Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Friday, 27 June 2014

Feast Of The Sacred Heart Of Jesus. The Friday After The Octave Of Corpus Christi.

Text taken from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal or, where indicated, 
      Abbot Gueranger's "The Liturgical Year".

Images from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
      unless otherwise stated.

Feast of The Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi.

Double of the First Class with Privileged Octave of the Third Order.

White Vestments.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus
with Saint Ignatius of Loyola and 
Saint Louis Gonzaga (circa 1770).
Artist: José de Páez, Mexico, 1727-1790.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Annum Sacrum

Annum Sacrum (meaning Holy Year) is an encyclical by Pope Leo XIII on the consecration of the entire world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was delivered in Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome on the 25th day of May, 1899, the twenty-second year of his pontificate.

The consecration in the encyclical entered new theological territory by consecrating non-Christians. The encyclical, and the consecration, were influenced by two letters written to the Pope by Sister Mary of the Divine Heart, who stated that, in visions of Jesus Christ, she had been told to request the consecration.

The encyclical includes the Prayer of Consecration to the Sacred Heart, composed by Leo XIII.

English: Coat-of-Arms of Pope Leo XIII.
Français: Armoiries du pape Léon XIII : D'azur au cyprès de sinople planté sur une plaine de même accompagné au francs quartier d'une comête d'or et en pointe de deux flaurs de lys d'argent, à la fasce d'argent brochant sur le tout.
Date: 11 August 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: Odejea.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Protestantism, in the 16th-Century, and Jansenism, in the 17th-Century, had attempted to spoil one of the essential dogmas of Christianity, namely, the love of God for all men.

It became necessary that the Spirit of Love, which directs the Church, should by some new means counteract the spreading heresy, in order that the Spouse of Christ, far from seeing her love for Jesus diminish, should feel it always increasing.

This was made manifest in Catholic worship, which is the sure rule of our faith, by the institution of the Feast of The Sacred Heart.

Yet, in early-Middle-Ages, the Doctors and Saints used to see, in the wound of Jesus' side, the source of all graces. Saint Bonaventure invites us "to enter this wound and to dwell in the quiet of this Heart" (Third Nocturn).

English: Saint John Eudes, 1673.
Nederlands: Portret Jean Eudes ca. 1673 -
publiek domein, ouderdom.
Source: Transferred from nl.wikipedia
Author: Original uploader was Besednjak at nl.wikipedia
(Wikimedia Commons)

Jean Eudes (14 November 1601 - 19 August 1680) was a French missionary, founder of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary and of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge, and author of the Propers for Mass and the Divine Office of The Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

The two Benedictine Virgins, Saint Gertrude and Saint Mechtilde, in the 13th-Century, had a clear vision of the grandeur of the devotion to The Sacred Heart. Saint John the Evangelist, appearing to Saint Gertrude, announced to her that "the meaning of the blessed beating of the Heart of Jesus, which he had heard whilst his head rested on His breast, was reserved for the latter times, when the world, grown old and cold in Divine Love, would require to have its fervour renewed by means of this mystery of burning love".

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
contemplating the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Santa Margherita Maria Alacoque
Contempla il Sacro Cuore di Gesù.
Św. Małgorzata Maria Alacoque adoruje Najświętsze Serce Jezusa.
Artist: Giaquito Corrado.
Date: 1765.
(Wikimedia Commons)

This Heart, say these two Saints, is an altar on which Christ offers Himself to the Father as a perfect and most acceptable victim. It is a golden censer from which rise, towards the Father, as many clouds of incense as there are kinds of men for whom Christ suffered.

In this Heart, the praise and thanks we give to God and all our good works are ennobled and become acceptable to the Father.

But, in order to make this worship public and recognised, Providence first raised up Saint John Eudes, who, in 1670, composed an Office and a Mass of The Sacred Heart for the so-called Congregation of the Eudists.

Providence then chose one of the spiritual daughters of Saint Francis of Sales, Saint Margaret-Mary Alacoque, to whom Jesus showed His Heart at Paray-le-Monial, on 16 June 1675, the Sunday after Corpus Christi, and asked her to institute a Feast of The Sacred Heart on the Friday following the Octave of Corpus Christi.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus,
(Sacro cuore di Jesu),
painting on the Altar in the Northern Side Chapel
of Il Gesu, in Rome, circa 1767,
by Pompeo Batoni.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Lastly, God employed, for the propagation of this devotion, Blessed Claude de la Colombiere. He belonged to the Company of Jesus, "the whole of which inherited his zeal in the propagation of the devotion to The Sacred Heart" [the quoted portion is from Dom Gueranger's "The Liturgical Year, Volume 10, Book 1: The Feast of The Sacred Heart"].

