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The Sacred Heart of Jesus

“Behold the Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing even to exhausting and consuming itself in order to show them its love.  And in return, I received from most men only ingratitude, by their irreverences and sacrileges, and by the coldness and contempt which they show me in the sacrament of love.  But what wounds me even more deeply is that this is done by souls who are consecrated to me.”

— Jesus Christ to Saint Marguerite-Marie Alacoque of the Visitandine nuns in Paray-le-Monial, France, in June of 1675.  From Prophecies given to her by Our Lord from 1673 to 1675.

Contents

Well-known Quotes of Saint Alacoque
Quote from St. Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church
Heart of Mercy and Love
Twelve Divine Promises
Canonized and Incorrupt
More Recent Encounters
The Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary
Epilogue

[The Sacred Heart of Jesus]
Introduction[Top]

These Prophecies, even though more than 340 years old, are of great significance in God’s ongoing plan for the salvation of humanity.  They are to spiritual advancement what the invention of the calculus was to scientific advancement.  Calculus is not new or faddish.  But would you advise a math or a physics student to not learn the calculus?  Would you advise them to stick to first century math, just to be safe, because who can trust post-Biblical math?

No way.  Calculus is essential to science.  By the same token, it is not advisable to not learn concerning Jesus’ Heart.  No one who will live forever in His Kingdom will ignore His Heart!  As you must read things to learn calculus, so it is that you must read things to learn about the Heart of Jesus.  Here are some starting places:

[Saint M. Mary]The Life of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, by the Most Rev. Emile Bougaud, D.D., Bishop of Laval (1890).

[Saint M. Mary]The Autobiography of Saint Margaret Mary, by Sister Margaret Mary Alacoque (17th century).

Here I share only some of these Prophecies that are in general use.

[St. Marguerite-Marie]
Well-known Quotes of Saint Alacoque:[Top]

St. Alacoque uses the word men in reference to all of humanity.  This usage was customary from antiquity up to the latter part of the 20th century:

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. (from catholictradition.org with imprimatur)

Why would anyone think it wise to ignore this Prophecy?

[Jesus and St. Marguerite-Marie]
From St. Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church:[Top]

If the Church was a body composed of different members, it couldn’t lack the noblest of all; it must have a Heart, and a Heart BURNING WITH LOVE.  And I realized that this love alone was the true motive force which enabled the other members of the Church to act; if it ceased to function, the Apostles would forget to preach the gospel, the Martyrs would refuse to shed their blood.  LOVE, IN FACT, IS THE VOCATION WHICH INCLUDES ALL OTHERS; IT’S A UNIVERSE OF ITS OWN, COMPRISING ALL TIME AND SPACE—IT’S ETERNAL!  (St. Therese. Quoted in Catechism 826)

Another of the gospel attributes of this devotion is that it is not only for people with degrees, for the powerful or for the wealthy.  Like sacred Scripture, devotion to the Sacred Heart is for all who can accept it.

[St. Therese]
Heart of Mercy and Love:[Top]

Through her Litany Of The Sacred Heart Of Jesus, holy Church teaches that the Sacred Heart is the “Gate of Heaven”, the “treasure-house of wisdom and knowledge” and is “patient and full of mercy”.  The Sacred Heart is renowned for His divine Mercy, and this aspect alone of His Heart is the focus of an extensive and efficacious devotion, from Prophecies that He made to Saint Faustina Kowalska in the 1930’s in Poland. Our Lord appointed Saint Faustina to the office of Secretary of My Mercy, because she so faithfully recorded and lived the Prophecies that Jesus gave her, and that holy Church eventually accepted and approved for devotion to the divine Mercy.  Saint Faustina died on October 5, 1938.  About eleven months later, the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazis) started World War II by invading Poland, the nation of which St. Faustina was a citizen.  Holy Church beatified Saint Faustina in 1993, and canonized her in 2000.

[St. Faustina]
Twelve Divine Promises:[Top]
  • I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life.
  • I will give peace in their families.
  • I will console them in all their troubles.
  • They shall find in my heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
  • I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
  • Sinners shall find in my heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.
  • Tepid souls shall become fervent.
  • Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
  • I will bless the homes in which the image of my Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored.
  • I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
  • Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in my heart and it shall never be effaced.
  • The all-powerful love of my Heart will grant to all those who shall receive communion on the first Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; my heart shall be their assured refuge at the last hour.

Jesus made twelve Promises to those who practice devotion, as revealed to Saint Alacoque, to His Sacred Heart.  The list at left is from uCatholic.  Our Lord is serious about His Promises.

We observe the Feast of the Sacred Heart on the Friday after Corpus Christi Sunday. In 2019, that is June 29.

