, mother." The music of this word is a font of eternal joy. We can do no better than also to call upon the Mother of God, if we wish to share her Son's love and protection.

Among Mary's gifts to men is the green scapular. Those who keep it, give honour to the holy name written thereon. No wonder it is a powerful help for conversions and the restoration of health.

United to you in devotion to the Blessed Virgin, I am,

Emanuel Herkel
Fr. E. Herkel