Sacred Heart Devotion
General devotion to the Sacred Heart was popular in Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries, especially in response to the devotion of St. Gertrude the Great (b. 1256).
From the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries, the devotion was propagated but it did not seem to have developed in itself. It was everywhere practised by individuals and by different religious congregations, such as the Franciscans, Dominicans, Carthusians, etc. It was, nevertheless, a private, individual devotion of the mystical order.
In the sixteenth century, it was established as a devotion with prayers already formulated and special exercises, found in the writings of St. John of Avila (d. 1569) and St. Francis de Sales (d.1622). Nevertheless, the devotion remained an individual, or at least a private, devotion
St. Jean Eudes (1602-1680) made it public, composed the first Office and Mass of the Sacred Heart. Little by little, the devotion to the Sacred Heart became a separate one, and on August 31, 1670, the first feast of the Sacred Heart was celebrated in Rennes, France. The Roman Catholic acts of consecration, reparation and devotion were introduced when the feast of the Sacred Heart was declared.
Specific devotions became even more popularized when St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), 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.” Christ emphasized to her His love and His woundedness caused by man's indifference to this love.
Through her efforts and those of St. Claude La Colombiere, and with the grace of God, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus did spread throughout the world.
The Marseilles plague, 1720, furnished perhaps the first occasion for a solemn consecration and public worship outside of religious communities.
The Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart (1863-1899) was a religious from Sisters of the Good Shepherd Congregation (Oporto, Portugal) who requested, in the name of Christ Himself, to Pope Leo XIII to consecrate the entire World to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Holy Father in the encyclical letter 'Annum Sacrum' (on May 25, 1899) decreed that the consecration of the entire human race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus should take place on June 11, 1899. Pope Leo XIII also composed the Prayer of Consecration to the Sacred Heart and included it in 'Annum Sacrum'.
Since then, groups, congregations, and States have consecrated themselves to the Sacred Heart. In 1873, by petition of president Gabriel García Moreno, Ecuador was the first country in the world to be consecrated to the Sacred Heart, fulfilling God's petition to Saint Margaret Mary over two hundred years later.
True devotion to the Sacred Heart means devotion to the Divine Heart of Christ in so far as His Heart represents and recalls His LOVE for us.
The heart represents the seat of the affections and sentiments. God so loved the world that He sent His only Son. The pierced Heart of Jesus on the cross reveals His love, which is the same love of the Father for us.The Heart of Jesus never ceases to love us, He sanctifies us through the Sacraments. These are inexhaustible fountains of grace and holiness which have their source in the boundless ocean of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Related revelations and Saints writings:
"And He showed me that it was His great desire of being loved by men and of withdrawing them from the path of ruin into which Satan hurls such crowds of them, that made Him form the design of manifesting His Heart to men, with all the treasures of love, of mercy, of grace, of sanctification and salvation which it contains, in order that those who desire to render Him and procure for Him all the honor and love possible, might themselves be abundantly enriched with those divine treasures of which this Heart is the source.
He should be honored under the figure of this Heart of flesh, and its image should be exposed...He promised me that wherever this image should be exposed with a view to showing it special honor, He would pour forth His blessings and graces. This devotion was the last effort of His love that He would grant to men in these latter ages, in order to withdraw them from the empire of Satan which He desired to destroy, and thus to introduce them into the sweet liberty of the rule of His love, which He wished to restore in the hearts of all those who should embrace this devotion."..... "The devotion is so pleasing to Him that He can refuse nothing to those who practice it."
"I could plainly see His heart, pierced and bleeding, yet there were flames, too, coming from it and a crown of thorns around it. He told me to behold His heart which so loved humanity. Then He seemed to take my very heart from me and place it there in His heart. In return He gave me back part of His flaming heart."
--from Revelations of Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
"And He [Christ] showed me that it was His great desire of being loved by men and of withdrawing them from the path of ruin that made Him form the design of manifesting His Heart to men, with all the treasures of love, of mercy, of grace, of sanctification and salvation which it contains, in order that those who desire to render Him and procure Him all the honour and love possible, might themselves be abundantly enriched with those divine treasures of which His heart is the source."
--from Revelations of Our Lord to St. Mary Margaret Alacoque
Listed below are the "12 Promises" of the
Sacred Heart of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary
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.
(The Nine Fridays must be made in honor of His Sacred Heart, meaning, practicing the devotion and having a great love of His Sacred Heart. They must be on the first Friday of the month for nine consecutive months, and Communion must be received.)
The devotions attached to these promises are:
Receiving Communion frequently
First Fridays: going to Confession and receiving the Eucharist on the first Friday of each month for nine consecutive months. Many parishes will offer public First Friday devotions; if they do, you must perform First Fridays publicly. If it isn’t so offered in your parish, you can do this privately, going to Confession, receiving the Eucharist, and offering your prayers for the intention of the Holy Father.
