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What You Didn't Know About the Sacred Heart of Jesus: Part 2

Jun 03, 2017 By Gretchen Filz

Part One of What You Didn't Know About the Sacred Heart of Jesus 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 devotion, Eucharistic Adoration, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Connection with the Divine Mercy

On the cross after Jesus died, the centurion thrust his spear through Jesus' side and into his heart. We know this because blood and water (probably pericardial fluid) flowed out of this wound. In the Divine Mercy image revealed to St. Faustina, the red and white rays signify the blood and water which flowed from the side of Jesus at the point of the centurion's spear, that is, out of his heart.

What you didn't know about the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

 

In the Diary of Faustina Kowalska, Jesus explained the meaning of the revealed image to St. Faustina,

"The two rays denote Blood and Water. The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls.... These two rays issued forth from the very depths of My tender mercy when My agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross."

The Divine Mercy devotion focuses on the infinite and generous mercy of Jesus as he willingly gave himself up to reconcile us to God the Father. And in the quote above we see that this Divine Mercy is closely connected with his Sacred Heart, because it is from his great love that his infinite mercy pours out, just as it was due to the piercing of his heart on the cross that his blood and water poured out.

In addition to this physical wound, devotion to Jesus' Sacred Heart is also about the wound of love Christ endures in giving himself up completely and being often rejected or ignored by the ungratefulness of men.

Connection with the Eucharist

The Sacred Heart of Jesus devotion is also closely connected with devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. In the revelations of the Sacred Heart to St. Gertrude and St. Margaret Mary, Jesus shows that the Sacred Heart is more than a symbol used to represent his love; his Sacred Heart is also his real heart of flesh. The object of the Sacred Heart of Jesus devotion thus became connected with a devotion to the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament; that is, his soul and divinity, and his body and blood. The real, physical Sacred Heart of Jesus is made present to us in the Eucharist!

Last Supper Holy Eucharist Prayer Card

Many Eucharistic miracles attest to this fact. On several occasions a consecrated host that has been the subject of a Eucharist miracle (that is, appearing as blood and human tissue to the naked eye) has been scientifically analyzed. You can read stories of the many Eucharistic Miracles here.

In one instance, the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano, the flesh is cardiac tissue with an AB blood type! When we are adoring the Real Presence of Jesus during Eucharistic Adoration, and receiving Holy Communion at Mass, we are adoring and consuming the real flesh and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus' Sacred Heart, given up in love for our salvation. This is simply profound!

Connection with the Immaculate Heart of Mary

The Sacred Heart is also tied to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is no coincidence that the feast day of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the day following the Sacred Heart feast day. Because Mary is Jesus' mother, Jesus received his human nature from her. That is, Jesus received his flesh and blood, including the organ of his heart, from Mary. Even more profoundly is the connection of Mary's heart with the heart of Jesus during the Passion.

The Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart

When Mary presented Jesus in the temple after his birth, Simeon revealed to her that because of Jesus' sufferings, “a sword will pierce through your own soul also” (Luke 2:35). Her suffering would be intimately connected to the suffering of Jesus on the cross.

It is for this reason that the image of the Miraculous Medal revealed by Mary to St. Catherine Laboure has the letter “M” at the foot of the cross and entwined with it, below which is the image of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart side by side. From the moment of the Annunciation through the Passion and into eternity, Mary is a special creature intimately connected to Jesus with a unique role to play in the salvation of mankind. Read more about the connection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Eucharist here.

 

The Miraculous Medal

Particular Devotions to the Sacred Heart

St. Gertrude the Great, St. Mechtilde, St. Clare, St. Catherine of Sienna, St. Aloysius Gonzaga, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, and Pope John Paul II, to name a few, are saints who had a particular devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. These saints wanted to have a heart like His. Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus includes prayer, frequent Holy Communion, visits to the Blessed Sacrament in the Tabernacle or monstrance, and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Blessed Virgin Mary.

In addition there are the particular devotions revealed specifically to St. Margaret Mary for widespread devotion in the universal Church: The Sacred Heart Feast Day, The First Friday Devotion, and the veneration of an image of the Sacred Heart. With these devotions Jesus eagerly awaits to shower us with special graces.

The Sacred Heart Feast Day

Jesus asked St. Margaret Mary for a special feast day in honor of His Sacred Heart. He specifically asked for this feast day to fall on the Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi, which is the feast dedicated to the body and blood of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. His words were,

"I demand that the First Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi be set apart for a special feast to honor My Heart; that, on this day, reparation be made to It with special solemnity, that the faithful receive Holy Communion in reparation for the indignities which It has received on the altars; and I promise that My Heart will expand to pour out in abundance the treasures of Divine love on those who render It this honor.”

