I. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, ask and you will
receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you." Behold
I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of...... (here name your request)
Our Father....Hail Mary....Glory Be to the Father....Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
II. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you." Behold, in your name, I ask the Father for the grace of.......(here name your request) Our Father...Hail Mary....Glory Be To the Father....Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
III. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, heaven and earth
will pass away but my words will not pass away." Encouraged by your infallible
words I now ask for the grace of.....(here name your request) Our Father....Hail
Mary....Glory Be to the Father...Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my
trust in you.
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion
on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace
which we ask of you, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary,
your tender Mother and ours.
Say the Hail, Holy Queen and add: St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.
-- St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
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.
In honoring the Heart of Christ, our homage lingers on the Person of Jesus in the fullness of His love. This love of Christ for us was the moving force of all he did and suffered for us -- in Nazareth, on the Cross, in giving Himself in the Blessed Sacrament, in His teaching and healing, in His praying and working. When we speak of the Sacred Heart, we mean Jesus showing us His Heart, Jesus all love for us and all lovable.
Jesus Christ is the incarnation of God's infinite love. The Human Nature which the Son of God took upon Himself was filled with love and kindness that has never found an equal. He is the perfect model of love of God and neighbor.
Every day of His life was filled with repeated proofs of "Christ's love that surpasses all knowledge" (Eph 3:19). Jesus handed down for all time the fundamental feature of His character: "Take My yoke upon your shoulders and learn from Me, for I am meek and humble of Heart" (Mt 11:29). He invited all, refusing none, surprising friends and rivals by His unconditional generosity.
The meaning of love in the life of Jesus was especially evident in His sufferings. Out of love for His Father He willed to undergo the death of the Cross. "The world must know that I love the Father and do just as the Father has commanded Me" (Jn 14:31).
The love that Jesus bore toward us also urged Him to undergo the death of the Cross. At the Last Supper, He said, "There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends" (Jn 15:13)
The Heart of Jesus never ceases to love us in heaven. He sanctifies us through the Sacraments. These are inexhaustible fountains of grace and holiness which have their source in the boundless ocean of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Divine Jesus, You have said, "Ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you." Behold me kneeling at Your feet, filled with a lively faith and confidence in the promises dictated by Your Sacred Heart to Saint Margaret Mary. I come to ask this favor: Mention your request).
To whom can I turn if not to You, Whose Heart is the source of all graces and merits? Where should I seek if not in the treasure which contains all the riches of Your kindness and mercy? Where should I knock if not at the door through which God gives Himself to us and through which we go to God? I have recourse to You, Heart of Jesus. In You I find consolation when afflicted, protection when persecuted, strength when burdened with trials, and light in doubt and darkness.
Dear Jesus, I firmly believe that You can grant me the grace I implore, even though it should require a miracle. You have only to will it and my prayer will be granted. I admit that I am most unworthy of Your favors, but this is not a reason for me to be discouraged. You are the God of mercy, and You will not refuse a contrite heart. Cast upon me a look of mercy, I beg of You, and Your kind Heart will find in my miseries and weakness a reason for granting my prayer.
Sacred Heart, whatever may be Your decision with regard to my request, I will never stop adoring, loving, praising, and serving You. My Jesus, be pleased to accept this my act of perfect resignation to the decrees of Your adorable Heart, which I sincerely desire may be fulfilled in and by me and all Your creatures forever.
Grant me the grace for which I humbly implore You through the Immaculate Heart of Your most sorrowful Mother. You entrusted me to her as her child, and her prayers are all-powerful with You. Amen.
My God, I offer You all my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings in union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, for the intentions for which He pleads and offers Himself in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in thanksgiving for Your favors, in reparation for my sins, and in humble supplication for my temporal and eternal welfare, for the needs of our holy Mother the Church, for the conversion of sinners, and for the relief of the poor souls in purgatory.
Novena of Confidence to the Sacred Heart
To your most Sacred Heart,
I confide this intention
(mention your request)
Only look upon me,
Let your Sacred Heart decide
Sacred Heart of Jesus,
I have asked you for many favors,
But I earnestly implore this one.
Place it in Your open, broken Heart;
It will be no longer my prayer,
Let me not be disappointed.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
to Saint Margaret Mary
for Souls Devoted to His Sacred Heart
I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
I will establish peace in their houses.
I will comfort them in all their afflictions.
I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all in death.
I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings.
Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy.
Tepid souls shall grow fervent.
Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honored.
I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in Heart, never to be blotted out.
I promise thee in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful
love grant to all those who communicate on First Friday in nine consecutive
months grace of final penitence; they shall not in My disgrace nor without
receiving their Sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge
in this lost moment.
Merciful Jesus, I consecrate myself today and always to Thy Most Sacred Heart.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus I implore, that I may ever love Thee more and more.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I believe in Thy love for me.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.
Sacred Heart of Jesus Thy Kingdom Come.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, convert sinners, save the dying, deliver the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
The Devotion To The Sacred Heart Explained
Matt. 11:29 "Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." NRSV
"478 Jesus knew and loved us each and all during his life, his agony
and his Passion, and gave himself up for each one of us: "The Son of God.
. . loved me and gave himself for me." He has loved us all with a human
heart. For this reason, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by our sins
and for our salvation, "is quite rightly considered the chief sign and
symbol of that. . . love with which the divine Redeemer continually loves
the eternal Father and all human beings" without exception. "
Catechism of the Catholic Church.
