Tag: Sacred Heart of Jesus

What You Didn’t Know About the Sacred Heart of Jesus

What You Didn’t Know About the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is one of the well known Catholic devotions. Many are familiar with the story of Jesus appearing to St. Margaret Mary Alacoqueto request a special devotion to his Sacred Heart, and how it was later instituted as a feast day for the universal Church. Though there is so much more to the Sacred Heart devotion than is commonly known.

The Divine Mercy, the feast of Corpus Christi and the Eucharist, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary are all marvelously related. Providentially, they are also back to back feasts on the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar. The depths of these mysteries can only be plunged in heaven. Moreover, this article will try to skim the surface of these mysteries just a bit, so that you can cherish this special devotion in a deeper theological way.

The Very Interesting History of the Sacred Heart Devotion

The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has its foundation all the way back to the time of the Apostles, and arguably even before this in the Song of Songs penned by Solomon. St. John the Evangelist is the Apostle related with the Sacred Heart devotion because, one, he was known as the disciple whom Jesus loved; two, he was called the “Apostle of Love” due to the theme of love repeated in his Gospel and epistles; and three, because he had the wonderful privilege of reclining on the chest of Jesus at the Last Supper (the significance of which will be discussed beneath).

In the Middle Ages, the heart of Jesus became a particular object of adoration as the center and wellspring of Jesus’ passionate and infinite love for us. The Sacred Heart also showed Jesus’ woundedness, both the physical wound incurred to his physical heart on the cross (by the centurion’s spear), and the spiritual wound of a love so great that he gave up his life, even while this love is scorned by those for whom it was so generously given.

This dual yet united aspect of the Sacred Heart, both passionately loving and being painfully wounded by love, is obviously seen in a mystical text entitled “Vitis mystica” that is related to St. Bernard of Clairvaux. A quote from this text reads,

“They dug, therefore, and they dug through not only His hands, but also His feet, yea, and His side also; and the very recesses of His most Sacred Heart, they pierced with the spear of rage, though it had already been wounded with the spear of love. ‘Thou hast wounded,’ says the Spouse in the Canticles of love, “thou hast wounded my Heart, my sister, my spouse.’ O Lord Jesus, Thy spouse, Thy love, Thy sister has wounded Thy Heart. Why then was it essential that the Heart should be wounded further by Thine enemies?”

A devotion to the Sacred Heart was thus twofold; one, it appreciated the infinite and self-giving love of Jesus, and two, this adoration was given to Jesus’ heart in reparation for the disdain, rejection, and coldness his loving heart endured from others.

St. Margaret Mary Propagates the Devotion
Four centuries later in 1673, Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, showing her a vision of the now famous image of his Sacred Heart surrounded by flames of love. He said to her, “My Heart is so full of love for men that It can no longer condole the flames of Its burning love. I must reveal to men the treasures of My Heart and save them from perdition.”

Although the Sacred Heart devotion was faithfully exercised by many saints and religious in the previous centuries, it was not yet widespread throughout the universal Church. This was the special mission given to St. Margaret Mary; to her, Jesus revealed his desire for a stronger, increased, and widespread devotion to his Sacred Heart.

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, just like St. John and St. Gertrude, was enabled in a mystical vision to rest her head upon Jesus’ heart, again on the feast day of St. John the Evangelist. Thus Jesus showed that in addition to his love, it is devotion to his heart of flesh, his physical beating heart, that he desired to be propagated. In part two of this blog post, we will see that the Sacred Heart of Jesus devotion is closely connected with the Blessed Sacrament.

Pope Leo XIII Consecrates Mankind to the Sacred Heart
Lastly, on June 11, 1899, by order of Pope Leo XIII, at the request of Jesus, all human race was solemnly consecrated to His Sacred Heart. Pope Leo XIII called this event “the great act” of his pontificate.

4 Saints Who Saw the Sacred Heart of Jesus & the Messages They Received

4 Saints Who Saw the Sacred Heart of Jesus & the Messages They Received

These saints were each graced with a visual encounter with the Heart of Jesus.

