June: The Month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus came into the Catholic faith through a Catholic sister known as Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690). At the age of 24, Margaret Mary entered the Visitation convent at Paray-le-Monial in France. She began to have visions of Our Lord and on December 27, 1673, on the Feast of St. John, she began to have visions that lasted for eighteen months. Jesus told her that she was to become his instrument in spreading devotion to his Sacred Heart. While kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament, Our Lord appeared to her and invited her to "rest a long time on His Divine Breast". Jesus revealed to her the marvels of the love that His Sacred Heart had for mankind.
Jesus said to her: "MY DIVINE HEART IS SO FULL OF LOVE FOR MEN AND FOR YOU IN PARTICULAR THAT, NO LONGER ABLE TO CONTAIN WITHIN ITSELF THE FLAMES OF ITS BURNING CHARITY, IT MUST SPREAD THESE FLAMES BY MEANS OF YOU, AND IT MUST MANIFEST ITSELF TO MEN IN ORDER TO ENRICH THEM WITH ITS PRECIOUS TREASURES. I HAVE CHOSEN YOU TO ACHIEVE THIS GRAND CRUSADE OF LOVE."
Saint Margaret Mary had frequent visions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. According to Saint Margaret Mary, His Divine Heart was "more radiant than the sun and as transparent as crystal," with its adorable wound visible, and as a "furnace" of burning flames.
In June, 1675: during the feast of Corpus Christi, while praying before Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Monstrance. Our Lord revealed His Heart to her and said: "HERE IS THE HEART THAT HAS SO LOVED MEN AS TO SPARE NOTHING FOR THEM, EXHAUSTING AND CONSUMING ITSELF IN ORDER TO PROVE ITS LOVE FOR THEM; AND IN RETURN I RECEIVE, FROM MOST OF THEM, ONLY INGRATITUDE."
Jesus asked her to have a special feast established in honor of His Sacred Heart on the Friday after the feast of Corpus Christi. Jesus asked his followers to receive Holy Communion on that day and to make atonement for the sins of the world by an act of reparation.
Jesus asked her to have an image made of His Sacred Heart and to have it promoted throughout the world with special promises to those souls who would display His image of His Sacred Heart.
She consulted with her enlightened spiritual director whom God had given her. On the following Friday, June 21, Father de la Colombiere, her priest-director, and Saint Margaret Mary consecrated themselves to the Sacred Heart. With great sufferings and humiliations, Father de la Colombiere and Saint Margaret Mary made every effort to spread the new devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The Lord Jesus revealed to Saint Margaret Mary the following promises to those souls who would honor the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus:
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. I promise thee in the excess of the mercy of My Heart, that its all-powerful Love 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 that last hour.
From OLORL 2013
June, the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine's
The Church's Year
INSTRUCTION ON THE FEAST OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
[The Feast of the Sacred Heart is on June 7 this year]
ORIGIN OF THIS FESTIVAL
After many devout souls had venerated the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with
sincere devotion, in the solitude of quiet life, as is seen in the
lives of SS..Augustine, Bernard, Bonaventura, Thomas of Aquin,
Francis de Sales, Ignatius, Clara, Gertrude, Mechtild, Catharine of
Sienna, Theresa, and others, our divine Saviour willed that His
heart's infinite love should be recognized by all men, and be kindled
in cold hearts by a new fire of love. For this end He made use of a
feeble, obscure instrument, that all the world might know that the
devotion to His loving heart; previously almost entirely unknown, was
His own work. This instrument, disregarded by the world, was one who
shone before God in all the radiance of the most sublime virtues, the
nun Margaret Alacoque of the order of the Visitation of Mary, at
Paray, in Burgundy. In the year 1675, whilst she was one day in
prayer before the Blessed Sacrament; our Lord appeared to her, and
pointing to His heart which He showed to her, surrounded with flames,
surmounted by the cross, encircled with a crown of thorns, and pierced
with a gaping wound, He said to her: "Behold this heart, which has
loved mankind so much, and which receives only ingratitude and
coldness in return for its love. My desire is that you should make
reparation to my heart for this ingratitude, and induce others also
to make reparation." Our Lord then designated the Friday after the
Octave of Corpus Christi as the special day for this duty. In several
subsequent apparitions our divine Lord repeated this injunction, and
made the most unbounded promises in favor of all who would apply
themselves to this office of reparation to His Sacred Heart. The
following are some of His promises;
1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will establish peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their pains and trials.