"The worship, although paid to the Heart of Jesus, extends further than the Heart of flesh, being directed to the love of which this Heart is the living and expressive symbol." Catholic Encyclopedia.
"The aim of this [text] is merely to give the history of Catholic practices and to explain their nature, their reasonableness and their use...
The month of June, as all Catholics know, is the month of the Sacred Heart. During it the Church urges the faithful to special zeal in the worship of the Heart of our Saviour, considered as a part of His sacred Humanity and as the emblem of His infinite love.
The devotion to the Sacred Heart is one which has become widely known only since the seventeenth century; and it was not sanctioned by the Church for general use until the latter part of the eighteenth. Though it is now recognized as an important elenient in Catholic worship, it met with strenuous opposition when it was first introduced - not only from the Jansenists (who had fallen into error regarding many doctrines of the Church) but from earnest Catholics who object to the new doctrine because they misunderstood it.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque.
Homage paid to the Heart of Jesus is mentioned by spiritual writers as early as the twelfth century; but it was practised to a very limited extent until a little more than two hundred years ago. A humble and holy French nun, the saintly Margaret Mary Alacoque, within the space of a religious life of only nineteen years, instituted a devotion which bids fair to last forever. She became the apostle of the beautiful and now universal worship of the loving Heart of our Blessed Saviour.
She was born in the village of Lhautecour, in France, in the year 1647, and lived until 1690. After a childhood remarkable for sanctity, she entered the community of the Visitation nuns at Paray-le-Monial in 1671. Here she lived a life of mortification and prayer, and in return for her fidelity and fervor our Divine Lord is said to have [granted] her a privilege which He has frequently given to other holy souls. He appeared to her on several occasions; and in one of these visions He showed her His Heart, pierced with a wound, encircled with a crown of thorns, surrounded by flames and surmounted by a cross - as we see it usually represented in pictures and statues at the present day. He commanded her to practise and to teach others the devotion to His Sacred Heart, because of His ardent desire to be loved by men and His wish to give to all mankind the treasures of His love and mercy. [See ccc 67 on private revelation.]
The pious nun sought the counsel of her superiors, and the account of her visions was received at first with incredulity. All her actions and her teachings were subjected to a most severe examination, and it was long before any approval was given to the devotion which she was endeavoring to establish. But the will of God cannot be opposed. The devotion spread rapidly through France, and was gradually established in other parts of the world. It did not at first receive the approbation[i.e. official approval] of the Holy See, for our Church is cautious in giving her sanctions to anything that savors of novelty in religion, and makes a long and careful scrutiny before she recommends a new devotion to her children. In 1794, however, Pius VI issued a decree approving the devotion to the Sacred Heart and granting indulgences to those who practise it.
The Feast of the Sacred Heart.
Attempts had been made, in 1697 and in 1729, to have a day set apart in honor of the Sacred Heart, but on both occasions the proposal was rejected by the Roman Congregation of Rites. In 1765, however, a number of churches were permitted to celebrate this feast, and in 1856 this permission was extended to the whole world, and the feast was fixed on the day after the festival of Corpus Christi, in the month of June. In 1889, under Leo XIII, the day was raised to a higher rank in the Church's calendar, and all mankind was solemnly consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. On account of the importance of this great June festival, the whole month of June is considered as being specially devoted to the worship of the Sacred Heart.
Margaret Mary Alacoque was pronounced Venerable by Leo XII in 1824, and was honored with the title of Blessed by Pius IX in 1864. Through her intercession many miracles have been performed, especially at the place of her burial; and on account of these and of the great devotion which she established, her name has been placed on the calendar of the Church's Saints, and her virtues will be henceforth venerated by all Catholics. She was declared a Saint by Pope Benedict XV in 1920.
Why We Adore the Sacred Heart.
Let us examine into the reasonableness of this devotion. Are we obliged to believe the account of the visions of Margaret Mary? No. We are not obliged to believe anything supernatural except the truths that God has revealed to be accepted by all. This is a point that is nearly always misunderstood by non-Catholics. Because we Catholics practise a devotion which was established by a woman who claimed to have had a vision, they regard us as votaries [followers] of superstition and our Church as a promoter of fanciful ideas, not reflecting that, even though the vision might be false, the devotion might be true. The Catholic Church does not assert that the French nun really saw our Blessed Lord; neither does she oblige us to believe it. She merely declares that the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is not only not opposed in any way to divine revelation, but that it is an excellent form of worship; and she recommends it to her children, urges them to make use of it, and grants spiritual favors to those who do so.
We shall state briefly the Catholic doctrine regarding the worship of the Sacred Heart. It is not a mere relative homage, such as we give to holy things or to holy persons. It is not the higher form of religious veneration, such as we pay to the Blessed Mother of God. It is supreme adoration, because it is paid to the physical Heart of Christ, considered not as mere flesh, but as united to the Divinity. We Catholics adore that Heart as the Heart of Christ, an inseparable part of Him. All the members of Christ are or may be the object of divine worship, because they are a part of His human nature and are thereby united to the Divine Nature of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.
