Friday, June 19 was the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is a devotion to and image of Jesus based on the private revelations of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) at Paray-le-Monial, France. There are 5 main elements to this devotion:
- Adoraton. Jesus proposed his Sacred Heart for worship as the source of love, mercy, grace, sanctification, and salvation for all, and asked that its image be honored.
- Belief in the merciful love of that heart for all.
- A generous return of love for Jesus Christ. Jesus indicated his wish for all to love him.
- Reparation. Jesus asked his faithful to love him more and more to make up for those who do not love him.
- Special love and reverence for the Blessed Sacrament.
In the early 17th century, devotion to the Sacred Heart was greatly promoted by Saint John Eudes. In 1765 the feast was approved by Rome at the request of the bishops of Poland. In 1856, Blessed Pius IX extended the feast to the universal Church.
As an acknowledgment of the sovereignty of Jesus Christ over the Christian family an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus can be enthroned in our homes in a place of honor. Father Mateo Crawley-Boevy (1875-1960), who was a priest of the Fathers of the Sacred Heart and founded the Catholic University of Valparaiso, made bringing families to the Sacred Heart of Jesus his lifelong aim. To him, the family as a social cell must be the living throne of the King of Love. Even more true today. O sweetest Heart of Jesus, I implore that I may ever love Thee more and more. (From Sacred Heart Rosary, one of several chaplets that focus on the Sacred Heart.)