Today, appropriately following the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is the Immaculate Heart of Mary. A very natural and human devotion to the Mother of our Lord, Theotokos, or "God-bearer." Now most of you know I could go on about Mary and how she has led me throughout my priestly vocation (I even had a favor answered on her feast of the Visitation and finding a Miraculous Medal in case I doubted her..) But for now by the grace of her son, our Lord Jesus Christ, let's ask her for protection over all those serving in the Armed Forces especially in harms way, the poor and disadvantaged, purity of our youth, the most hardened sinners, peace in our nation and for the world, unity among all Christians and the unborn. Hail Mary... Glory Be...
I remember after the Tuesday daily Mass in the cathedral of St Helena how we pray the beautiful prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Let's never forget the many blessings shed upon those who have recourse to her. If you're not familiar with Mary's significant role as an intercessor it's much more than mere superstition, see here among many others or the incredible scientific study on the image of our Lady of Guadalupe see here.
Oh, and if you've never made a consecration to Mary, you're in for a treat, your life will never be the same. A great resource I've recommended often is the book by Fr Michael Gaitley, 33 Days to Morning Glory.
A brief history of todays feast from Catholiccuture.org:
"From the In the midst of the second world war Pope Pius XII put the whole world under the special protection of our Savior's Mother by consecrating it to her Immaculate Heart, and in 1944 he decreed that in the future the whole Church should celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This is not a new devotion. In the seventeenth century, St. John Eudes preached it together with that of the Sacred Heart; in the nineteenth century, Pius VII and Pius IX allowed several churches to celebrate a feast of the Pure Heart of Mary. Pius XII instituted today's feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the whole Church, so as to obtain by her intercession "peace among nations, freedom for the Church, the conversion of sinners, the love of purity and the practice of virtue" (Decree of May 4, 1944).
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us!