["ccc 480 Jesus Christ is true God and true man, in the unity of
his divine person; for this reason he is the one and only mediator between
God and men." 481 Jesus Christ possesses two natures, one divine and the
other human, not confused, but united in the one person of God's Son.
482 Christ, being true God and true man, has a human intellect and will, perfectly attuned and subject to his divine intellect and divine will, which he has in common with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
483 The Incarnation is therefore the mystery of the wonderful union of the divine and human natures in the one person of the Word."]
But why is the Heart of Jesus selected as the object of this special adoration? Because His real and physical Heart is a natural symbol of the infinite charity of the Saviour and of His interior and spiritual life. The heart is a vital organ which, as it throbs within us, is part of our existence. It has always been looked upon as an emblem, sometimes of courage, sometimes of one's whole interior nature, but oftener of love. How often we hear such expressions as "Be of good heart," meaning "Have courage"; " He opened his heart to me," meaning " He told me all his secrets "; and our Lord Jesus, in asking our love, made the request in these words, "Son, give me thy heart." We see, then the reasonableness of taking the Sacred Heart of our Saviour as an object of our worship, not only because it is a part of Him, but because it symbolizes His love for all mankind. ["The heart is the seat of the moral personality..." ccc 2517.]
From early times the Five Wounds of our Lord were venerated as the symbol of His Passion, and this devotion received the approbation of the Church. In like manner, in these later days, she has seen fit to sanction and recommend the worship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to urge her children to offer their homage to that symbol of our Saviour's love, wherewith "He has loved us even to the end."
[ ccc 2669 "The prayer of the Church venerates and honors the Heart of Jesus just as it invokes his most holy name. It adores the incarnate Word and his Heart which, out of love for men, he allowed to be pierced by our sins. Christian prayer loves to follow the way of the cross in the Savior's steps. The stations from the Praetorium to Golgotha and the tomb trace the way of Jesus, who by his holy Cross has redeemed the world. "]
A Symbol of Love.
We must remember, then, that while this devotion is directed to the material Heart of our Blessed Lord, it does not stop there. It includes also a spiritual element - namely, the infinite love of Jesus for us, which is recalled and symbolized by His Sacred Heart. [See ccc 478.]
There is no devotion that has been extended throughout the Catholic world in so short a time. This means of realizing and honoring the all-embracing love of our Blessed Saviour would seem to have filled a long-felt want in the hearts of the devout faithful...
The First Fridays.
One of the greatest factors not only in making the worship of the Sacred Heart known but in distributing its spiritual benefits is the " Devotion of the First Fridays." The faithful are exhorted to receive Holy Communion on the first Friday of each month for nine months in succession, by which they may gain a plenary indulgence; and in many churches and chapels the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament takes place, either during the whole day or in the evening, and special services are held in honor of our Eucharistic Lord and especially of His Sacred Heart, the symbol of His unutterable love for us whom He died to save." [See ccc 1438 on the penetential character of each Friday.]
Rev. John F. Sullivan, The Externals of the Catholic Church, Kenedy & Sons (1917) pp. 243-47. Imprimatur +John Cardnal Farley, Archbishop of NY, 3/27/1918. References to the catechism and material in brackets are provided by the editor. The image above was obtained from the NY Sacred Heart Apostolate. All the material on this web page is used for religious and educational purposes only. No other use is intended or permitted. See 17USC107.
Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
ALTHOUGH many pious souls had been accustomed, in the silence of their secluded lives, to venerate the sacred Heart of Jesus with great devotion, still our divine Savior desired that the boundless love of His Heart might be known by all [people], and that a new fire of love should thereby be kindled in the cold hearts of Christians. For this purpose He made use of a frail and little-known instrument in the person of Margaret Mary Alacoque, a nun of the Order of the Visitation, at Paray-le-Monial, France.
One day, when, according to her custom during the octave of Corpus Christi, [pre-vatican II article] she was deeply engaged in devotions before the Blessed Sacrament, the divine Savior appeared to her, showed her His Heart burning with love, and said: "Behold this Heart, which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself, in order to testify its love. In return I receive from the greater part only ingratitude, by their irreverence and sacrilege, and by the coldness and contempt they have for Me in this sacrament of love. And what is most painful to Me is that they are hearts consecrated to Me. It is for this reason I ask thee that the first Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi be appropriated to a special feast to honor My heart by communicating on that day and making reparation for the indignity that it has received. And I promise that My Heart shall dilate to pour out abundantly the influences of its love on all that will render it this honor or procure its being rendered."
Margaret obeyed, but met everywhere the greatest opposition, until finally,
when she became mistress of novices, she succeeded, by the help of her
divine Spouse, in animating her young charges to venerate the sacred Heart
of Jesus. But this was not sufficient for her zeal. She persevered until
she softened the opposition of the nuns, and kindled in all an equal devotion
towards the most sacred Heart. Thence the devotion spread to the adjoining
dioceses, where confraternities in honor of the most sacred Heart of Jesus
soon sprung up. Pope Clement XIII, after having instituted a most rigorous
examination of the whole affair, commanded that the feast of the Most Sacred
Heart of Jesus should be solemnly celebrated throughout the whole Catholic
Church every year, on the first Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi.
THE DEVOTION TO THE SACRED
HEART OF JESUS.
Object of this Devotion.