Holy Hour: Eucharistic Adoration for one hour on Thursdays. (“Could you not watch one hour with me?”) Holy Hour can be made alone or as part of a group with formal prayers.
Celebrating of the Feast of the Sacred Heart
The life of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
We the Christians are the true Israel which springs from Christ, for we are carved out of His heart as from a rock. – St. Justin Martyr
There is in the Sacred Heart the symbol and express image of the infinite love of Jesus Christ which moves us to love in return. – Pope Leo XIII
Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus falls 19 days after Pentacost, on a Friday - More >
The month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of jesus.
Scapular of the Sacred Heart
Papal Letters and writings about the Sacred Heart Devotion:
The Two Elements of Devotion to the Sacred Heart: Consecration and Reparation
We consecrate ourselves to the Sacred Heart by acknowledging Him as Creator and Redeemer and as having full rights over us as King of Kings, by repenting, and by resolving to serve Him.
We make reparation for the indifference and ingratitude with which He is treated and for leaving Him abandoned by humanity.
PRAYER OF CONSECRATION
I, ....., give myself to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I
consecrate to him my person and my life, my actions, pains, and sufferings, so
that henceforth I shall be unwilling to make use of any part of my being except
for the honor, love, and glory of the Sacred Heart.
My unchanging purpose is to be all his and to do all things for the love of him
while renouncing with all my heart whatever is displeasing to him.
I take you, 0 Sacred Heart, as the only object of my love, the guardian of my
life, the assurance of my salvation, the remedy of my weakness and
inconstancy, the atonement for all my faults, and the sure refuge at my death.
0 Heart of goodness, be my justification before God the Father, and turn away
from me the strokes of his righteous anger.
0 Heart of love, I place all my trust In you, for I fear everything from my own
wickedness and frailty, but I hope for all things from your goodness and
Consume in me all that can displease you or resist your holy Will. Let your
pure love imprint you so deeply upon my heart that I shall nevermore be able
to forget you or be separated from you. May I obtain from all your loving
kindness the grace of having my name written in you, for I desire to place in
you all my happiness and all my glory, living and dying in virtual bondage to
--St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
Prayer to the Sacred Heart by Saint Francis De Sales
May Thy Heart dwell always in our hearts!
May Thy Blood ever flow in the veins of our souls!
O sun of our hearts, Thou givest life to all things by the rays of Thy goodness!
I will not go until Thy Heart has strengthened me, O Lord Jesus!
May the Heart of Jesus be the King of my heart!
Blessed be God. Amen.
From the depth of my nothingness, I prostrate myself before Thee, O Most Sacred, Divine and Adorable Heart of Jesus, to pay Thee all the homage of love, praise and adoration in my power.
Amen. - - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
Efficacious Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
I. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you." Behold I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of...... (here name your request)
Our Father....Hail Mary....Glory Be to the Father....Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
II. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you." Behold, in your name, I ask the Father for the grace of.......(here name your request) Our Father...Hail Mary....Glory Be To the Father....Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
III. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away." Encouraged by your infallible words I now ask for the grace of.....(here name your request) Our Father....Hail Mary....Glory Be to the Father...Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of you, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, your tender Mother and ours.
Say the Hail, Holy Queen and add: St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.
-- St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
(St. Padre Pio recited this novena every day for all those who requested his prayers.)
Beads of the Sacred Heart
As there is nothing so ingenious as love, several great saints in their great eagerness to make, each day, numerous acts of their favorite virtues according to the various inspirations of grace, have Invented several kinds of chaplets composed of acts of these virtues. After their example, the beads of the Sacred Heart has been formed. It is composed of five large beads and thirty-three small ones in honor thirty-three years Our Lord spent on earth.
Instead of the Creed the following prayer may be said.
Soul of Jesus Christ, sanctify me.
Heart of Jesus, inflame me with love. Body of Jesus Christ, save me
Blood of Jesus Christ, inebriate me.
Water our of the Side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me. Within Thy Wounds, hide me. Let me not be separated from Thee. Defend me from the malignant enemy. At the hour of death, call me And bid me to come unto Thee That with the Saints, I may praise Thee For all eternity.
Before each large bead say:
Jesus most meek, make my heart like unto Thine.
On each large bead say:
We adore Thee, O Jesus, who hast been afflicted in the Garden of Gethsemani and who still in our time art outraged in the Blessed Sacrament by the impious conduct of men. O most amiable Saviour, we recognize that Thou alone art Holy, Thou alone art Lord, Thou alone art Most High.
On each small bead say:
I adore Thee, O most Sacred Heart of Jesus, inflame my heart with the divine love with which Thine Own is all on fire.
