The Alliance of the Two Hearts and Consecration
by Monsignor Arthur B. Calkins
In this article the author explores the concept of the Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, a term first coined by Pope John Paul II in his Angelus address of 15 September 1985. He proceeds to illustrate the theology of the "alliance" according to three teachers: Cardinal Pierre Paul Philippe, Saint John Eudes and Pope John Paul II. He then considers the theology of consecration as it develops from an understanding of this alliance. Finally he deals with some objections which have been made by theologians who contest the appropriateness of speaking about consecration to Our Lady and to her Immaculate Heart.
From 14 to 19 September 1986 an international theological symposium took place in Fatima, Portugal on the "Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary". It was undertaken in order to explore the biblical and theological foundations of the devotions to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, to study their mutual relationships and the place of these devotions in Christian life. The specific title of the symposium came from remarks which Pope John Paul II had made in his Angelus address of 15 September 1985,  as we shall see further on. Our Holy Father sent an autographed message bearing the date of 8 September 1986 to Cardinal Jaime L. Sin of Manila, President of the symposium, acknowledging the desirability of this initiative, reflecting on the "enduring relationship of love between" the Hearts of Jesus and Mary and imparting his blessing to the participants.  On 22 September 1986 the Pope received Cardinal Sin, the participants and promoters of this conference in the Apostolic Palace and delivered a noteworthy address to them on the theology of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.  Since then various initiatives have been undertaken to promote a wider knowledge of that "enduring relationship of love between" the Hearts of Jesus and Mary and to invite all to enter into "that admirable alliance of hearts" through consecration and reparation.
In this presentation I would like to illustrate briefly the theology of the "alliance" according to three teachers of the spiritual life: a cardinal, a saint and a pope. Then I would like to consider the theology of consecration as it develops from an understanding of this alliance. Finally I wish to deal with some objections which a few theologians have made about consecration to Our Lady and to her Immaculate Heart.
II. The Alliance
First, in speaking about the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, it is necessary to underscore the fact that the "heart" is a shorthand way of speaking about the whole person with special emphasis on his interiority.  Thus, speaking about the "alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary" is a biblical way of speaking about their intimate association and union with one another for the sake of our redemption.
A. According to Cardinal Philippe (1905-1984)
Recently in my spiritual reading I came across some very striking ways of portraying this alliance in a penetrating little book by the late Dominican theologian Cardinal Pierre Paul Philippe. The book is entitled The Virgin Mary and the Priesthood.  I would like to share some passages from that book which speak very theologically and at the same time very beautifully of this alliance. Since his theme is the priesthood, the Cardinal speaks first and necessarily about Mary's relationship to the priesthood of Christ. He states that
This is an important datum to which I also draw attention in my book on consecration to Mary:
Cardinal Philippe, then, amplifies on this important concept of the priesthood of Christ and Mary's unique relationship with him as priest. He says:
Notice how the Cardinal refers to the immense love manifested by the Heart of Jesus in his suffering and also calls attention to the fact that, in order to prepare Mary to provide the Word of God with a perfect human nature, "He gave her ... a pure heart". In these few words Cardinal Philippe sketches in broad strokes the great themes of the Incarnation and the Redemption, the office of Jesus as priest and victim and Mary's unique role and he does so by reference to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
Then the Cardinal takes us to Calvary and speaks explicitly about Mary's sharing in the sufferings of Christ the Priest.
What a beautiful illustration Paul Philippe provides of the way in which Mary's Immaculate Heart was a source of strength and consolation to the Heart of Jesus on the Cross! With relatively few words he transports us to the sublime threshold of the communion between their hearts!
Even more, he invites his readers to contemplate the mystery of the union or alliance of those two Hearts on the summit of Calvary:
Here he offers another wonderful insight into the "alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary," that felicitous phrase first coined by Pope John Paul II in his Angelus address of 15 September 1985. And here Cardinal Philippe coins yet another memorable phrase, giving us yet another approach to this mystery: he speaks of the "fusion of hearts" that takes place between Jesus and Mary, but is careful to point out Mary does not lose her identity in the process. As a faithful disciple of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Cardinal bases himself firmly on the Angelic Doctor's teaching on friendship: "every love makes the beloved to be in the lover, and vice versa."  What the Angelic Doctor presents as the "mutual compenetration of hearts and minds" realized between two friends could be called a "mutual indwelling".
B. According to St. John Eudes (1601-1680)
This idea of mutual compenetration or indwelling had already been applied to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary and notably developed over three hundred years ago by St. John Eudes who was described by St. Pius X at the time of his beatification in 1909 as "the father, doctor, and apostle of the liturgical cultus of the Sacred Hearts".  Eudes was influenced by and a contributor to that great current of spirituality that has subsequently come to be known as the "French school". The founder of this "school", Cardinal Pierre de Bérulle, and his followers were deeply taken by the mystery of the Incarnation, of Jesus' physical dwelling in Mary for nine months and his spiritual indwelling in her.  John Eudes' approach to this idea of the compenetration of hearts, then, is always from the perspective of "Jesus living in Mary".  (It is also possible to approach this mystery from the perspective of the Heart of Mary as living within the Heart of Jesus. )
Here is how the Norman saint conceived of this indwelling in a prayer in one of his early and most popular works, The Life and Kingdom of Jesus Christ in Christian Souls:
Years later, after he had developed his theology of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary he spoke, of the union of their Hearts in this way:
Here we may note both the theological precision of the saint as well as the ardor of his devotion. He recognizes in the strict theological sense that "the Heart of Jesus is distinct from that of Mary, and infinitely surpasses it in excellence and holiness." These hearts belong to two different and distinct persons, one of whom is divine the other of whom is human. At the same time he speaks of their moral unity: "these two hearts are but one". This is affirmed not in a strict theological sense, but in a moral sense. What is to be particularly noted is that, on the basis of the theology of the French school, St. John Eudes sees the Heart of Jesus living in the Heart of Mary to such an extent that he says "that in honoring and glorifying her Heart, we honor and glorify Jesus Christ Himself." 
C. According to Pope John Paul II
Complementary to the thought of Cardinal Philippe and St. John Eudes is that of our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II. In his now celebrated Angelus address of 15 September 1985 he spoke of "the definitive alliance" of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary which was sealed on Calvary. He explained that
In his letter of 8 September 1986 to Cardinal Jaime L. Sin of Manila, President of the International Symposium on the Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary , he wrote:
Another way in which the Pope has spoken about this alliance or "covenant"  between the Hearts of Jesus and Mary is to call it a "union". Here is an example of his use of that term during the homily at the beatification of Blessed Joseph Gérard which took place on the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, 1988 in Lesotho:
He called this relationship a "bond" on 18 August 1991 during his homily at the Byzantine Liturgy at Máriapócs, Hungary:
In the following text, from his Angelus address of 30 June 1985, he uses both terms:
Naturally, this bond is developed by mutual communication, a dialogue which has its beginning in this life, but which continues in the next as the Pope said in his Angelus address of 21 July 1985:
We may note that the Holy Father has used a variety of ways to describe the intimate relationship which exists between the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. He speaks of an "alliance" or a "covenant", "a bond," "a splendid union of hearts". Again he underscores the fact that "their hearts are joined forever in love" and meditates on "the colloquy of the Mother's heart with the heart of the Son."
III. Consecration to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary
Given this most intimate union between the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, one is not surprised to discover a theme which runs like a leitmotif through the Holy Father's Angelus addresses on the Sacred Heart of Jesus: let us go to the Heart of Jesus through the Heart of Mary. He says it with countless nuances:
This desire to approach Jesus through his Mother's mediation, based, in turn, on the intimate union of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary provides a powerful rationale for consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Pope, in fact, uses many different arguments for this which are mutually complementary,  but the reasoning from the union of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary is a particularly striking one.
At Fatima on 13 May 1982 the Holy Father said:
Ever deepening his argument, the Holy Father has beautifully explained that consecration to the Heart of the Mother is the Son's explicit will for us so that we might be consecrated to his Heart. Mary's Heart is never the terminus ad quem, the ultimate object of our consecration, but it is the chosen means. Let us allow Pope John Paul II to summarize this argument for us by listening to the explanation which he offered to those who had participated in the 1986 International Theological Symposium on the Alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary:
A number of theologians today have questioned or criticized the use of the term "consecration" to Mary and to her Immaculate Heart. Specifically, Canon René Laurentin  has been arguing for many years against speaking of "consecration to Mary," insisting that consecration in the strictest sense pertains only to God, that this terminology could mislead both Catholics and our separated brethren and that we should follow the lead of Pope John Paul II in speaking of entrustment [affidamento] or commending or committing oneself to Mary rather than consecration to her. 
My first response to this allegation is that, while the Pope seems to have a preference for the term entrustment, probably because it is a very strong term in Polish,  he does not at all hesitate to speak of consecration to Mary and to her Immaculate Heart, as should be obvious from the texts which I have already quoted -- and there are many more. On the other hand I am not insensitive to the nuances of the word entrustment and so have included it in the title of my book, Totus Tuus: John Paul II's Program of Marian Consecration and Entrustment where one can also find a discussion of the meaning of "entrustment" vis-à-vis "consecration". 