4. I will be their assured refuge in life, and especially in death.
5. I will shed abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in my Heart an infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Lukewarm souls will be rendered fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall rise rapidly to greater perfection.
9. I will bless those houses where the image of my heart shall be
exposed and honored.
10. I will give to priests the gift of moving the hardest hearts.
11. Persons who propagate this devotion shall have their names
inscribed on my heart, never to be effaced from it.
Margaret obeyed, but found everywhere the greatest opposition, actual
sneers and persecution, even from her Sisters in religion, until
finally, with the aid of her divine spouse, she succeeded as mistress
of novices, in bringing her young charges to the veneration of the
Sacred Heart of Jesus. But this did not content her zeal; although
opposition continued, she strove to fulfil the command of Jesus, who
assisted her by at last changing the hardened hearts of the nuns and
inflaming them with the same love of His Sacred Heart. This devotion
soon spread from the convent throughout the adjoining dioceses, where
confraternities in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus arose, and Pope
Clement XIII., after causing the strictest investigation to be made,
commanded the Festival of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to be observed
throughout the Catholic Church on the first Friday after the octave
of Corpus Christi.
ON DEVOTION TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
I. OBJECT OF THIS DEVOTION
By the Sacred Heart of Jesus must be understood not the lifeless
heart, separated from the body of Christ, but the tender, loving
heart of the God-Man, the home of all His emotions, the fountain of
all His virtues, and the most touching embodiment of His infinite
love for man. The Catholic Church, in like manner, sets apart certain
festivals with appropriate Mass and office, in honor of the cross, of
our Lord's sacred blood and wounds that our devotion to the Redeemer
may be rendered more fervent by the contemplation of these objects,
for Jesus has shed His blood for us, has received wounds for us which
He retained even after His resurrection, as eternal signs of His
immense love for man, has taken them with Him to heaven, and will
show them to us on the judgment Day. How much more should our
Saviour's Sacred Heart be the object of our devotion, since all the
thoughts, sentiments, and emotions of this most loving heart aim only
at our salvation, and since it is always ready to receive truly
penitent sinners to forgive them, again to turn His love to them, and
make them sharers in eternal bliss.
Therefore the saints have from the first encouraged a tender devotion
to this most Sacred Heart, as already mentioned. "Longinus," says St.
Augustine, "opened the side of Jesus with His spear; in it I enter,
and securely rest." "O how good," exclaims St. Bernard, "how lovely
to take up my abode in this Heart! In this temple, in this sanctuary,
before this ark of the covenant, I will adore and praise the name of
the Lord, and say with the prophet: I have found in the heart of
Jesus, my king, my brother, my friend." "Believe me, O blinded men,"
says St. Bonaventura, "if you knew how to enter by His sacred wounds
into the interior of Jesus, you would there find not, only a
wonderful sweetness for your soul, but even sweet repose for your
body. And if even the body there finds rest, how great, think you,
must be the sweetness which the spirit there enjoys, if through these
wounds we become united to the Sacred Heart of Jesus!" And St. Peter
Damian says: "In this adorable heart we find the weapons with which
to defend ourselves against our enemies, a cure for our ills,
powerful help against temptations, the sweetest consolation is
suffering, and the purest joy in this valley of tears."