At the end of the beads say an Our Father and a Hail Mary, and the following prayer:
O Lord Jesus Christ, who by an ineffable miracle of love, hast deigned to give Thy Heart to men to serve as their nourishment, in order thereby to gain their hearts, graciously hear our humble prayers, and pardon us for the sins of which we confess ourselves guilty before Thee. Cast an eye of compassion and mercy upon those towards whom Thou dost condescend to direct the affections of Thine amiable Heart. And since we desire to honor Thee in the adorable Mystery of the Altar to the utmost of our power and to render Thee most pleasing homage and for that intention, weep for and detest from the bottom of our hearts all the outrages, contempt, mockery, sacrileges, and other acts of impiety which ungrateful men in every part of the world have committed against Thee, enkindle therefore in our hearts this divine love with which Thine Own is inflamed, and inspire us with sentiments like unto Thine, in order that we may be able worthily to praise for all praise for all eternity the love with which this Sacred Heart burns for us. This is our prayer to Thee who livest and reignest with the Father, in unity of the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen
Prayer to the Wounded Heart of Jesus
O my Most Loving and Gentle Jesus, I desire with all the affections of my heart, that all beings should praise Thee, honor Thee and glorify Thee eternally for that sacred wound wherewith Thy divine side was rent. I deposit, enclose, conceal in that wound and in that opening in Thy Heart, my heart and all my feelings, thoughts, desires, intentions and all the faculties of my soul. I entreat Thee, by the precious Blood and Water that flowed from Thy Most Loving Heart, to take entire possession of me, that Thou may guide me in all things. Consume me in the burning fire of thy holy Love, so that I may be so absorbed and transformed into Thee that I may no longer be but one with Thee.
-- Lanspergius, the Carthusian
Traditional Daily Morning Offering:
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You all my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, reparation for sin, and the reunion of all Christians. I offer them for the intentions of our bishops and of all Apostles of Prayer, and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month.
MEMORARE TO THE SACRED HEART
Remember, O Jesus meek and humble of Heart, that, in what need soever, no one, who had recourse to Thy most loving Heart, was ever rejected or sent away empty. Animated with such a confidence, O Jesus, I come to Thee: burdened with miseries, I fly to Thee, and, with my miseries, I throw myself on Thy Heart. Do not, O my God, my Father, cast off me, Thy all-unworthy child, but give me admittance, I beseech Thee, into Thy Heart; nor suffer me ever to be separated therefrom. Aid me, I entreat Thee, in all my wants, now and forever, but, above all, at the hour of my death, O most benign! O most compassionate! O most sweet Jesus!
Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
V. Lord, have mercy on us.
R. Christ, have mercy on us.
V. Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
R. Christ, graciously hear us.
V. God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother by the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, united substantially to the Word of God.
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty.
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God.
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High.
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven.
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity.
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love.
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love.
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues.
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise.
Heart of Jesus, King and center of all hearts.
Heart of Jesus, in whom art all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead.
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father was well pleased.
Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received.
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills.
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy.
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who call upon Thee.
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness.
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our offenses.
Heart of Jesus, overwhelmed with reproaches.
Heart of Jesus, bruised for our iniquities.
Heart of Jesus, obedient even unto death.
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance.
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation.
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection.
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation.
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins.
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in Thee.
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee.
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints.
V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. spare us, O Lord.
V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. graciously hear us, O Lord.
V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. have mercy on us.
V. Jesus, meek and humble of Heart,
R. Make our hearts like unto Thine.
Let us pray.
Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Thy well-beloved Son and upon the acts of praise and satisfaction which He renders unto Thee in the name of sinners; and do Thou, in Thy great goodness, grant pardon to them who seek Thy mercy, in the name of the same Thy Son, Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end.
NOVENA OF CONFIDENCE
O Lord Jesus Christ, to Your Most Sacred Heart I confide this intention
(here mention your request).
Only look upon me, then do what Your Heart inspires ...Let Your Sacred Heart decide ...I count on it ...I trust in it ...
I throw myself on its Mercy ... Lord Jesus, You will not fail me.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in You. Sacred Heart of Jesus, I believe in Your Love for me. Sacred Heart of Jesus, Your Kingdom Come. O Sacred Heart of Jesus I have asked for many favors,
but I earnestly implore this one. Take it, place it in Your Sacred Heart, and when the Eternal Father looks upon It and sees it covered in the mantle of Your Most Precious Blood, He will not refuse it, for it is not my prayer any longer but Yours.
O Jesus, O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in You. Let me never be disappointed. Amen.
Prayer to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus
Eucharistic Heart of Jesus,
gracious companion of our exile,
I adore Thee.
Eucharistic Heart of Jesus,
Heart which loves
our own hearts;
Heart pleading for our love,
Heart so patient
in waiting for us,
Heart so eager
to listen to our prayers,
Heart so anxious
for our requests,
source of new graces,
Heart so silent,
yet desiring to speak
Heart, welcome refuge
of the hidden life,
Heart, teacher of the
secrets of union with God,
Heart of Him Who sleeps
but watches always,
Eucharistic Heart of Jesus,
have mercy on us.
