Church Tradition is rich with many beautiful devotions which help us sanctify our days. Just as May is dedicated to devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the month of June is dedicated to devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus dates back to the 11th century and became popular after the private revelations received by St. Gertrude the Great in the 13th century and to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in the 17th century. Later, the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was established by Blessed Pope Pius IX in 1856 to be celebrated on the Friday after the feast of Corpus Christi each year.
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque writes about her visions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus:
“One day, as I knelt before the Blessed Sacrament exposed on the altar…Jesus Christ, my sweet Master, presented Himself to me, all resplendent with glory, with His five wounds shining like so many suns.
“From all parts of His Sacred Humanity there issued flames but especially from His adorable breast, which was like a furnace.
“Opening it, He showed me His loving and lovable Heart as the living source of those flames. Then he revealed to me all the unspeakable marvels of His pure love, and the excess of love He had conceived for men from whom He had received nothing but ingratitude and contempt.”
The Sacred Heart itself was presented in a throne of flames and surrounded by a crown of thorns, “signifying the punctures made in it by our sins” and a cross was implanted into it signifying “all the sorrow to be inflicted on it by the humiliations, poverty, pain, and scorn that His sacred humanity was to endure throughout His life and during His sacred passion.”
My Divine Master revealed to me that it was His ardent desire to be known, loved and honoured by men, and His eager desire to draw them back from the road to perdition, along which Satan is driving them in countless numbers, that induced Him to manifest His Heart to men with all the treasures of love, mercy, grace, sanctification and salvation that It contains..."
In these revelations, Jesus asked that Catholics celebrate a feast in honour of the Sacred Heart and make reparation for their lack of love by receiving Holy Communion on the first Friday of each month and adoring Our Lord in the Eucharist. Our Lord promised to those who practice this devotion peace in their homes, consolation in their work, comfort in their sorrows and a secure refuge during life and at the hour of death.
Jesus also promised that everywhere the holy image of his Sacred Heart was exposed to be honored, he would pour fourth his graces and blessings.
Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
O most Holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore Thee, I love Thee, and with a lively sorrow for my sins, I offer Thee this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to Thy will. Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in Thee and for Thee. Protect me in the midst of danger; comfort me in my afflictions; give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, Thy blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Within Thy Heart I place my every care. In every need let me come to Thee with humble trust saying, ‘Heart of Jesus, help me.’ Amen.
Invocations to the Sacred Heart
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I believe in your love for me.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, may I love you more and more.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in you.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like yours.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, convert sinners, save the dying, and deliver the Holy Souls from purgatory.
Heart of Jesus, burning with love for us, set our hearts on fire with love of You.