The month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart. And yet to many people, the devotion seems odd. We worship Christ who was resurrected from the dead, and yet we have a special devotion to his… heart?
Humanity has always associated the heart with love. It is the life-force of the body; when the heart stops beating, life ends. So it’s not surprising that as devotion to the Incarnated Christ increased in the Church, people experienced his love for them through his heart.
General devotion to the Sacred Heart was popular in early Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries, but specific devotions became even more popular when St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a Visitation nun, had a personal revelation involving a series of visions of Christ as she prayed before the Blessed Sacrament. She wrote, “He disclosed to me the marvels of his Love and the inexplicable secrets of his Sacred Heart,” with the chief features of the devotion being reception of Holy Communion on the first Friday of each month, Eucharistic adoration during a Holy Hour on Thursdays, and the celebration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart.
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque was given promises as well as admonitions, the benefits that could be accrued when we pray to the Sacred Heart:
- I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
- I will give peace in their families and will unite families that are divided.
- I will console them in all their troubles.
- I will be their refuge during life and, above all, in death.
- I will bestow the blessings of Heaven on all their enterprises.
- Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
- Tepid souls shall become fervent.
- Fervent souls shall rise quickly to great perfection.
- I will bless those places wherein the image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored and will imprint My love on the hearts of those who would wear this image on their person. I will also destroy in them all disordered movements.
- I will give to priests who are animated by a tender devotion to my Divine Heart the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
- Those who promote this devotion shall have their names written in my Heart, never to be effaced.
- I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence: they will not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their Sacraments. My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart provides a special closeness to the incarnated nature of God. We love his heart with all of our own. We rest our heads, our worries, and our pain within his heart, and he has promised that he will hear us.
More than just a way of prayer, this devotion is based on the essence of the Gospel: to take on the heart of Jesus so as to live in his love and bring it to others. No matter what stage of spiritual growth you are experiencing, praying to the Sacred Heart of Jesus can help you grow more deeply in love with Jesus and experience the love of his Sacred Heart in your life.
Pauline Books & Media wants to help you experience that love through our own Sacred Heart of Jesus Prayer Book, which covers all aspects of this devotion, including its connection with the Holy Eucharist, Divine Mercy, the Precious Blood of Jesus, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Catholics of all ages will treasure this prayer book and find that it brings them closer to the Sacred Heart.
Written and compiled by Sr. Marianne Lorraine Trouvé, FSP, this soft leatherette edition will be a welcome companion to believers who seek the joy that comes from a deeper relationship with our Lord. It includes:
- History of the devotion to the Sacred Heart
- Everyday prayers: morning offering; acts of faith, hope, and love; the Angelus; the Regina Coeli; act of contrition; prayer of praise and thanksgiving; and more
- Prayers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus; novena to the Sacred Heart; weekly devotion to the Sacred Heart; chaplet to the Sacred Heart
- Prayers to the Sacred Heart by some of our most beloved saints
- First Friday devotion
- Suggested readings and further information
This unique devotion is all about love, growing more deeply in love and extending that love to others. Experience it today with our beautiful Sacred Heart of Jesus Prayer Book!
by Jeannette de Beauvoir
Image Credit: Cortemilia. Chiesa Parrocchiale di San Michele. Rodolfo Morgari: Santa Margherita Maria Alacoque e la devozione al Sacro Cuore. Author: Giovanni Destefanis