Secondly, I believe that we should be very wary of jettisoning traditional terminology. Many priests and faithful in the Church are still reeling from numerous unwarranted and arbitrary changes visited upon them by "experts" in the years since the Second Vatican Council. In this regard it should be pointed out that Saint John Damascene already spoke of consecration to Mary at the close of the Patristic era and the terminology has been steadily employed with reference to Mary for over at least 350 years.  Likewise, the modern popes have not disdained this usage  and John Paul II has continued in the same line. In his homily at the Prayer Vigil in Fatima on 12 May 1991 he spoke thus:
I offer some more recent examples. On 26 February 1994 the Pope spoke in this way about St. Maximilian Kolbe:
On 4 March 1995, the Holy Father formulated this wish in his address to teachers and students of the Pius XI Archiepiscopal College from Desio (Milan):
On 27 May 1995 he spoke thus to pilgrims of Albanian descent
Finally, on 4 June 1995, he offered these profound words, which continue to develop the "alliance" theme, to members of the Congregations of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary:
If the Pope truly had the intention of definitively establishing a new terminology which Canon Laurentin and others attribute to him, he would hardly keep speaking of consecration to Jesus and Mary or to their hearts.
Thirdly, the classic and still appropriate answer to the question of how one may legitimately speak of consecration to Mary is that this may be done on the basis of the principle of analogy and that of Mary's maternal mediation. I deal with both of these extensively in my book.  Even if the average Catholic cannot articulate these principles with theological expertise, his Catholic sense [sensus fidei] gives him an intuitive grasp of them. Likewise I am convinced that those who are open to serious ecumenical dialogue are capable of understanding principles which are clearly and fraternally explained to them. The danger is that a change in language can often communicate a change in the fundamental concept.
I would like to conclude these considerations with the testimony of two saints whose writings were carefully scrutinized by the Church before their Beatification, both of them outstanding proponents of consecration to Our Lady. The first is St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716). Listen to what he says in his Treatise on True Devotion:
Here the humble eighteenth century vagabond preacher at once underscores the importance of Mary's maternal mediation and confirms Pope John Paul's penchant to go to the Heart of Jesus through the Heart of Mary.
The second of these saints is St. Maximilian-Maria Kolbe (1894-1941), called more than once by the present Pope, the "patron of this difficult century". He proposes as the formula of consecration for the Militia of the Immaculate the following declaration to Our Lady:
Both of these great Marian saints point in the same direction: consecration or the giving of oneself into the hands of Mary without reserve is the best way to belong totally to her Son.
This is also the clear and consistent teaching of our Holy Father, enunciated so explicitly in Fatima on 13 May 1982 in terms immediately grasped by one who has begun to penetrate into the mystery of the "alliance of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary".
 Cf. Miles Immaculatae XXIII (1987) 178-179; Arthur Burton Calkins, Totus Tuus: John Paul II's Program of Marian Consecration and Entrustment (New Bedford, MA: Academy of the Immaculate, "Studies and Texts," No. 1, 1994 [2nd printing]) 281-282.
 Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II (Città del Vaticano: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, henceforth referred to as Inseg) VIII/2 (1985) 670 671; Miles Immaculatae XXII (1986) 5-6 [L'Osservatore Romano, weekly edition in English, henceforth referred to as ORE (first number = cumulative edition number; second number = page) 904:1].
 Miles Immaculatae XXIII (1987) 42-43.
 Inseg IX/2 (1986) 698-700; Miles Immaculatae XXIII (1987) 43-45 [ORE 959:12 13].
 Cf. Totus Tuus 76-79.
 Trans. Rev. Laurence J. Spiteri, Ph.D. (New York: Alba House, 1993).
 Philippe 13.
 Totus Tuus 193. Cf. the entire section on Christ's priesthood by virtue of the Incarnation, 193-198.
 Philippe 52.
 Philippe 53.
 Philippe 54.
 Cf. Philippe 26-27.
 Summa Theologiae I-II, q. 28, a. 2. Quilibet amor facit amatum esse in amante, et e converso.
 Philippe 26.
 Acta Apostolicae Sedis 1 (1909) 480.
 Cf. John Saward, Redeemer in the Womb (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1993) 83-101.
 Cf. Saward 1, 101; Irenée Noye, P.S.S., "O Jesus Living in Mary," trans. Roger M. Charest, S.M.M., Queen of All Hearts 32:5 (Jan.-Feb., 1982) 9.
 Cf. Bridget of Sweden, Revelations, 3 as quoted in Philippe 99.
