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.
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.
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.
On the final day of May, the Month of Mary, we celebrate the Feast of the Visitation. I’ve always found this feast day (which is also the Second Joyful Mystery of the Holy Rosary) a really fun one. One of the ways I like to look at the Feast of the Visitation—apart from its profound theological significance—is at its simple, human level. This is a feast day when we remember two expectant mothers who came together to celebrate their divinely-heralded (and surprise) pregnancies, and to share with each other their merriment and joy. How fun!
May 30 is the feast day of St. Joan of Arc (1412 – 1431), patroness of France and patroness of soldiers. While she lived, St. Joan of Arc was one of the Church’s most misunderstood saints both within and without the Church. As a young peasant girl of 13 she received visions of St. Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret telling her to help the King of France reconquer his kingdom, which at that time was being threatened by England.
According to tradition, towards the end of her life the Blessed Virgin moved from Jerusalem to Ephesus (in modern-day Turkey). No longer able to retrace the steps of her Son’s passion where they actually occurred, she set up an identical Stations of the Cross on her property using stones and markings. This became the first devotional Stations of the Cross. This is described in detail by Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich according to her visions.
May 22 is the feast day of St. Rita, an Augustinian nun from 14th century Cascia, Italy. She is the patroness of impossible causes and hopeless circumstances because of her difficult and disappointing life. Through her trials God used her in remarkable ways, not only while she lived, but now from heaven she assists those who plead for her intercession for their own seemingly impossible and hopeless circumstances.
This beautiful prayer is attributed to St. Brendan the Navigator (484-577 A.D.), also known as St. Brendan the Voyager, an ancient Irish monk, abbot, sailor, and explorer. He is the patron saint of mariners, sailors, travelers, and the U.S. Navy. His feast day is May 16th.