The first feast of the Sacred Heart took place in 1670 in France, and at the request of the French bishops the Sacred Heart feast day was extended to the universal Church in 1856 by Pope Pius IX. It is celebrated on the Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi, as requested by Jesus.

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque painting

The First Friday Devotion

In addition to the annual Sacred Heart feast day, the First Friday devotion is also reserved for special devotion the Sacred Heart of Jesus in reparation for the sins of mankind towards Jesus' loving heart. Jesus promised special graces to those who attend Mass on the first Friday of every month for nine consecutive months. His words to St. Margaret Mary were,

"I promise you, in the excessive mercy of My Heart, that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday of nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their Sacraments, My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment."

All of these special promises of Jesus for those with a special devotion to His Sacred Heart can be found in the book penned by St. Margaret Mary called The Letters of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.

Read more What Are the First Friday and First Saturday Devotions?

sacred-heart-jesus-figure-1025-inch-2007582

The Sacred Heart Enthronement

After revealing to St. Margaret Mary the image of his Sacred Heart (which is a heart surrounded by the crown of thorns, with flames of love and a cross just above it), Jesus promised even more graces to those who would keep and venerate the image in their home. Jesus promised St. Margaret Mary Alacoque that,

"I will bless the home in which the image of my Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored."

Buy an image or statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus here and be sure to have it blessed and give it a place of honor in your home with a special “enthronement” ceremony. The Sacred Heart enthronement ceremony is a wonderful way to bring the love of Jesus into your heart, your marriage, and your family.

Additionally, Jesus gave 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus devotion to those who faithfully do so.

After all of this information, hopefully you will have a new and deeper appreciation for the depth and richness of Jesus' love for us, and the great graces he bestows on us through our simple and humble devotion to Him. Hopefully when you received Holy Communion this weekend, your love for the heart of Jesus will grow as you appreciate in a deeper way this great gift of Himself he gives to us in the Blessed Sacrament. He does not want our hearts for God, for others, and for heaven to grow cold, so he provides a way for our hearts to burn just like His!

Do you have a special devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus? If show, please share with our readers below what this devotion has done in your life!

The Very Interesting History of Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus - what you didn't know - Part 2

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This article has been updated and was originally published on June 15, 2012 © The Catholic Company

 

Comments

David m Lopez
David m Lopez "Dido" says
Sep 27 2018 3:03PM
First an foremost my heart i lift up with spirit an soul to the one whom seeks my pain an sorrow the tears of my heart that may appear as water is the offering of my true essence of understanding that was brought to my kindled heart of purifying fire that feeds the souls connected to our heavenly father our creator and guidance of his son jesus christ as we long for his promises and awakening of understanding the love of our father our sacred heart of fire in jesus christ has brought to me an all whom truly believe an long for your coming to our eternal after to continue the battle and fight of the heart his" O" so blessed and holy mercy has brought truely Love an forgiveness upon the earth and teaching of true forgiveness and Destiny's Holy will we seek to long the learning and exception of your son the savior of all as his presence is brought forth upon the air we breathe to guide us to our promises of eternal life after death with his exception of our faith truth and justice of ones heart we thank you we love and offer our forgiveness to be in your forgiveness of our mistakes and free will of life on earth

Dispite our negative hearts an un understanding of the voice of truth the healing hands of the universe and creation of humanity is upon us to nourishment of our roots food and water were so blessed to have in this fight thats already been conquered by the the" O" so brave and courageous heart of Christ Jesus Amen So be it.....David M Lopez
Hello Marie!

There is not a lot of written history about the novena; it appears to date back at least 120 years, and possibly originated in Ireland. I'm not sure that there's an official significance of the 15 times, but this is not the only place where we see a devotion that includes praying a prayer 15 times a day - for example, in the Angelic Warfare Confraternity members pray 15 Hail Marys a day for the intention of chastity of body and heart in oneself and the world.

You can pray the prayers all at once or spread them throughout the day; which ever helps you most!

