Resources for the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Texts to help live the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, celebrated this Friday, 7 June.

Detail of the painting ‘Allegory of the Sacred Heart’ by Federico Laorga, which is in the Sanctuary of Torreciudad.

History of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

In 1670, the French priest Father Jean Eudes celebrated the first feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. However, the spread of public worship of the Heart of Jesus has its origin in the mystical revelations that Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque began to experience in Paray-le-Monial, France, from 1673 until her death in 1690.

Saint Claude de la Colombière, Saint Margaret Mary’s spiritual director, and Fathers John Croisset and Joseph de Galliffe, who wrote the first treatises on the Sacred Heart, were among the first to promote this devotion.

Saint Margaret's main aspiration was the papal approval of the public worship of the Heart of Jesus. However, it was necessary to wait until the pontificate of Pope Clement XIII in 1765 for its approval. On July 21, 1899, Pope Leo XIII urgently recommended that all the bishops of the world observe the feast in their dioceses.

1. Finding Peace in the Heart of Jesus: a homily on the feast of the Sacred Heart

“Let us realize all the richness hidden in the words "the sacred heart of Jesus." When we speak of a person's heart, we refer not just to his sentiments, but to the whole person in his loving dealings with others. In order to help us understand divine things, Scripture uses the expression "heart" in its full human meaning, as the summary and source, expression and ultimate basis, of one's thoughts, words and actions. A man is worth what his heart is worth…”

2. Gospel Commentary for the Gospel of the Mass for this solemnity

“These words invite us to be surprised again by God’s Love: where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Therefore, as we contemplate Christ crucified, giving his life for us, with his opened side and pierced Heart, we can state without fear of being wrong that we are God’s treasure.”

3. Meditation for prayer on this feast

“Christ’s heart is always waiting for us to return. All we need to do is to become small and enter there through humility. And if we ever find it hard to begin on our way back to Him, we can rely on Mary’s help. With motherly concern, our Lady shows us the best path to enter the open side of her Son.”

4. God’s Tenderness: Reflections on His Mercy

A free ebook containing 8 articles on mercy: “The longing for the Father’s house is a longing for God’s nearness, for divine mercy (...). Jesus is the extension of the arms and heart of the Father: he welcomed the prodigal son and washed his dirty feet; he prepared the banquet for the feast of forgiveness.”

5. Message from the Prelate (19 June 2020)

Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz invites us to ask our Lord for a heart like His, so that we can bring peace to those around us: “Amid all the comings and goings of daily life, Jesus wants us to have an authentic peace, serenity and rest. And He shows us the path to attain it: identifying ourselves ever more closely with Him, with the humility and gentleness of his heart.”