In the divine Heart of Our Savior we must not imagine an inanimate heart, separated from the person of Christ, but the living heart of the God-Man, the center of all His affections, the fountain of all His virtues, the most touching emblem of His infinite love [for all]. The Church venerates the cross, the blood, and the wounds of the divine Savior, by feasts which have their proper masses and lessons, in order, by meditation upon these objects, to awaken in us a more fervent devotion to the Redeemer. How much more worthy, then, of our devotion is the sacred Heart of Our Savior, since all its thoughts, movements, and affections aim at our salvation, and it is always ready to receive truly penitent sinners, to pardon them, to restore them again to God's favor, and make them partakers of eternal happiness.
Liturgy [pre-Vatican II, compare the liturgy at the Eudist's site.]
Lamentations 3:31-36 NAB
"For the Lord's rejection does not last forever;
Though he punishes, he takes pity, in the abundance of his mercies;
He has no joy in afflicting or grieving the sons of men.
When anyone tramples underfoot all the prisoners in the land,
When he distorts men's rights in the very sight of the Most High,
When he presses a crooked claim, the Lord does not look on unconcerned."
is quoted in the Introit (now called the entrance antiphon) of the mass
for the Sacred Heart used in the church before the second Vatican Council.
The following passages were also used in that Liturgy.]
|Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we who, glorying in the most Sacred Heart of Thy Son, commemorate the chief benefits of His charity towards us, may equally rejoice in their acts and fruits. The the same Jesus Christ our Lord, etc||God, Father of mercies, with ineffable goodness you gave us the loving Heart of your Son. Grant, we pray, that our hearts be united as one with the Heart of Jesus to love you perfectly. Through our Lord Jesus Christ.|
This epistle is a song of gratitude for the deliverance of the Jews from the hands of their enemies, and at the same time a prophecy of the coming redemption of mankind from sin and death, through Jesus Christ. "You shall draw waters with joy out of the Savior's fountains." These fountains are the graces which Christ has obtained for us on the cross, but particularly, says St. Augustine, the holy sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist. We should rejoice over these graces, particularly that the holy One of Israel, Jesus, the Son of God, is in the midst of... Church, in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, remaining there until the end of time.
Oh, let us often approach the ever-flowing fountain of all graces, the Most Holy Eucharist, and with confidence draw consolation, assistance, strength, and power from this fountain of love.
John 19:34 Douay-Rheims "But one of the soldiers with a spear opened his side: and immediately there came out blood and water."
According to the Jewish law, a criminal could not be put to death, nor could the body of one who had been executed remain on the place of execution, on the Sabbath-day. The Jews therefore, asked Pilate that the bodies of Jesus and the two thieves should be buried; but before this could be done, according to the Roman law, the legs of the crucified had to be broken with an iron mace: this the soldiers did to the two thieves, who were still alive; but when they found that Jesus was dead, one of the soldiers, whose name was Longinus, opened His side with a spear as had been predicted by the prophets. Jesus permitted his most sacred Heart to be opened - 1. To atone for those sins which come forth from the hearts of men, as Christ himself says, "For from the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies" (DR. Compare Matt. 15:19). 2. To show the infinite love with which he first loved us, and to which the spear should point us. 3. To show that there was nothing so dear to Him that He would not give it to us, since, for our salvation, He shed the last drop of His heart's blood. 4. To provide, as it were, an abode in His opened side, according to the words of St. Augustine: "The Evangelist is very cautious in his language; for he said, not the soldier pierced or wounded His side, but he opened it, that thereby there might be opened to us the door from which flow into the Church those holy sacraments without which we cannot enter into true life."
When temptation assails us, or sorrow depresses us, let us flee to this
abode, and dwell therein until the storm has passed away; according to
the words of the Prophet, "Enter thou into the rock, and hide thee in the
pit" [DR but compare Isa. 2:10]. For what is the rock but Christ, and the
pit, but His wound?
Offering to the Sacred Heart
"My loving Jesus, I (name) give you my heart; and I consecrate myself wholly to you out of the grateful love I bear you, and as a reparation for all my unfaithfulness; and with your aid I [intend] never to sin again."
Goffine's Devout Instructions, Bensinger Brothers (1896) pp. 264-270.
Imprimatur +Michael Augustine, Archbishop of New York, 1896.
Letter of John Paul II on
the Sacred Heart
on the occasion of the third
centenary of the death of Saint Margaret Mary
To Bishop Raymond Seguy
BISHOP OF AUTUN. CHALON. AND MACON
The third centenary of the death of Saint Margaret Mary, canonized by my predecessor Benedict XV in 1920, recalls the memory of one who, from 1673 to 1675, was favored with appearances of the Lord Jesus and was entrusted with a message whose widespread influence in the Church has been tremendous. It was during the Octave of Corpus Christi in 1675, in that Grand Century when so many writers and artists penetrated the riches of the human soul, that the young Visitandine of Paray-le-Monial heard these bewildering words:
"Behold this heart which has so loved human beings and which has spared itself nothing even to exhausting and spending itself to give witness to this love; and in recompense for the most part I have received only ingratitude."
When I was on pilgrimage in 1986 to the tomb of Margaret Mary, I asked, in the spirit of what has been handed down in the Church, that veneration of the Sacred Heart be faithfully restored. For it is in the Heart of Christ that the human heart learns to know the true and unique meaning of its life and destiny; it is in the Heart of Christ that the human heart receives its capacity to love.
Saint Margaret Mary learned the grace of loving by means of the cross. In it she delivers to us a message that is ever relevant. It is necessary, she says, "to make ourselves living copies of our crucified Spouse, by expressing him in ourselves in all our actions" (Letter of January 5, 1689).
She invites us to contemplate the Heart of Christ, that is, to recognize in the humanity of the Word incarnate, the infinite riches of his love for the Father and for all human beings. It is the love of Christ which makes a person worthy of being loved. Created in the image and likeness of God, the human person has received a heart eager for love and capable of loving. The love of the Redeemer, which heals it from the wound of sin, elevates it to its filial condition. With Saint Margaret Mary, united to the Savior also in his suffering offered for love, we shall ask for the grace of knowing the infinite value of every person.
To give to veneration of the Sacred Heart the place due to it in the Church, it is necessary to take up again the exhortation of Saint Paul: "Have within you the sentiments which were in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5, NIV). All the gospel accounts should be reread from this perspective: each verse, meditated with love, will reveal an aspect of the mystery hidden for centuries and now revealed to our eyes (Colossians 1:26). The only Son of God, in becoming incarnate, takes a human Heart. Through the years he passed in the midst of men, "gentle and humble of heart" (Matthew 11:29, NIV), he revealed the riches of his interior life by each of his gestures, his looks, his words, his silences. In Christ Jesus is fulfilled the fullness of the commandment of the Old Testament: "You shall love the Lord with all your heart" (Deuteronomy 6:5, NIV). In fact, only the Heart of Christ has loved the Father with an undivided love.
And behold we are called to share in this love and to receive through the Holy Spirit this extraordinary capacity to love. After their encounter with the Risen One on the road to Emmaus, the disciples were filled with amazement: "Were not our hearts burning inside us as he talked to us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?" (Luke 24:32, NIV). Yes, the human heart is inflamed by contact with the Heart of Christ, for it discovers in this love for the Father that the risen Lord has accomplished "all that the prophets have announced" (Luke 24:25, NIV).
The humanity of the Lord Jesus dead and risen reveals itself to us through contemplation of his Heart. Nourished by meditation on the Word of God, prayer of adoration places us in the closest, most intimate relationship with this "Heart that has so loved human beings." Understood in this way, devotion to the Sacred Heart fosters active participation of the faithful at times of grace in the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance; intimately bound to the humanity of Christ given for the salvation of the world, the faithful thus derive the desire to be united to all those who suffer and the courage to be witnesses of the Good News.
I encourage pastors, religious communities, and all animators of pilgrimages to Paray-le-Monial to contribute to the diffusion of the message received by Saint Margaret Mary. And to you, pastor of the Church of Autun, and to all who will allow themselves to be moved by this teaching, I hope you will discover in the Heart of Christ the force of love, the sources of grace, the real presence of the Lord in his Church by the gift daily renewed of his Body and Blood. To each of you, I willingly grant my apostolic blessing."
Pope John Paul II
Feast of the Sacred Heart
June 22, 1990
If you want to know the true devotion to the Sacred Heart, you must study the Passion. See [in your mind, your imagination] the agony the garden, the keen cutting pain at the kiss of Judas, the cold shiver at the denial of Peter, the dragging with cords; the blow on the sacred face, the hitting, the shame, the foul words, yet all this was nothing, it was little to the longing pain of God seeking man's love. The scourging, the crowning with thorns, the heavy cross placed on those poor, torn, bleeding shoulders, yet even this is little, and why? Because these still a greater proof of love. "Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friend." Study the Crucifixion: see there what God rejoiced to suffer, if so He only might give us proofs which we might believe of this longing for our love. He chose gladly, nay even willingly, to suffer all this; it was even less pain to Him than the coldness of our hearts.
The devotion to the Sacred Heart is simply this: Devotion to a Heart that loves and is not loved, that is lavishing favors on His loved ones, and is in return treated with coldness, ingratitude, and outrage.
So the two special objects of this devotion are love and reparation. And now bow are we to do this? It is easy enough. Do what your own heart dictates. Do what you think would please this dear Lord and avoid what would cause Him pain. The dictates of a loving heart are sure to be unerring in this respect to the Prisoner of Love in the Tabernacle.
We know that he is there whole and entire, that His Heart is there, loving, praying, and suffering. That every drop of His precious Blood, and every fiber of His sacred Heart are there. Oh, how He longs for love and sympathy; let us try to be filled with this thought, so that it may become part of our very life, and thus render our every thought, word, and deed, a message of love and reparation to that loving, outraged Heart. Let us try to think how He loves us, and let us ever remember that it is on those hearts on which He has lavished the greatest gifts and graces, that He inflicts the deepest wounds. It may be only a simple aspiration of love we can offer Him, a simple thought of Him in His loving abjection, a little flower laid at His feet, but whatever it is it speaks to Him in language He understands, and which He will not forget.
Let us try to make others realize this love, and remember the great
secret of influence over souls is - to make them know and feel that Jesus
loves them, before we try to make them love Him... [T]]his is the only
means of doing real good. Let us then when we come before Jesus in the
Tabernacle bring a lively faith in His presence, and in His loving suffering
Heart. - Leaflets, FATHER DIGNAM, S.J.
Quoted from Rev. F.X.Lasance, My Prayer Book, Benziger Brothers (1908)
Imprimatur +John M. Farley, Archbishop of NY, Sept. 19, 1908.
Offering to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
MY LOVING Jesus! I [N.N.] give you my heart, and I consecrate myself wholly to you, out of the grateful love I bear you, and as a reparation for all my unfaithfulness, and with your aid I purpose never to sin again.
V. Heart of Jesus, burning with love of us,
R. Inflame our hearts with love of you.
Let us pray
Lord, we beseech you, let your Holy Spirit kindle in our hearts that fire of charity which Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, sent forth from His inmost Heart upon this earth, and willed that it should burn with vehemence. Who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the same Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.
Partial indulgence granted by Pope Pius VII, March 20, 1815.
An Act of Reparation to the
Sacred Heart of Jesus.
(For the First Friday of the Month)
ADORABLE Heart of Jesus, glowing with love for us and inflamed with zeal for our salvation: O Heart! ever sensible of our misery and the wretchedness to which our sins have reduced us, infinitely rich in mercy to heal the wounds of our souls, behold us humbly prostrate before you to express the sorrow that fills our hearts for the coldness and indifference with which we have so long requited the numberless benefits that you have conferred upon us. With a deep sense of the outrages that have been heaped upon you by our sins and the sins of others, we come to make a solemn reparation of honor to your most sacred majesty. It was our sins that overwhelmed your Heart with bitterness; it was the weight of our iniquities that pressed down your face to the earth in the Garden of Olives, and caused you to expire in anguish and agony on the cross. But now, repenting and sorrowful, we cast ourselves at your feet, and implore, forgiveness. Adorable Heart of Jesus, source of true contrition and ever merciful to the penitent sinner, impart to our hearts the spirit of penance, and give to our eyes a fountain of tears, that we may sincerely bewail our sins now and for the rest of our days. Oh, would that we could blot them out, even with our blood! Pardon them, O Lord, in your mercy, and pardon and convert to you all that have committed irreverences and sacrileges against you in the sacrament of your love, and thus give another proof that your mercy is above all your works. Divine Jesus with you there are mercy and plentiful redemption deliver us from our sins, accept the sincere desire we now entertain, and our holy resolution, relying on your assistance of your grace, henceforth to be faithful to you. And in order to repair the sins of ingratitude by which we have grieved your most tender and loving Heart, we are resolved in the future ever to love and honor you in the most adorable Sacrament of the Altar, where you art ever present to hear and grant our petitions, and to be the food and life of our souls. Be you, O compassionate Jesus I our Mediator with your heavenly Father, Whom we have so grievously offended, strengthen our weakness, confirm these our resolutions of amendment, and as your sacred heart is our refuge and our hope when we have sinned, so may it be the strength and support of our repentance, that nothing in life or death may ever again separate us from you. Amen.
An Act of Consecration and Reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
MOST sacred Heart of Jesus! I adore you; I offer to you all that I am and all that I possess; I consecrate to you my soul with its faculties, my body with all its senses, my heart with all its affections, desiring in all things to honor, love, and glorify you; in thanksgiving for the numberless benefits that I have received from you, especially in the Holy Eucharist; in atonement for my own sins as well as in reparation for all the offenses that are committed against you in the sacrament of your love, and, finally, in humble supplication, that I may henceforth be faithful to you, that I may please you in thought, word, and deed, that I may suffer in patience and in perfect resignation to your holy will, that I may become like to you in meekness and humility, that I may persevere in your love and your grace to the end of my life, and that I may praise you and bless you with the saints and angels in eternity.
We beseech you, also, O good Jesus, by your sacred Heart, overflowing with sweetness and mercy, to bless our Holy Father, the Pope, and our Holy Mother, the Church; to take under your special protection this congregation [my parish], our homes, our country, our rulers, our legislators, our bishops, our priests, and all Religious Orders. We recommend to you all our concerns, our friends, relatives, benefactors, and all those who have asked us to pray for them; those who are sick and those who are dying, and all who are under any affliction. Cast an eye of compassion on obstinate sinners, [the mistaken], and unbelievers.
Give eternal rest to the faithful departed.
Bless in particular the apostolic labors of those who are engaged in giving missions and retreats, in propagating the Faith in [mission] lands, in spreading your kingdom on earth, and in fostering devotion to your most Sacred Heart and to the most holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.
Form of Consecration
Issued with the Encyclical Letter of His Holiness, Leo XIII, dated May 25, 1899, on the consecration of mankind to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us, humbly
prostrate before your altar. We are yours and yours we wish to be; but
to be more surely united with you, behold each one of us freely consecrates
himself today to your most sacred Heart. Many, indeed, have never known
you; many; too, despising your precepts, have rejected you. Have mercy
on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to your sacred Heart. Be
you King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken you,
but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned you; grant that they
may quickly return to their Father's house, lest they die of wretchedness
and hunger. Be you King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions,
or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth
and unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one shepherd.
Be you King also of all those who sit in the ancient superstition of the
Gentiles, and refuse not you to deliver them out of darkness into the light
and kingdom of God. Grant, O Lord, to your Church, assurance of freedom
and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the
earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the divine Heart
that wrought our salvation; to it be glory and honor forever. Amen.
