Friday, May 15, 2009
Sopie's Journal - 14
In promoting devotion to the Immaculate Conception, Mother Barat was ahead of her time. Before the feast she told the novices: "We who have such a need for protection should have recourse to her with confidence, rejoicing that our Blessed Mother has been preserved from the corruption of original sin; she will obtain for us the help that is so necessary for us to overcome our tendency to evil." Mary was to be their model. Devotion to the Immaculate Conception was promulgated by Mother Barat long vefore it was proclaimed a dogma by the Church. This devotion expressed itself in a tradition of serious novenas, patronal feasts for the boarding schools, and the solemn "lily procession" on the 8th of December each year. I still remember the lovely procession when I was in boarding school at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles. Each of us in white dresses, veils, and carrying a lily went before the statue of Our Lady and solemnly presented our lily saying (I think I have the words right but remember this was over sixty years ago), "O Mary, I give thee the lily of my heart; be thou its guardian forever." And this tradition was kept in all the Sacred Heart schools all over the world!!