“Devotion to the Most Sacred Heart is the extraordinary remedy for the extraordinary needs of our time.” -Pope Pius XI, 1928
The Church is born from the pierced heart of Jesus and has a mission in the world to proclaim the redeeming love of God in Christ.
In Catholic churches and homes, one of the most popular images of Jesus is the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is the image of God’s love revealed in the pierced heart of His Son, often depicted with a wounded heart, encircled by a crown of thorns and radiating light. It is the symbol of a love that conquers sin and transcends death, the symbol of the One who loved us to the end.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus goes back to the 11th century in the writings of Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries. In the late 17th century the devotion was renewed following the private revelations of the Sacred Heart to St. Marguerite Marie Alacoque, the first revelation on December 27, 1673, and the final one 18 months later. But it wasn’t until 1856 that Pope Pius IX made the feast of the Sacred Heart into a universal celebration.
In the Catholic church, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is practiced more intensely throughout the month of June, with the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus celebrated on the Friday of the third week after Pentecost. Practices include praying the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, making a consecration to the Sacred Heart or having the image of the Sacred Heart enthroned in your home.
When we draw close to Christ in the mystery of his heart, we dwell on the great mystery of our faith, that God is love. This strengthens us and inspires us to imitate his love, helping our hearts learn meekness, humility, mercy, and love, and we are moved to live the great commandments of love of God and neighbor.
We are motivated by the Sacred Heart of Jesus to open our hearts to him so that they are filled with love for our brothers and sisters. In this way, we learn to live Jesus’ commandment: Love one another as I have loved you. – John 15:12