Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Sunday within the Octave of the Sacred Heart—25 June AD 2017
Third Sunday after Pentecost

Ave Maria!



[ Ordinary of the Mass ]

[English Text - Sacred Heart of Jesus]
[Latin Text - Sacred Heart of Jesus]

[ English Text - Sunday within the Octave]
[ Latin Text - Sunday within the Octave ]

[Encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor]
[Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus]
[Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus]

“[T]he God of all grace … has called us unto his eternal glory in Christ Jesus….”[1]

    As last Sunday was the Sunday within the Octave of Corpus Christi, this third Sunday after Pentecost is the Sunday within the Octave of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  So a few words are in order about devotion to our Lord’s Sacred Heart.  First of all, what is it that we are devoted to?  The Catholic Encyclopedia  tells us that this question was resolved by Pope Pius VI in 1794:

    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…. it is to the Person of Jesus that it is directed; but to the Person as inseparable from His Divinity. Jesus infinitely loving and amiable, studied in the principal manifestations of His love, is the object of the devotion to the Sacred Heart, as indeed He is the object of the Christian religion.[2]

    If devotion to the Sacred Heart is thus a devotion to the Love of God, we must recognize that it goes back at least to the time of Christ.  Certainly, it goes back to Saint John, who rested his head on the breast of Christ at the Last Supper, quite probably hearing the Sacred Heartbeats.[3]  And Saint Paul, in writing that exquisite chapter thirteen in his first epistle to the Corinthians, was clearly writing about the Love of God, for he puts it above even Faith and Hope.[4]

    Yet it was for the great mystics of the eleventh and twelfth century to associate devotion to the love of God with the Heart of Jesus.  Men and women like Saints Anselm, Bernard of Clairvaux, Bonaventure, and Saints Gertrude and Mechtilde.  In their efforts to refute Protestantism, the religious orders began to preach the devotion.

    Finally, in the 1600s we encounter two most noteworthy Saints:  John Eudes and Margaret Mary Alacoque.  More than any who went before them, these two saints were responsible for making devotion the the Sacred Heart a public devotion, rather than one carried on only in the private prayers of individuals or religious communities.

    John Eudes was instrumental in obtaining public devotion to both the Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of her divine Son:

    The feast of the Holy Heart of Mary was celebrated for the first time in 1648, and that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1672, each as a … first class [feast] with an octave. The Mass and Office proper to these were composed by Father [John] Eudes…. For this reason, Pope Leo XIII, in proclaiming his virtues heroic in 1903, gave him the title of "Author of the Liturgical Worship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Holy Heart of Mary".[5]

    Saint Margaret Mary is best known for the visions she had in which our Lord.

    On 27 December 1673, the feast of St. John, Margaret Mary reported that Jesus permitted her to rest her head upon his heart, and then disclosed to her the wonders of his love, telling her that he desired to make them known to all mankind and to diffuse the treasures of his goodness, and that he had chosen her for this work.[6]

    The nuns of her convent were skeptical at first, but her confessor, Saint Claude de la Colombière, S.J., supported her claims, which were accepted by the community with the election of a new prioress, and which were spread by Saint Claude’s fellow Jesuits.

    In his 1928 encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor, Pope Pius XI affirmed the Church's position regarding the credibility of her visions of Jesus Christ by speaking of Jesus as having "manifested Himself" to Saint Margaret Mary and having "promised her that all those who rendered this honor to His Heart would be endowed with an abundance of heavenly graces".

    In Margaret Mary’s memoirs we find twelve promises made by our Lord to those devoted to His Sacred Heart.  I’ll summarize them for you now, but you will find them verbatim if you go to this sermon on the church’s website.  Be sure to see also the “Prayer for Daily Neglects”:

    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. They shall find in my heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of 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 speedily rise to great perfection.

    9. I will bless the homes in which the image of my sacred heart shall be exposed and honored.

    10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.

    11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in my heart, and it shall never be effaced.

    12. The all-powerful love of my heart will grant to all those who shall receive communion on the first Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; my heart shall be their assured refuge at the last hour.

Prayer for Daily Neglects

    ETERNAL FATHER, I offer You the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with all its love, all its sufferings, and all its merits.

    First, to expiate all the sins I have committed this day and during all my life. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and shall ever be, world without end. Amen.

    Second, to purify the good I have done poorly this day and during all my life. Glory be, etc.

    Third,  to supply for the good I ought to have done, and that I have neglected this day and all my life. Glory be, etc. [7]

    Some years ago, our clergy decided that apart from a first class feast occurring on the First Friday, we would always offer the Mass of the Sacred Heart on these Fridays—a wonderful way for you to receive the Holy Communion required for the twelfth promise.

    Our Lord is generous indeed, but there is a downside to refusing His generosity:

    On June 17, 1689 the Sacred Heart of Jesus manifested to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque His command to the King of France that the King was to consecrate France to the Sacred Heart. For 100 years to the day the Kings of France delayed, and did not obey….

    In 1793 France sent its King, Louis XVI, to the guillotine. He and his predecessors had failed to obey Our Lord’s request that France be consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and thus misfortune had befallen both the King and his country.[8]

    In this hundredth year of the miracles at Fatima, we Catholics  ought to take the French example to heart, for our Lady requested devotion to her Immaculate Heart and the collegial Consecration of Russia.  Let us all resolve to make those First Saturday Communions, and fervently pray that the Pope will act on the Consecration of Russia before it becomes too late!

“[T]he God of all grace … has called us unto his eternal glory in Christ Jesus….”  Perhaps we can add “in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”


[1]   Epistle:  I Pet: v: 6-11

[2]   Catholic Encyclopedia s.v. “Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

[5]   Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. “Blessed John Eudes”

[6]   Wikipedia s.v. “Margaret Mary Alacoque”


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