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What is the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus?

This is a moveable feast that honors the Sacred Heart. In 1675, Jesus told St. Margaret Mary that He wanted the Feast of the Sacred Heart to be celebrated on the Friday after the Corpus Christi octave. In 1856, the Feast of the Sacred Heart became a universal feast.

St. John Paul II, a great devotee of the Sacred Heart, said, “This feast reminds us of the mystery of the love of God for the people of all times.”

In 2022, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 24.


What is the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus?

The Heart is the symbol of human love. This Catholic devotion honors the Sacred Heart of Our Lord, through which was manifested to us God’s eternal love for everyone. “God is Love” (1 John 4:8), and so in honoring the human expression of that Love, especially on the Cross, we honor Its Divine Source.

Why is the Sacred Heart important?

St. John Paul II said, “The Sacred Heart has given us everything — redemption, salvation, sanctification.” The Sacred Heart is the actual heart of Christ and also indicates His love for humanity. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “The prayer of the Church venerates and honors the Heart of Jesus just as it invokes his most holy name. It adores the incarnate Word and his Heart which, out of love for men, he allowed to be pierced by our sins.” (CCC 2669)

“In the Sacred Heart every treasure of wisdom and knowledge is hidden. In that Divine Heart beats God’s infinite love for everyone, for each one of us individually.” – St. John Paul II

What is the history of the Sacred Heart devotion?

The foundation for the Sacred Heart devotion began in early Christianity. Sacred Scripture, particularly the New Testament, mentions the love of God many times, and the Church Fathers discuss God’s love as well. In the eleventh century, Christians often meditated on the Five Wounds of Jesus, and the specific devotion to the Sacred Heart came from this meditation. St. Gertrude the Great, who had private revelations regarding the Sacred Heart, helped further the understanding of Jesus’ Sacred Heart in the late 13th-century. Several centuries later, in 1670, St. John Eudes celebrated the first Feast of the Sacred Heart. In 1673, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French Visitation nun, received her own revelations, in which Jesus explained His love for all people, even allowing St. Margaret to lay her head on His Heart, as He had also allowed St. Gertrude to do. He asked that Catholics receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays of the month and adore Him in the Holy Eucharist. In 1675, Jesus told St. Margaret that He wanted an annual feast in honor of His Sacred Heart. In 1856, Blessed Pope Pius IX designated that the Feast of the Sacred Heart would be celebrated universally on the Friday after the Corpus Christi octave each year.

“If I cannot see the brilliance of your Face or hear your sweet voice, O my God, I can live by your grace, I can rest on your Sacred Heart!” – St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Why is Jesus’ Heart on fire?

Jesus told St. Margaret Mary, “My Sacred Heart is so intense in its love for men, and for you in particular, that not being able to contain within it the flames of its ardent charity, they must be transmitted through all means.” St. Gertrude the Great said, “O Sacred Heart of Jesus, fountain of eternal life, Your Heart is a glowing furnace of Love. You are my refuge and my sanctuary. O my adorable and loving Savior, consume my heart with the burning fire with which Yours is aflame. Pour down on my soul those graces which flow from Your love. Let my heart be united with Yours. Let my will be conformed to Yours in all things. May Your Will be the rule of all my desires and actions. Amen.”

Why does Jesus point to His Heart?

In Sacred Heart imagery, Jesus usually points to His Heart. This is to indicate His eternal love for each one of us.

What is the First Friday devotion?

Jesus Himself started the First Friday devotion. The last of twelve Sacred Heart Promises, He said, “I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. My divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment."