The Sacred Heart of Jesus is one of the most famous religious devotions to Jesus’ physical heart as the representation of His divine love for Humanity. The origin of this devotion is derived from a French Roman Catholic nun, Marguerite Marie Alacoque, who said she learned the devotion from Jesus in visions. In the Roman Catholic Tradition, the Sacred Heart is closely associated with Acts of Reparation to Jesus Christ. Pope Pius XI stated: “the spirit of expiation or reparation has always had the first and foremost place in the worship given to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus”. The Sacred Heart is depicted as a flaming heart shining with divine light, pierced by the lance-wound, surrounded by a crown of thorns, surmounted by a cross and bleeding. The wounds and crown of thorns allude to the manner of Jesus’ death, while the fire represents the transformative power of love. The Feast of the Sacred Heart has been a Solemnity in the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar since 1856, and is celebrated 19 days after Pentecost. As Pentecost is always celebrated on Sunday, the Feast of the Sacred Heart always falls on a Friday.
“The greatest of all our obligations, the greatest source of merit, our greatest possible consolation is to love God. One act of love is worth a thousand acts of any other virtue! God has given us His Sacred Heart as the symbol and pledge of His most tender love for us. Through St. Margaret Mary, He has made 12 most loving promises to all who are devout to His Sacred Heart” : (Fr. Tom Brown)
1) I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2) I will give peace in their families.
3) I will console them in all their troubles.
4) I will be their refuge in life and especially in death.
5) I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
6) Sinners shall find in My heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7) Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8) Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
9) I will bless the homes where the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and venerated.
10) I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
11) Persons who encourage this devotion shall have their names eternally written in My heart.
12) 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.