These visions have been recognized by the Church as authentic. While the faithful are not obliged to believe in them (as is true of any personal revelation), the Church finds merit in these visions and the devotions surrounding them because they reflect “the entire mystery of Christ, the totality of his being, and his person considered in its most intimate essential: Son of God, uncreated wisdom; infinite charity, principal of salvation and sanctification of mankind. The ‘Sacred Heart’ is Christ, the Word Incarnate, Savior, intrinsically containing, in the Spirit, an infinite divine-human love for the Father and for his brothers.”

Here is a brief list of four visionaries along with the messages they received.

1. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

In 1673, a French Visitandine (Visitation) nun named Margaret Mary Alacoque had visions of Jesus, wherein he asked the Church to honor his Most Sacred Heart. Among the promises he communicated, Jesus said to St. Margaret Mary, “In the excess of the mercy of my heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.”

2. St. Lutgardis of Aywières

Born in the 12th century, Lutgardis joined a Benedictine monastery and started to receive visions of Jesus and his pierced heart. In one of her visions she experienced an “exchange of hearts,” where Jesus asked her: “What, then, do you want?” She said, “I want Thy Heart.” In response, Jesus said, “You want My Heart? Well, I too want your heart.” Lutgardis then proclaimed: “Take it, dear Lord. But take it in such a way that the love of Your Heart may be so mingled and united with my own heart that I may possess my heart in Thee, and that it may always remain there secure in Your protection.”

3. St. Mechtilde of Hackeborn

In the 13th century, St. Mechtilde, a Benedictine nun in Germany, received many visions of Jesus during her life. A book was written about her experiences and Jesus appeared to her one day, holding this book on his Heart with his right hand. He kissed it, and said to her, “All that is found written in this book has flowed from My divine Heart, and will return to it.” Jesus also said to her, “In the morning let your first act be to greet my Heart and to offer me your own. Whoever breathes a sigh toward me, draws me to himself.”

4. St. Gertrude the Great

Gertrude began receiving heavenly visions at age 25 while living in a Benedictine community in the 13th century. One day she saw both St. John the Evangelist and Jesus. She was invited to place her head on Jesus’ heart and spoke to John, asking him, “Well-beloved of the Lord, did these harmonious beatings which rejoice my soul also rejoice thine when thou didst repose during the Last Supper on the bosom of the Savior?” John replied, “Yes, I heard them, and my soul was penetrated with their sweetness even to its very center.” Gertrude asked, Why, then, hast thou spoken so little in thy Gospel of the loving secrets of the Heart of Jesus?” He responded, “My mission was to write of the Eternal Word … but the language of the blissful pulsations of the Sacred Heart is reserved for latter times, that the time-worn world, grown cold in the love of God, may be warmed up by hearing of such mysteries.”



12 Promises Of Jesus To Anyone Devoted To His Sacred Heart

12 Promises Of Jesus To Anyone Devoted To His Sacred Heart

Below are the 12 promises privately revealed to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque by Jesus for those who practice the Sacred Heart of Jesus devotion:

1) I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.

2) I will establish peace in their homes.

3) I will comfort them in all their afflictions.

4) I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all, in death.

5) I will bestow abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.

6) Sinners will find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.

7) Lukewarm souls shall become fervent.

8) Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.

9) I will bless every place in which an image of my Heart is exposed and honored.

10) I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.

11) Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in my Heart.

12) I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. My divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!

 



Devotion To The Sacred Heart of Jesus

Devotion To The Sacred Heart of Jesus

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Sacred Heart of Jesus

Devotion to the Sacred Heart, as we know it, began about the year 1672. On repeated occasions, Jesus appeared to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, a Visitation nun, in France, and during these apparitions He explained to her the devotion to His Sacred Heart as He wanted people to practice it. he asked to be honored in the symbol of His Heart of flesh; he asked for acts of reparation, for frequent Communion, Communion on the First Friday of the month, and the keeping of the Holy Hour.

When the Catholic Church approved the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, she did not base her action only on the visions of Saint Margaret Mary. The Church approved the devotion on its own merits. There is only one Person in Jesus, and that Person was at the same time God and Man. His Heart, too, is Divine — it is the Heart of God.

There are two things that must always be found together in the devotion to the Sacred Heart: Christ’s Heart of flesh and Christ’s love for us. True devotion to the Sacred Heart means devotion to the Divine Heart of Christ insofar as His Heart represents and recalls His love for us.

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