For St. John the Evangelist this event during the Passion and Death of Christ was an example of our Lord's love for us; even after death he showed his love for us by letting stream from his side his most Precious Blood and water; a sign of his great love for the Church his beloved Spouse. Pope Pius XII writes that what is here written of the side of Christ... should also be said of the Heart. And Pope Paul VI writes that the Church was born form the pierced Heart of the Redeemer (Letter of May 25, 1965). We can see that devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a devotion to the love of Jesus Christ who gave himself up for our sins that we may be redeemed and participate in the Divine Life of the Most Holy Trinity. .
In the early seventeenth century, St. John Eudes gave great importance to the Sacred Heart devotion. He wrote a great deal on this subject and many prayers to foster holiness of life. During this period our Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary and gave her the mission to make his Sacred Heart known and loved as the fount of Mercy and Love. He gave her the promises for whoever keeps the devotion to the Sacred Heart. Our Lord appeared several times to St. Margaret Mary.
St. Margaret Mary
There are four principle apparitions which concern this devotion:
1. December 27, 1673, Feast of St. John the Evangelist. On this feast St. Margaret Mary is allowed to rest on the sacred Breast of Jesus. She is chosen to be the disciple of his Sacred Heart.
2. 1673 and 1674. The Heart alone is shown as on a throne of fire with the symbols of the Passion. Our Lord explains their meaning.
3. Within the Octave of the Feast of Corpus Christi, 1674. Jesus appears in glory with flames issuing from his sacred humanity. He shows his Heart within his Breast as the living source of these flames. He appeals for reparation and asks for frequent Communions, especially on the First Friday of the month. He asks for the Holy Hour of Reparation.
4. June 16, 1675. Referred to in the Roman Breviary as the most famous of all the apparitions. Our Lord requests the Feast of the Sacred Heart with Communion and act of reparation. He promises special graces to those who carry out His request and get others to do the same.
The Sacred Heart devotion is very important. St. Margaret Mary said that this devotion is as a last effort of our Lord's love which wishes to favour men in these last centuries with his loving redemption, in order to withdraw them from the empire of Satan, which he intends to destroy, and in order to put us under the sweet empire of his love and thus bring many souls by his saving grace to the way of eternal salvation. Jesus then said to this holy nun: “I will reign through my Heart, despite Satan and his agents... in spite of all those who oppose this devotion” So dear was this devotion to St. Margaret Mary that she wrote in a letter to another sister: “It seems to me that the great desire which our Lord has that his Sacred Heart be honoured with a special devotion, is for the purpose of renewing in the souls of men the effects of the Redemption. He wishes to make this Sacred Heart, as it were, a second Mediator between God and men, whose sins have so multiplied that it takes all his power to obtain mercy and the graces of sanctification and salvation which he longs to impart to them abundantly.
This is the essence of the devotion to the Sacred Heart: personal sanctification through Eucharistic adoration, Communion and reparation. Let us heed the invitation of Jesus. He is giving us the means to bring his Eucharistic reign back into our lives, into our cities, into our countries, into our world. Let Christ reign in our hearts. He is Lord and all power and dominion belong to him.
The promises attached to receiving Communion on the first Friday of the month for nine consecutive months are extraordinary. To receive these graces we need only fulfil our Lord's desire for this devotion:
1. Receiving Holy Communion on the first Friday of the month for nine consecutive months without skipping one otherwise we must begin again as Communions of reparation;
2. To receive Holy Communion in the state of grace and therefore;
3. To receive the sacrament of reconciliation.
Jesus promised St. Margaret Mary many graces for those who practice this devotion. He also attached to this devotion twelve promises.
1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will establish peace in their families.
3. I will bless every house in which the picture of my Heart shall be exposed and honoured.
4. I will console them in all their difficulties.
5. I will be their refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
6. I will shed abundant blessing upon all their undertakings.
7. Sinners shall find in my Heart a fountain and boundless ocean of mercy.
8. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
9. Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
10. I will give to priests the power of touching the hardest hearts.
11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in my Heart never to be blotted out.
12. I promise you, in the excessive mercy of my Heart, that my all-powerful love will grant to all who communicate on the first Friday of the month, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in my displeasure nor without their sacraments: my divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.
The promises of our Lord are very efficacious. Let us heed our Lord's invitation to this devotion and receive all the graces and benefits our Lord promised. May God bless us all as we approach the blessed feast of the Sacred Heart.
If you would like more information about our programs, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For addtional books and HMWN audio productions see: PAL's Books.