An Act of Consecration to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
TO You, most sacred Heart of Jesus, I devote my life. To You I consecrate all my thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings. My whole being shall be employed henceforth in loving, serving, and glorifying You. Be Thou, most blessed and adorable Heart, the sole object of my love, the protector of my life, the pledge of my salvation, and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. Be Thou my advocate at the throne of Divine Justice, and screen me from the wrath which my sins deserve.
I trust entirely in your mercy. I place all my confidence in You. Destroy in me all that is displeasing to You. Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine. Imprint Thyself like a seal upon my heart in order that I may never be separated from You. May I be a victim forever consecrated to your glory - ever burning with the flames of your pure love in time and for eternity. This is my whole desire - to live, in You: This shall be my happiness, to live and die as your devoted servant. Sweet Heart of Jesus, I implore that I may love You more and more. Amen.
V. Heart of Jesus, burning with love for us.
R. Inflame our hearts with love of You.
Let us pray
Lord, we beseech You, let your Holy Spirit kindle in our hearts that fire of charity which Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, sent forth from His inmost heart upon this earth, and willed that it should burn with vehemence. Who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the same Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayer in Honor of the Passion of Our Savior
GOD, Who for the world's redemption was pleased to be born, circumcised, rejected by the Jews, betrayed by the kiss of the traitor Judas, bound with chains, led like an innocent lamb to sacrifice, and shamefully presented before Annas, Caiphas, Pilate, and Herod, accused by false witnesses, beaten with whips, buffeted, insulted, spit upon, crowned with thorns, smitten with a reed, blindfolded,, stripped of your garments, fastened with nails to the cross, and lifted up on high, reputed among thieves, and made to drink gall and vinegar, and wounded by a lance; oh, by these most sacred sufferings, which, unworthy as I am, I thus commemorate, and by your holy cross and death, deliver me, Lord, from the pains of hell, and deign to lead me where Thou did lead the penitent thief, who was crucified by your side; Thou Who, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, lives and reigns, world without end. Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father, etc. five times.
Rev. F.X.Lasance, My Prayer Book, Benziger Brothers (1908) pp. 516-520,
524-25. Imprimatur +John M. Farley, Archbishop of NY, Sept. 19, 1908.
Rosary of the Sacred Heart
[Editor's note: The following material is presented exactly as printed as a matter of historical interest. However, this is a pre-Vatican II text, which does not reflect the current teaching on indulgences. These prayers would obtain a partial indulgence today. ]
THERE are various forms of the "Beads of the Sacred Heart," composed of different sets of indulgenced prayers. There is no need, however, for special beads. By repeating certain indulgenced ejaculations, according to one's choice, with the ordinary string of beads, a perfect treasury of indulgences is obtained. As a private form of devotion, it can be adapted to one's inclination.
Some printed forms of the Sacred Heart Beads are misleading, because
they do not discriminate carefully enough between ejaculations that have
an indulgence attached for each recitation, and such as have an indulgence
that can be gained but once a day.
ON THE CROSS
Soul of Christ, sanctify me! Body of Christ, save me! Blood of Christ, inebriate me! Water from the side of Christ, wash me! Passion of Christ, strengthen me! O good Jesus, hear me; within Thy wounds, hide me; permit me not to be separated from Thee; from the malignant enemy, defend me; in the hour of death call me and bid me come to Thee, that with Thy saints, I may praise Thee, forever and ever. Amen.
Indulgence of 300 days, each time. Pius IX, Jan. 9, 1854.
Or say the following:
Eternal Father! I offer Thee the precious blood of Jesus in satisfaction for my sins, and for the wants of holy.Church.
Indulgence of 100 days, each time. - Pius VII, Sept.22,1817.
"Heart" in the Greek: kardia
"The heart" (Eng., "cardiac," etc.), the chief organ of physical life ("for the life of the flesh is in the blood," Lev. 17:11), occupies the most important place in the human system. By an easy transition the word came to stand for man's entire mental and moral activity, both the rational and the emotional elements. In other words, the heart is used figuratively for the hidden springs of the personal life. "The Bible describes human depravity as in the 'heart', because sin is a principle which has its seat in the center of man's inward life, and then 'defiles' the whole circuit of his action, Matt. 15:19,20. On the other hand, Scripture regards the heart as the sphere of Divine influence, Rom. 2:15; Acts 15:9. ... The heart, as lying deep within, contains 'the hidden man,' 1 Pet. 3:4, the real man. It represents the true character but conceals it" (J. Laidlaw, in Hastings' Bible Dic.).
As to its usage in the NT it denotes (a) the seat of physical life,
Acts 14:17; Jas. 5:5; (b) the seat of moral nature and spiritual life,
the seat of grief, John 14:1; Rom. 9:2; 2 Cor. 2:4; joy, John 16:22; Eph.
5:19; the desires, Matt. 5:28; 2 Pet. 2:14; the affections, Luke 24:32;
Acts 21:13; the perceptions, John 12:40; Eph. 4:18; the thoughts, Matt.
9:4; Heb. 4:12; the understanding, Matt. 13:15; Rom. 1:21; the reasoning
powers, Mark 2:6; Luke 24:38; the imagination, Luke 1:51; conscience, Acts
2:37; 1 John 3:20; the intentions, Heb. 4:12, cp. 1 Pet. 4:1; purpose,
Acts 11:23; 2 Cor. 9:7; the will, Rom. 6:17; Col. 3:15; faith, Mark 11:23;
Rom. 10:10; Heb. 3:12.
