Our Lady was created actually “Full of Grace” as the Archangel Gabriel declared at the Annunciation, meaning that her soul was literally adorned with all of the virtues at the moment of her conception, as well as the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit. This fullness of grace is said to emanate from the center of her being, that is, her heart, understood both physically and spiritually. It is Mary’s heart, in its unspoiled created perfection, that is the source and wellspring of her purity . . . therefore her heart is called Immaculate.
This beautiful prayer of consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was written by St. Margaret Mary Alocoque (1647-1690), the French nun and mystic who promulgated the Sacred Heart devotion, in a letter of spiritual direction to a fellow religious sister, Sister Felice-Madeleine de la Barge, at the Moulins monastery in France.
Each year on June 22nd we celebrate the feast day of two notable Catholic saints and martyrs: Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher. It’s fitting that these two men share a feast day, because they were both righteous Englishmen martyred within two weeks of each other, for the same cause, on the same occasion, and at the hands of the same man.
It is the heart of Jesus that was pierced on the cross for our redemption; not just for all mankind in general, but for each person in particular. This popular litany honors and praises that Sacred Heart which suffered and died out of inexpressible love for each one of us.
Happy Father’s Day to all of you fathers! Now more than ever, our world is in great need of strong, loving dads who are present to their family with a loving heart. Fatherhood is a holy responsibility, because it is a reflection of God the Father. Men are called to lead and serve their families, and to pray for them—an important and beautiful task! Here is a prayer that a father can say daily for his family.
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, historically known by its Latin name, Corpus Christi, celebrates the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist—Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. It is traditionally celebrated on the Thursday following the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity. The feast dates to the Middle Ages and originated with a visionary nun and a Eucharistic miracle.
Today is the feast day of one of the most popular and loved saints of the Catholic church, Saint Anthony of Padua. St. Anthony of Padua was the fastest canonized saint in Church history, taking place a mere 11 months after his death. In 1946 he was proclaimed a doctor of the Church. St. Anthony was a Franciscan friar who lived during the lifetime of the founder of the Franciscan order, St. Francis of Assisi.
This hymn is traditionally sung in the liturgy for the feast of Pentecost, and other occasions when the Holy Spirit is solemnly invoked. The Veni, Creator Spiritus is also the official opening prayer for Church councils and synods.
Yesterday’s Sacred Heart blog post discussed the very rich and interesting history of the Sacred Heart devotion. This second installment will discuss its relationship to other Catholic devotions closely connected with it, namely the Divine Mercy, Eucharistic Adoration, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has its roots all the way back to the time of the Apostles, and arguably even before this in the Song of Songs penned by Solomon. St. John the Evangelist is the Apostle associated with the Sacred Heart devotion because, one, he was known as the disciple whom Jesus loved; two, he was called the “Apostle of Love” due to the theme of love repeated in his Gospel and epistles; and three, because he had the special privilege of reclining on the chest of Jesus at the Last Supper.