Devotion to the Sacred Heart
Jesus reveals the devotion to His Sacred Heart in the Gospels. During the Last Supper, St. John the Beloved rested upon the Heart of Jesus (John 13:23). We find in this moment the essence of devotion to the Sacred Heart: to receive Jesus’ Love and to love Him in return. When we go to His Heart, we are filled with Divine Love. It is then that our hearts are moved to share His Love with others and to console His Heart, to make reparation for those who reject Him. Our Lord, Who came down from heaven to be with us, has a human heart and wants to share a deep friendship with you.
A Brief History of the Devotion
The devotion to the Sacred Heart started in the quiet stillness of Mary’s womb when His little Heart first began to beat. At Bethlehem, St. Joseph and Mother Mary adored His Heart as they held Him in their arms, gently gazing at the Christ Child and pondering the little heartbeat of Emmanuel, “God with us.”The first written account of this devotion to the Sacred Heart can be found in the Gospels when St. John rested upon His Heart during the Last Supper. In the late 1200’s on the feast of St. John (December 27), St. Gertrude, a Benedictine nun and mystic, had a vision where St. John, appearing with Jesus on His left side, invited her to the right of Jesus to rest her head near the wound in His side so she could hear Christ’s beating heart. She wrote in her book Herald of Divine Love that this filled her with sweetness and joy. She asked St. John why he spoke so little in his Gospel “of the loving secrets of the Heart of Jesus?” St. John answered, “My mission was to write of the Eternal Word…
but the language of the blissful pulsations of the Sacred Heart is reserved for latter times, that the time-worn world, grown cold in the love of God, may be warmed up by hearing of such mysteries.”About 400 years later, during a time when the world had grown cold and had forgotten the tenderness and mercy of Christ’s love, Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary on St. John’s feast in 1673 in Paray-le-Monial, France. He revealed to her His Heart burning with Love for humanity. In the vision, Jesus asked her to spread devotion to His Sacred Heart and instructed her how the devotion should be practiced. The devotion as we know it today is largely based from Jesus’ revelations to St. Margaret Mary.
Jesus reveals His Sacred Heart
to St. Margaret Mary
Side chapel, Sacred Heart of Jesus to St Margaret Mary, St. Joseph’s Chapel, Santa Teresita, Duarte, CA
“Behold the Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, in order to testify Its love; and in return, I receive from the greater part only ingratitude, by their irreverence and sacrilege, and by the coldness and contempt they have for Me in this Sacrament of Love. But what I feel most keenly is that it is hearts which are consecrated to Me, that treat Me thus. Therefore, I ask of you that the Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi be set apart for a special Feast to honor My Heart, by communicating on that day, and making reparation to It by a solemn act, in order to make amends for the indignities which It has received during the time It has been exposed on the altars. I promise you that My Heart shall expand Itself to shed in abundance the influence of Its Divine Love upon those who shall thus honor It, and cause It to be honored.”
The Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart
As given by Our Lord to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
Jesus reveals the tenderness of His Heart and the 12 promises He pledged to those who love Him and honor His Sacred Heart. If you’ve ever thought, “God couldn’t possibly love me, I haven’t earned it,” that’s Jansenist thinking, a heresy that plagued France. The plain truth is – God loves us no matter what! Jesus said to St. Margaret Mary: “Announce it and let it be announced to the whole world, that I set neither limit nor measure to My gifts for those who seek them in My Heart.”