I desire to comfort Thee;
I unite myself to Thee;
I offer myself in
union with Thee.
I regard myself as nothing
in Thy Presence.
I long to forget myself
in order to think
only of Thee,
to be despised
for love of Thee.
I have no desire to be
understood or loved
by anyone but Thee.
I will keep silent in
listen to Thee,
and I will
in order to lose
myself in Thee.
Grant that I may
Thy thirst for
Thy burning thirst
for my holiness,
and that once purified
I may give Thee
a sincere and pure love.
I am anxious
not to tire Thee
further with waiting:
I hand myself over to Thee.
I give Thee all my actions,
my mind to be enlightened,
my heart to be directed,
my will to be stabilized,
to be relieved,
my soul and body to be
nourished by Thee.
Eucharistic Heart of my Saviour,
Whose Blood is
the life of my soul,
may I myself cease to live
alone live in me. Amen.
(Indulgence 500 days.
Brief, February 6, 1899,
Sacred Penitentiary Apostolic,
November 8, 1934.
Today the 500 days has been
replaced by a partial indulgence,
which no longer has a specific
with the indulgence.)
(This beautiful prayer
was supplied by Father John
Fongemie, FSSP, Australia.
Please pray for him that he
will be as holy as he can be
and thus save many souls.)
Prayer of Saint John Eudes
Oh, how good and delightful it is to dwell in the Heart of Jesus!
Thy Heart, O good Jesus, is a precious treasure, a precious pearl
which we have found by digging the field of Thy Body.
Who will cast aside this pearl? Nay, rather I will give all I have,
I will exchange all my thoughts and desires and purchase it.
I will cast all my care on the Heart of the Lord Jesus and He will
provide for me without fail. I will adore in this temple,
this Holy of Holies, this Ark of the Testament, and I will praise the name
of the Lord, saying with David, "I have found my heart that I may pray
to my God. And I have found the heart of my King, my Brother, my Friend,
the benign Jesus, and why shall I not adore?" Assuredly I shall pray.
For His Heart is mine. I will say it boldly, for Christ is my Head,
is not what belongs to my Head mine? Therefore as the eyes of my corporal
head are truly my eyes, so is my spiritual heart my heart.
Therefore, it is well with me: truly I have but one Heart with Jesus
and what wonder that there should be but one heart with the multitude of believers.
Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
O Jesus, divine Savior, deign to cast a look of mercy upon Your children, who assemble in the same spirit of faith, reparation, and love, and come to deplore their own infidelities, and those of all poor sinners, their brethren.
May we touch Your divine Heart by the unanimous and solemn promises we are about to make and obtain mercy for ourselves, for the world, and for all who are so unhappy as not to love You. We all promise that for the future:
For the forgetfulness and ingratitude of men, *(We will console you O Lord)
For the way You are deserted in Your holy tabernacle,
For the crimes of sinners,
For the hatred of the impious,
For the blasphemies uttered against You,
For the sacrileges that profane Your Sacrament of Love,
For the outrages against Your divinity,
For the injuries of which You are the adorable Victim,
For the coldness of the greater part of your children,
For the contempt of your loving invitation,
For the infidelity of those who called themselves Your friends,
For the abuse of Your grace,
For our own unfaithfulness,
For the incomprehensible hardness of our hearts,
For our long delay in loving You,
For our tepidity in Your holy service,
For Your bitter sadness at the loss of souls,
For Your long waiting at the door of our hearts,
For the heartless scorn that grieves You,
For Your loving sighs,
For Your loving tears,
For Your loving imprisonment,
For Your loving death,
* We will console you, 0 Lord
Let us pray
0 Jesus! divine Savior, from whose Heart comes forth this bitter complaint, "I looked for one that would comfort me, and I found none," graciously accept the feeble consolation we offer You, and aid us so powerfully by your grace, that we may, for the time to come, shun more and more all that can displease You, and prove ourselves in everything, and everywhere, and forever Your most faithful and devoted servants. We ask it through Your Sacred Heart, O Lord, who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit one God, world without end. Amen.
Prayer to the Sacred Heart for Priests
Remember, 0 most loving Heart of Jesus, that they for whom I pray are those for whom You prayed so earnestly the night before Your death. These are they to whom You look to continue with You in Your sorrows when others forsake You, who share Your griefs and have inherited your persecutions, according to Your word: That the servant is not greater than his Lord. Remember, O Heart of Jesus, that they are the objects of the world's hatred and Satan's deadliest snares. Keep them then, 0 Jesus, in the safe citadel of Your Sacred Heart and there let them be sanctified in truth. May they be one with you and one among themselves, and grant that multitudes may be brought through their word to believe in You and love You.