Canonized and Incorrupt:[Top]

Saint Alacoque died on October 17, 1690.  In 1765, Clement XIII approved the devotion that Our Lord gave to the world through her.  She officially became Saint Alacoque when Benedict XV canonized her in 1920.  The faithful still venerate her relics, which (according to Matthew Savage) were incorrupt in 1830:

When her tomb was canonically opened in July 1830, two instantaneous cures were recorded to have taken place.  Her incorrupt body rests under the altar in the chapel at Paray-le-Monial, and many striking blessings have been claimed by pilgrims attracted there from all parts of the world (Matthew Savage blog).

The Rev. de la Colombiére (Saint Alacoque’s confessor) also was beatified and canonized: “On the 16th of June 1929 ... Pius XI beatified Claude La Colombiére, whose charism, according to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, was that of bringing souls to God along the gospel way of love and mercy which Christ revealed to us” (The Vatican).

“He [The Rev. de la Colombiére] was ... canonized by ... John-Paul II on May 31st, 1992.  The Church in fact remembers [him] in its liturgy on February 15th” (translated from the French at Blog du Diacre Michel Houyoux).

[The Rev. de la ColombiƩre]
More Recent Encounters:[Top]

The Sacred Heart is constantly at work in human souls.  If you have a plausible testimony that you would like posted here, please email it to me.  Here are two examples:

The Sacred Heart converts Frederica Mathewes-Green (then a practicing Hindu) to belief in Him, June 20, 1974.

The Sacred Heart appears to Maria Esperanza: Modern day mystic.

[St. Gertrude]
Saint Gertrude.  1256 - 1302.
The Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary:[Top]

Centuries before 1672, St. Gertrude practiced devotion to the Sacred Heart.  So did St. Catherine of Siena, a Doctor of the Church and patroness of the Vicar of Christ.

Before any of them, Our Lady was devoted to the Sacred Heart of her Son, Jesus.  At Calvary, a Roman soldier pierced the Sacred Heart with a lance, instead of breaking His legs, because He was already dead.  That was partly to fulfill Prophecies (cf. John 19:30-37).  Also at Calvary, Our Lady’s Heart was pierced with a sword.  This was to fulfill the Prophecy of Simeon: “And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed.” (cf. Luke 2:25-38).  According to Belgian mystic Berthe Petit (1870 - 1943), Jesus gave our Lady the title Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.  The Prophecies given to Berthe Petit were circa World War I.

Because our Lord established devotion to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, it is an authentic addition to devotion to His Sacred Heart.

[Our Lady]
Our Lady of Ollignies

In 2019, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles takes precedence over the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday, June 29, the Saturday after Corpus Christi Sunday.

Epilogue[Top]

Through all the years of devotion to His Sacred Heart, our Lord has kept alive faith not only in His Parousia, but also in His Goodness.  It is important to perservere in faith in His Goodness, because of all of the evils of the age.  Some, by meditating on evils, have ceased believing in the Goodness of God.  The Sacred Heart and the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart can prevent this decrementing of faith, and can even restore faith wherein it has been decremented.

In these Prophecies, we see that our Lord wants good things for us, not evil.  His Intention is to “... withdraw them from the empire of Satan ... and thus to introduce them into the sweet liberty of the rule of His love ...” (St. Alacoque).  Them is us.  It reminds me of His Goodness toward those whom He had afflicted:

For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of affliction, to give you an end and patience. And you shall call upon me, and you shall go. and you shall pray to me, and I will hear you. You shall seek me, and shall find me: when you shall seek me with all your heart. And I will be found by you, saith the Lord: and I will bring back your captivity, and I will gather you out of all nations, and from all the places to which I have driven you out, saith the Lord: and I will bring you back from the place to which I caused you to be carried away captive.  (Jeremias 29:11-14)

To those who believe that Jesus suffered once at Calvary for our sins, that He suffers no more now that He is in Heaven, and that these sacred Prophecies must therefore be false, I reply that Jesus is God; He allows and disallows not according to human doctrines, but according to the one Will of the blessed Trinity.  It may be a mystery why He chooses to yet suffer on account of us mortals, but the idea that God would suffer for mortals has always been difficult to believe.  The Twelve did not understand that He would be executed, even though He repeatedly revealed to them that He would be (cf. Mark 8:30-33, Mark 9:30-31, Luke 9:44-45, Luke 18:31-34).  Some professing faith in God yet refuse to believe in Jesus, specifically because He suffered to be tortured and executed at the hands of mere mortals.  So, perhaps it should not surprise me that some today believe that He does not suffer on account of the sins of us mortals.  If you believe that either He or His holy mother no longer suffer on account of mortals, you are mistaken; you are misled in this matter by defective doctrine.  The quote at right from the Book of Hebrews demonstrates that sinners cause suffering to Jesus.  Apostasy from Christianity crucifies Him, and holds Him up to contempt.
______________________________________

Michael Kaarhus updates this article.
Most recent update: March 20, 2019.

For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they then commit apostasy, since they crucify the Son of God on their own account and hold him up to contempt.  (Hebrews 6:4-6)
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