Did you know that June 25 is the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary? As we celebrate this devotion focusing on the Blessed Mother’s interior life and her love for God, we invite you to virtually tour the chapel where it is honored at the Basilica.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel in the Basilica
At the Basilica, the focal point of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel is the hand-carved wooden medallion, which is surrounded by eight angels carved into the marble of the apse. The floor contains the seal of the Claretian Missionaries, formally known as the Sons of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, while the side wall features a mosaic of Pope Pius XII consecrating the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The adjacent chapel is dedicated to their founder, St. Anthony Mary Claret.
Take the Virtual Tour
We invite you to explore the Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel virtually and enjoy immersive panoramic views of this breathtaking space.
History of the Devotion
St. John Eudes was instrumental in propagating the devotion of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, holding the first feast day at Autun in 1648, starting multiple religious societies in honor of the devotion, and authoring the book Coeur Admirable (Admirable Heart). Though his petition to Rome for an official feast day was unsuccessful, the devotion continued to grow in popularity.
With the revelation of the Miraculous Medal in 1830, attention was drawn to the devotion, and the Congregation of Rites finally approved the Office and Mass of the Most Pure Heart of Mary on July 21, 1855. St. Anthony Mary Claret, a 19th-century Spanish missionary, was also influential in promulgating the devotion of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He founded the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (also known as the Claretian fathers and brothers).
The Basilica Guidebook, Dr. Geraldine Rohling
Light a Candle at the Basilica
In honor of the Blessed Mother, we invite you to light a candle today at the National Shrine. Vigil candles burn in the chapels throughout the Great Upper Church and lower crypt level of the National Shrine. Each candle represents the faith of the supplicants and their fervent prayers entrusted to the loving intercession of the Blessed Mother.