[Dom Gueranger writes, in the above tome, on The Feast of The Sacred Heart of Jesus: "A new ray of light shines today in the heaven of Holy Church, and its light brings warmth. The Divine Master given to us by our Redeemer, that is, the Paraclete Spirit, who has come down into this world, continues His teachings to us in the Sacred Liturgy. The earliest of these, His Divine Teachings, was the Mystery of the Trinity; and we have worshipped the Blessed Three: We have been taught Whom God is, we know Him in His own nature, we have been admitted, by faith, into the sanctuary of the infinite Essence.

Image of Prosper Gueranger
by Claude-Ferdinand Gaillard (1874).
Date: 2007-05-07 (original upload date).
Source: Transfered from en.wikipedia
Author: Original uploader was Ikanreed at en.wikipedia
(Wikimedia Commons)

"Then, this Spirit, the mighty wind of Pentecost, opened to our Souls new aspects of the truth, which it is His mission to make the world remember; and His revelation left us prostrate before the Sacred Host, the Memorial which God Himself has left us of all His wonderful works.

"Today, it is the Sacred Heart of the Word made flesh that this Holy Spirit puts before us, that we may know and love and adore it."]

In 1765, Pope Clement XIII, gave his approbation to the Feast and the Office of The Sacred Heart, and, in 1856, Pope Pius IX, extended it to the universal Church. In 1929, Pope Pius XI composed a new Mass and Office for this Feast and gave it a Privileged Octave of the Third Order.

The Solemnity of The Sacred Heart sums up all the phases of the life of Jesus, recalled in the Liturgy from Advent to the Feast of Corpus Christi.

It constitutes an admirable triptych, giving us, in abridgment, all the Mysteries (Joyous, Sorrowful and Glorious) of the Saviour's Life devoted to the love of God and men. This Feast is, indeed, placed on a height from which may be contemplated the redeeming labours of the Saviour on Earth and the glorious victories He will, by the working of the Holy Ghost, achieve in Souls until the end of the world.

Pope Leo XIII
in 1880.
Source: 1880 book on Pope Leo XIII.
Author: Karl Benzinger.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Pope Leo XIII wrote the Encyclical, "Annum Sacrum", on the Consecration of the entire world to The Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was delivered in Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome on 25 May 1899.

Coming after the Feasts of Christ, this Feast completes them, concentrating them in one object, which is materially Jesus' Heart of flesh, and formally the unbounded charity symbolised by this Heart. This Solemnity, therefore, does not relate to a particular Mystery of the Saviour's Life, but embraces them all; indeed, the Devotion to The Sacred Heart celebrates all the favours we have received from Divine Charity during the year (Collect), and all the marvellous things that Jesus has done for us (Introit, Tract, Alleluia).

It is the Feast of the Love of God for men, a love which has made Jesus come down on Earth for all by His Incarnation (Epistle), which has raised Him on the Cross for the Redemption of all and which brings Him down every day on our Altars by Transubstantiation, in order to make us benefit by the merits of His Death on Calvary.

Deutsch: Schwester Maria Droste zu Vischering
English: Mary of the Divine Heart
Español: Beata María del Divino Corazón
Portrait of Blessed Sister Mary of the Divine Heart,
and Mother Superior of the Good Shepherd Convent
Date: Circa 1890.
Author: Unknown.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Blessed Mary of The Divine Heart (1863 - 1899).
Born Maria Droste zu Vischering, she was a German Roman Catholic Nun, who was best known for influencing Pope Leo XIII's Consecration of the World to The Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Pope Leo XII called this Consecration "the greatest act of my Pontificate".

These three Mysteries, which manifest to us the Divine Charity in a more special way, sum up the spirit of the Feast of The Sacred Heart. It is "His love which forced Him to put on a mortal body" (Hymn at Matins). It is His love which willed that The Sacred Heart should be pierced on the Cross (Gospel and Communion), in order that, from the wound, should flow a spring (Preface) we might draw from, joyfully (Versicle at Second Vespers), whose water cleanses us from our sins in Baptism and whose blood nourishes our Souls in the Eucharist.

And, as the Eucharist is the continuation of the Incarnation and the Sacrifice of Calvary, Jesus asked that the Feast should be placed immediately after the Octave of Corpus Christi.

As these manifestations of Christ's Love only show the more the ingratitude of men, who only answer by coldness and indifference (Offertory), this Solemnity has a character of reparation (Collect) demanded of us by the Wounded Heart of Jesus and by His Immolation in the Crib, on the Cross and on the Altar.

Let us learn from the Heart of Jesus, whose gentle and humble Love turns no-one away, and in it we shall find rest for our Souls (Alleluia).

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