June is the month of the year that the Catholic Church dedicates to Sacred Heart of Jesus. But just what does a devotion to the Sacred Heart mean? Here are eight facts to get your month started right.
1. A devotion to the Sacred Heart includes twelve promises
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus comes with twelve promises. These include everything from a quick ascent to perfection all the way to a blessing upon every place where an image of Christ’s Sacred Heart is exposed.
2. The Sacred Heart is “part of the mainline of our faith.”
Father William G. Most writes for EWTN and said, “Without that Divine Love we would not exist at all, nor would we have been redeemed. For to love is to will good to another for the other’s sake.” God will and loves us into existence with his Sacred Heart, so devotion to the heart of Christ is intertwined within our faith as Catholics.
3. Devotion to the Sacred Heart is a devotion like no other.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart is different than a devotion to your patron saint, guardian angel or favorite martyr. In fact, as Father Most points out, to honor the love of God is the very heart of our faith.
4. The entire world is dedicated to the Sacred Heart.
In 1899, Pope Leo XIII consecrated the entire world to the devotion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He said, “For we, in dedicating ourselves, not only recognize and accept His rule explicitly and freely, but we actually testify that if that which we give were ours, we would most willingly give it, and we ask Him to graciously accept from us that very thing, even though it is already His.”
5. The Sacred Heart beat inside the chest of St. Lutgarde
In the 1200s, St. Lutgarde was visited in a vision by Christ Himself. During the vision, Christ offered St. Lugarde whatever she wished. She requested a simple gift: to understand the Latin language better so that she could worship Christ in a more full way. The grace of learning was given to her, but St. Lutgarde returned to Christ feeling empty and requested a gift exchange of sorts. Christ asked what He could replace the gift with and St. Lutgarde requested Christ’s heart. So Christ reached into Lutgarde’s chest, removed her heart and replaced it with His own Sacred Heart.
6. The Mass of the Sacred Heart has been around since 1353.
Pope Innocent VI instituted a Mass that honored the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1353 AD. The most recent affirmation of this devotion came from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, when in 2006, he re-affirmed the devotion in a letter to Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach,
Superior General of the Society of Jesus.
7. You can consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque received visions of the Sacred Heart. She also was inspired to write the prayer of consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which one can pray to dedicate their life to the heart of Christ.
8. Saint Pope John Paul II calls the devotion necessary.
Saint Pope John Paul II spoke extensively during his papacy about the importance of the new evangelization in the life of the Catholic Church. He wrote: “The Heart of Christ must be recognized as the heart of the Church: It is He who calls us to conversion, to reconciliation. It is He who leads pure hearts and those hungering for justice along the way of the Beatitudes. It is He who achieves the warm communion of the members of the one Body. It is He who enables us to adhere to the Good News and to accept the promise of eternal life. It is He who sends us out on mission. The heart-to-heart with Jesus broadens the human heart on a global scale.”