 Oeuvres Complètes du Vénérable Jean Eudes (Vannes: Imprimerie Lafoyle Frères, 1905-1911) Vol I:432-433 [St. John Eudes, The Life and Kingdom of Jesus in Christian Souls: A Treatise on Christian Perfection for use by Clergy and Laity trans. Trappist Father (New York: P. J. Kenedy & Sons, 1946) 204].
 Oeuvres Complètes Vol. VII:129-130 [St. John Eudes, Meditations on Various Subjects (New York: P. J. Kenedy & Sons, 1947) 240-241].
 Cf. my study "The Union of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary in St. Francis de Sales and St. John Eudes," Miles Immaculatae XXV (1989) 472-512.
 Inseg VIII/2 (1985) 671 [ORE 904:1]. Italics my own.
 Cf. Totus Tuus 281-282.
 Miles Immaculatae XXIII (1987) 42-43. Italics my own.
 In English the word alleanza may be rendered as covenant or alliance. Interestingly, in his Angelus address of 9 June 1985 the Pope had already used the word alleanza with reference to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, but on this occasion the English translator had rendered it "covenant": "Through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, let us remain in the Covenant with the Heart of Jesus" Inseg VIII/1 (1985) 1759; [ORE 890:1]. At this point the Pope had not yet spoken, however, of an alleanza dei cuori as he did on 15 September 1985.
 Inseg XI/3 (1988) 769 [ORE 1057:5].
 Inseg XIV/2 (1991) 328 [ORE 1205:6].
 Inseg VIII/1 (1985) 2037 [ORE 893:7].
 Inseg VIII/2 (1985) 147 [ORE 986:2].
 Inseg IX/1 (1986) 1840 [ORE 942:11].
 Inseg IX/1 (1986) 1905 [ORE 943:12].
 Inseg IX/2 (1986) 359 [ORE 950:2].
 Cf. Totus Tuus 219-256.
 Inseg V/2 (1982) 1573-1574 [ORE 734:3].
 Cf. Totus Tuus 204-256.
 Inseg IX/2 (1986) 700 [ORE 959:13].
 He has been expressing his position on this issue for years, especially more recently. Cf. Queen of Heaven: A Short Treatise on Marian Theology trans. Gordon Smith (Dublin: Clonmore & Reynolds Ltd.; London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., 1956) 123-124; The Question of Mary trans. I. G. Pidoux (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1965) 43-46; A Year of Grace with Mary: Rediscovering Her Presence and Her Role in Our Consecration trans. Msgr. Michael J. Wrenn (Dublin: Veritas, 1987) 154-55. His most recent book on the topic is entitled Retour à Dieu avec Marie. De la sécularisation à la consécration (Paris: O.E.I.L., 1991) and has been rendered into English as The Meaning of Consecration Today: A Marian Model for a Secularized Age (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1992). Cf. my review of this book in Divinitas 37 (1993) 304-308.
 Father Eamon R. Carroll, O. Carm. summarizes the Laurentin position succinctly in "A Survey of Recent Mariology," Marian Studies 42 (1991) 178-179.
 Cf. George W. Kosicki, C.S.B., Born of Mary (Stockbridge, MA: Marian Press, 1985) 66-67, 74-75.
 Totus Tuus 143-152; cf. also 277-278.
 Cf. Totus Tuus 47-48; Gambero, Maria nel pensiero dei Padri della Chiesa (Milano: Edizioni Paoline, 1991) 465.
 Cf. Totus Tuus 54-74; Josef A. Jungmann, S.J., Pastoral Liturgy (New York: Herder and Herder, 1962) 304.
 Cf. Totus Tuus 95-112.
 Inseg XIV/1 (1991) 1217-1218 [ORE 1191:5].
 ORE 1332:10.
 ORE 1383:7.
 ORE 1394:4.
 ORE 1395:7.
 Totus Tuus 159-188.
 Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, #125, God Alone: The Collected Writings of St. Louis Mary de Montfort (Bay Shore, N. Y.: Montfort Publications, 1987) 328.
 Gli scritti di Massimiliano Kolbe: eroe di Oswieçim e Beato della Chiesa 3 vols., trans. Cristoforo Zambelli (Florence: Città di Vita, 1975-1978) #37 (I:71); #1329 (III:778); #1331 (III:785); Anselm Romb, O.F.M. Conv., ed., The Kolbe Reader (Libertyville, IL: Franciscan Marytown Press, 1987) 159-60 (emphasis mine).
 Inseg V/2 (1982) 1573 [ORE 734:3].
The above paper first appeared in Miles Immaculatæ XXXI (Luglio/Dicembre 1995) 389-407.