As well, there are many testimonies in these comments with prayers answered.
T.Ungar
T.Ungar says
Jun 28 2018 11:34PM
Thanks! Sometimes you get a glimpse of how life ought to be if everybody knew how much they’re loved and forgiven. I work in a hospital and after hours of confinement under neon lights, you wonder, how many people still have a glimpse of Christ in their patients. Seeing pain, are we desensitized? Or is it that people have become experts at hiding their pain, lest anybody stop to help. Either way, it’s Crist who is neglected, forgotten, or mentioned in vain, even cursed by doctors like me. How unfortunate we are, coming so close, and not recognizing Him.
Brandy Smith
Brandy Smith says
Jun 6 2018 9:49AM
I believe that anyone who has lost a childshould appeal to the immaculate heart of Mary. She Can give comfort to another mother as no one else can. Our blessed mother has given me comfort and saved me from giving myself over to grief. Her immaculate heart is everything to me.

And yet she continually directs me to her son as their hearts are so intertwined. As you so beautifully show in your article. THANK YOU for this beautiful slice of sacred heart education.
Glen
Glen says
Sep 4 2017 5:32PM
Thank you! Reading this reaffirms my own work in Catholic youth ministry and passion for life.

God bless

Yours in Christ
Anne Ontario Canada
Anne Ontario Canada says
Jun 14 2017 3:52PM
Gretchen...Thank you so much for making all these connections that clarify so many tenants of our faith. I loved this article and I intend to share it with many others,

I have had a devotion to The Divine Mercy & St Faustina for many

years and I try to spread that Devotion to others through the

3 O'clock Chaplet & for the sick & dying.

Also the Novena especially from Good Friday to the Feast of Divine Mercy.

I just finished a Parish training following Father Michael Gaitley's .33 days to Merciful Love which ended just before the Feast of the Divine Mercy.

Through the eyes of St.Therese of Lisieux the little flower & " The Little Way" which I recommend that every parish offer this Training with Ft. Michael's videos & Book & work book for group leaders. It opens ones mind to how we as "little people can dare to strive to be a saint" and promotes a Consecration to Divine Mercy.

Gretchen.... Your knowledge of your Catholic faith shines through as a strong defender of your love of the doctrines of the Church. I look forward to seeking out more of your writings. Do you have book on apologetic's of the catholic faith or any you would recommend? I really enjoyed this article. Thank you,
Deidra Gibson
Deidra Gibson says
Jun 2 2017 10:57AM
I practiced the first Friday devotion when I was in college and after. I was praying for a husband. I prayed for many years. In 1990, I met my wonderful husband. We have been married for 26 years and have 5 sons. I still practice the first Friday devotion.
Maurice Sim
Maurice Sim says
Jun 2 2016 10:57PM
Awesome. The Sacred Heart of Jesus have truly shown me numerous ways to serve the hearts of the terminally ill, the poor, marginally poor, the abandoned in my daily living. It is through the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate heart of Mary who have blessed both my spouse and I with Divine strength, knowledge, wisdom and mercy that we are able to do corporeal works of mercy.
María de Jesus
María de Jesus says
Jun 1 2016 5:27PM
I give thanks to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Sacred Heart of Mary for Their Love to mankind.

Thank you to you Gretchen to display your knowledge to all of us.
Nicholas
Nicholas says
Jun 13 2015 8:31AM
Beautiful article, Gretchen. Thank you so much!
Brian Alarie
Brian Alarie says
Jun 12 2015 3:59PM
Thank you. I was Googling The Sacred Heart of Jesus and was having a hard time understanding it and getting its depth. Your article really cleared it up and put it in terms that I could understand. As a result, my devotion to all things mentioned here grew immensely. I feel so blessed.
Thank you so much for leaving a comment Brian, so glad to hear that this post has been beneficial for you!
Virginia Patino
Virginia Patino says
Jun 15 2012 10:43PM
Praise the Lord, Gretchen,
You have made a comprehensive info on the
devotions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I am
regularly praying the Novenas to the Sacred Heart and to the Divine Mercy.
I love Jesus and I pray that more and more people will realize how important it is to love Him Who loved us first and with an everlasting love.
May more and more people avail of the holy presence of the Lord in the Adoration Chapel.
Thank you for your goo work.
God bless.
Virginia
Thank you, Virginia!

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Commentary by

Gretchen Filz Gretchen Filz

Gretchen is a Lay Dominican with a passion for fostering an increase in Catholic faith and devotion through content writing and journalism. She works as a digital content writer, creator, and marketer for The Catholic Company. In addition to blogging at GetFed.com, she is also editor of the MorningOffering.com daily devotional email and author at GoodCatholic.com. She holds an M.A. in Christian Apologetics and converted to the Catholic Church in 2011. She is also active in R.C.I.A., pro-life work, and various faith-based web projects.

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