St. Mechtild and St. Gertrude found themselves transported in an
especial manner by the tenderness of this adorable heart, to adore it
fervently, and Gertrude, enlightened by the Spirit of God, spoke these
prophetic words: "The Lord retained until these late centuries the
devotion to His Sacred Heart, as a last effort of His divine love."
We have already seen how these words have been verified in the pious
Margaret. O would that Jesus' great desire that all men, might know
and love His Sacred Heart be accomplished!
II. EXCELLENCE OF THIS DEVOTION
It is, says the venerable P. Simon Gourdan:
1. The most sacred devotion, for by it man venerates the holiest
sentiments and emotions of the Heart of Jesus, by which He has
sanctified the Church, glorified His Heavenly Father, and presented
Himself to us as the perfect model of the most exalted sanctity.
2. The oldest devotion of the holy Church, which, instructed by the
great St. Paul, has at all times recognized the munificence of the
Sacred Heart of Jesus.
3. The most approved devotion, for the holy Scriptures everywhere
exhort us to renew our heart by changing our lives, rendering them
contrite by true penance, inflaming them with the fire of divine
love, and adorning them by the exercise of all virtue. Therefore a
new heart is promised on which to remodel our Heart. That Heart can
be no other than the Heart of Jesus, which is given us as an example
of all virtue, and which we must imitate if we wish to be saved.
4. The most perfect devotion, for it is the: source of all other
devotions; the Heart of Jesus is that inexhaustible treasury from
which the Mother of God and all the saints have drawn their graces,
their life, their virtues, and all spiritual blessings. Filled from
this treasury, other servants of God have instituted different
5. The most useful devotion, for in it we have the Fountain of Life
itself before our eyes, from which we can draw directly, and increase
in all virtue by adoring this divine Heart, meditating on its holy
desires, and seeking to imitate it.
6. The devotion most pleasing to Christ, for by it we honor God, as
Christ requires, in spirit and in truth, because we adore the
interior power of God, seeking to please His heart.
7. Finally; the most necessary devotion, for its object is that we
become intimately connected as members with Jesus, our Head, that we
live by and according to His spirit, and have only one heart and soul
Because this devotion is of such importance, we cannot sufficiently
recommend it to all who are anxious for their soul's salvation. Every
person may cherish this devotion, and venerate the Heart of Jesus by
himself, but there is a greater blessing when pious souls make the
devotion in a confraternity. In the year 1726 there existed more than
three hundred such confraternities, and they are now spread throughout
all Catholic countries. Do not delay then, O Christian soul, to
practise this devotion, uniting with others to honor the divine Heart
of Jesus, because in this most Blessed Heart all men find their
reconciliation, the pious their assurance, sinners their hope, the
oppressed their comfort, the sick their relief, those who are
fighting their strength, the dying their refuge and the elect their
joy and bliss.
The Introit of this day's Mass reads: He will have mercy according to
the multitude of his mercies: for he hath not willingly afflicted nor
cast off the children of men: the Lord is good to them that hope in
him, to the soul that seeketh him. Allel. allel. (Lament III. 32: 33.
25.) The mercies of the Lord I will sing for ever: to generation and
generation. (Ps. LXXXVIII, 1.). Glory &c.
COLLECT Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we who, glorying
in the most Sacred Heart of Thy beloved Son, celebrate the singular
benefits of His love toward us, may rejoice equally in their
operation and their fruit. Through the same &c.
EPISTLE (Isai. XII. 1?6.) I will give thanks to thee, O Lord, for
thou wast angry with me; thy wrath is turned away, and, thou hast
comforted me. Behold God is my Saviour, I will deal confidently, and
will not fear: because the Lord is my strength and my raise, and he
is become my salvation. You shall draw waters with joy out of the
Saviour's fountains: and you shall say in that day: Praise ye the
Lord, and call upon his name: make his works known among tie people:
remember that his name is high. Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath done
great things: show this forth in all the earth. Rejoice, and praise, O
thou habitation of Sion: for great is he that is in the midst of thee,
the Holy One of Israel.
