Devoting ourselves to Jesus’ heart

Anyone who has attended a Catholic school will recall seeing images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on classroom walls. Along with pictures of Our Lady, most classrooms include a depiction of the Sacred Heart.

But what exactly does it mean and what is its significance today?

 

June is traditionally the month that Catholics honour the Sacred Heart, and many people attend Mass and novenas, and recite prayers. The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is officially observed on Friday.

 

The Church says the Sacred Heart is a sign of the divine and human love that Jesus has for His Father and for humankind, and also represents Jesus’ selfless act to sacrifice his human life for us.

 

Various symbols are depicted within the Sacred Heart of Jesus. They are the heart, the wounded heart, the crown of thorns, the cross, the flame, Jesus pointing to the heart and Jesus’ arms reaching outward.

 

In 1353, Pope Innocent VI started a Mass honouring the mystery of the Sacred Heart. It became more popular after a nun in France, Margaret Mary Alacoque, said she devoted herself to the Sacred Heart after she experienced a series of apparitions of Jesus between 1673 and 1675.

 

She said Jesus promised her that all those who rendered this honour to His Heart would be endowed with an abundance of heavenly graces. Jesus told her, ‘My Divine Heart is so passionately in love with humanity that it can no longer contain within itself the flames of its ardent love. It must pour them out. I have chosen you for this great plan.’

 

The Sacred Congregation of Rites recognised Sister Margaret’s heroic virtues, granting her the title ‘servant of God’ and she was canonised by Pope Benedict XV in 1920.

 

Divine Heart of Jesus,

I offer you through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,

Mother of the Church,

In union with the Eucharistic Sacrifice,

My prayers, actions, joys and sufferings of this day

In reparation for sins and for the salvation of all people,

In the grace of the Holy Spirit for the glory of the Heavenly Father.

Amen.

 

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