The heart, in its moral significance in the OT, includes the emotions,
the reason and the will.
[Which means] the soul, or life, is rendered "heart" in Eph. 6:6 (marg., "soul"), "doing the will of God from the heart." In Col. 3:23, a form of the word psuche preceded by ek, from, lit., "from (the) soul," is rendered "heartily."
From Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words.
Novena Prayers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
1.O my God, I am very sorry for having sinned against Thee, because Thou art so good; help me by Thy grace not to sin again.
2.Opening Hymn Heart of Jesus, Heart of Jesus,
Burning with love for me.
Inflame my heart, inflame my heart, With love, with love of Thee.
O Most Holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore Thee, I love Thee, and with a lively sorrow for my sins, I offer Thee this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient and pure, and wholly obedient to Thy Will. Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in Thee, and for Thee.
Protect me in the midst of danger, comfort me in my afflictions, give health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, Thy blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death.
4.Recite a decade of the Rosary
5.Litany of the Sacred Heart
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy;
Christ, hear us,
Christ, graciously hear us,
God, the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us
God the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us
Holy Trinity one God, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mother, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, hypostatically united to the Word of God, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, infinite in majesty, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, Tabernacle of the most High, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, abode of justice and love, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, full of kindness and love, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, King and centre of all hearts, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, wherein are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, wherein abides all the fullness of the Godhead, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father was well pleased, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, desire of the eternal hills, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, patient and abounding in mercy, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, rich unto all who call upon Thee, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, source of life and holiness, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, atonement for our iniquities, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, overwhelmed with reproaches, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, bruised for our sins, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, made obedient even unto death, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, pierced by the lance, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, Victim of sins, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, salvation of all who trust in Thee, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, hope of all who die in Thee, Have mercy on us
Heart of Jesus, delight of all the Saints, Have mercy on us
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Let Us Pray
O Almighty and Eternal God, look upon the Heart of Thy dearly beloved Son, and upon the praise and satisfaction He offers Thee in the name of sinners and for those who seek Thy mercy; be Thee appeased, and grant us pardon in the Name of the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son,
Who livest and reignest with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.
6.Burning of Petitions
Let us ask the Sacred Heart for any favours we wish, and also to bless us all and keep us together. (Sing a Hymn).
(a) O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I fly, I come to Thee, throwing myself into the arms of Thy tender mercy. Thou art my sure refuge, my unfailing and only hope. Thou has a remedy for all my evils, relief for all my miseries, reparation for all my faults, Thou canst supply for what is wanting in me in order to obtain fully the graces that I ask for myself and others. Thou art for me, and for us all, the infallible, inexhaustible source of light, of strength, of perseverance, peace and consolation. I am certain that my importunity will never weary Thee; certain, too, that Thou wilt never cease to aid, to protect, to love me, because Thy love for me, O Divine Heart, is infinite.
Have mercy on me then, O Heart of Jesus, and on all that I recommend to Thee, according to Thy own mercy, and do with us, for us, and in us, whatsoever Thou will, for we abandon ourselves to Thee with the full, entire confidence and conviction that Thou will never abandon us either in time or eternity. Amen.
(b) O Sacred Heart of Jesus, we know that there is but one thing impossible to Thee, to be without pity for those who are suffering or in distress. Look down, we beseech Thee, on us, and grant us the grace which we humbly, and earnestly implore Thee, through the Immaculate Heart of Thy sorrowful Mother to whom Thou did confide us as her children, and whose prayers are all powerful with Thee. Amen.
O most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of mankind, behold us prostrate most humbly before Thy altar.
To Thee we belong; Thine we wish to be; and, that we may be united to Thee most closely, we dedicate ourselves each one of us today to Thy most Sacred Heart. Many have never known Thee, many, despising Thy commands, have rejected Thee. Have pity on them, most merciful Jesus, and draw all men to Thy Sacred Heart. Rule, O Lord, not only over the faithful who never have gone away from Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee, and make them return quickly to their Father's house, lest they perish of misery and hunger. Rule over those who have been misled by errror, or separated by schism, and call them back to the haven of truth and the unity of faith, so that there may be soon be one fold and one Shepherd.
Lastly, rule over all who are sunk in the old superstition of the Gentiles, and vouchsafe to bring them out of darkness into the light and kingdom of God. Give to Thy Church, O Lord, safety and sure liberty; give to all nations peace and order; and grant that, over the whole earth from pole to pole, may resound the words, "Praise be to the Divine Heart through which was brought to us salvation, glory and hanour be it for ever." Amen.
(A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who piously recite this Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. A plenary indulgence is granted if it is recited publicly on the feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King.)
9.Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed through the Divine Mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
To Jesus' Heart, all burning,
With fervent love for men,
My heart with yondest yearning,
Shall raise the joyful strain.
While ages course along,
Blest be with loudest song,
The Sacred Heart of Jesus,
By every heart and tongue,
The Sacred Heart of Jesus,
By every heart and tongue.
O Heart for me on fire,
With love no man can speak,
My yet untold desire,
God gives me for Thy sake.
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