Where did it come from?
Though many saints from Augustine to John of the Cross refer to The Flame of Love, the devotion is relatively new. In the early 1960’s in communist Hungary, Jesus and Mary introduced this devotion to a widowed mother of six and Secular Carmelite named Elizabeth Kindelmann. They did not begin with a nun or a priest or a monk for a very specific reason:
Mary: “. . . I, the Mother of Mercy, entrusted you with the most excellent of my graces: to make my Flame of Love known to others. Why precisely you? I will tell you. Listen, my daughter, you are also the mother of a large family. Through your children you know all the pains and problems of a family. Many times you were close to falling beneath the cross of difficult trials, and you still experience many sorrows over your children. . . . I know you understand me, and this is why I shared with you how I feel in my motherly Heart. My sorrow is
just like your sorrow.
There are many cold families like yours . . . I want the Flame of Love of my heart to warm them up and others . . . Only a mother can truly share my sorrows. I am the Mother of Sorrows, I suffer greatly because of the souls being lost. I am tortured in pain as I grieve for the suffering of my Divine Son.”
Is it Church approved?
Yes. The local ordinary, His Eminence Cardinal Péter Erdö, Primate of Hungary, established The Flame of Love Movement as a Private Association of the Faithful with Juridic Personality. That last phrase is important. Private Associations are not necessarily approved but any Association with Juridic Personality must be approved by a competent ecclesiastical authority. So though the Movement was established in Budapest, the approval is for the Universal Church.
Canon 322 – § 1 . A private association of the Christian faithful can acquire juridic personality through a formal decree of the competent ecclesiastical authority mentioned in can. 312. §2. No private association of the Christian faithful can acquire juridic personality unless the ecclesiastical authority mentioned in can. 312, § 1 has approved its statutes.
But I’m in other devotions and ministries
Devotion to the Flame of Love does not compete with or displace other devotions and ministries but rather supercharges them with grace. You may not be called to direct involvement in the Flame of Love Movement but the practices and lifestyle of the Flame of Love Devotion will bring a flood of grace to your current ministry. Please consider, as part of your current ministry, learning and living this rocket ride to holiness, devotion to the Flame of Love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary which is Jesus Himself.