Following are the Intentions of our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI for the month of August, courtesy of the Apostleship of Prayer:
- Prisoners. That prisoners may be treated with justice and respect for their human dignity.
- Youth Witness to Christ. That young people, called to follow Christ, may be willing to proclaim and bear witness to the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
The month of August is also traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The heart of Mary is venerated–and not adored as the Sacred Heart of Jesus is–because it represents her burning love for Jesus, her virtue, and her deep interior life (cf. Lk. 2:19, 51). Through our devotion to the Immaculate Heart, we pray that we may likewise grow in love and virtue.
Devotion to the Immaculate Heart has received a new impetus over the past century because of the visions given to Lucy Dos Santos, oldest of the visionaries of Fatima, in her convent in Tuy, in Spain, in 1925-26. In the visions, Our Lady asked for the practice of the Five First Saturdays to help make amends for the offenses committed against her heart by the blasphemies and ingratitude of humanity.The practice parallels the devotion of the Nine First Fridays in honor of the Sacred Heart.
On March 25, 1984, in an act that was universal, solemn, public, and collegial, Pope John Paul II consecrated the entire world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.