EXPLANATION This lesson is a hymn of praise 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 Christ. Man will then draw waters with joy, says the prophet,
from the Saviour's fountains. These fountains are the graces which
Jesus has gained for us on the cross, but especially, as St:
Augustine says, the holy Sacraments of Baptism and Communion. We
should rejoice on account of these graces, particularly that the Holy
One of Israel, Christ, the Son of God, dwells in the midst of Sion,
that is, in the Catholic Church, in the Blessed Sacrament, to remain
there to the end of the world. - Oh! let us often approach this
everflowing fountain of all grace, the holy Eucharist, and let us
draw with confidence, consolation, help, and strength from this
fountain of love.
GOSPEL (John XIX. 31-35.) At that time, The Jews (because it was the
parasceve), that the bodies might not remain upon the cross on the
Sabbath day (for that was a great. Sabbath day), besought Pilate that
their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. The
soldiers, therefore, came, and they broke the legs of the first, and
of the other that was crucified with him. But after they were come to
Jesus, when they saw that he was already dead, they did not break his
legs. But one of the soldiers with a spear opened his side, and
immediately there came out blood and water. And he that saw it hath
given testimony: and his testimony is true.
EXPLANATION According to the Jewish law a criminal could not be put
to death, nor could the body of one who had been executed, remain in
the place of execution, on the Sabbath day; it was for this reason
that the Jews asked Pilate, the governor, to have the Body of Christ
and those of the two thieves buried. Before this could be done, the
bones of the crucified, according to the Roman law, had to be broken
with iron clubs. The soldiers did so to the two thieves, who were yet
alive; when they came to Jesus and found Him dead, they did not break
His bones, but one of them, Longinus, opened the Saviour's side with
a spear, as was foretold by the prophet.
Jesus permitted His most Sacred Heart to be opened to atone for and
efface those sins of men which originate in the heart, as Christ
Himself says: (Matt. XV. 19.) From the heart come forth evil
thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts; false
testimonies, blasphemies; also to show us the infinite love with
which He has loved us from the beginning, so that He even shed the
last drop of His heart's blood for our salvation; to make, as it
were, a place of refuge in His heart for us, as St. Augustine says:
"The Evangelist is very careful in his expression; he does not say,
the soldiers pierced or wounded His side, but he opened it, as if to
open for us the door of life, from which flow the Sacraments of the
Church, without which there can be no access to the true life." As
often, then, as a temptation arises, or trouble depresses us, let us
take refuge in that abode, and dwell there, until the tempest is
over; as says the prophet; (Is. II. 10.) Enter thou into the rock,
and hide thee in the pit. Who is the rock but Christ, and what is the
pit but His wound?
AN ACT OF RESIGNATION TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
[An indulgence of one hundred Days is gained by saying this prayer
with true contrition, before a picture of the sacred heart of Jesus,
and a plenary indulgence by saying it every day for a month, and
receiving the Sacraments of Penance and Communion, and Praying for
the Church.] (Granted prior to the 1968 changes.)
O Jesus, most worthy of love! I gratefully offer
Thee my heart in compensation for my great unfaithfulness,
and consecrate myself wholly and forever to
Thy service, purposing, with Thy grace, no more to
offend Thee. Amen
From The Church's Year online:
OLRL offers the following items to encourage and promote devotion to
the Sacred Heart of Jesus:
- Prayers and Invocations to the Sacred Heart of Jesus card - 2 cents
- Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in the Home brochure - 7 cents ea.
; The Enthronement Ceremony is available on our website at
- The Sacred Heart Badge - only 25 cents ea.
- Sacred Heart Badge card - 2 cents ea. -
Visit our Store at http://olrl.org/mm5/merchant.mvc
for these and all the items we offer.
Sincerely in Christ,
Our Lady of the Rosary Library
"Pray and work for souls"