THE DEVOTION WHICH THE SAINTS HAD TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS

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THE DEVOTION WHICH THE SAINTS HAD TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS

As the example of the Saints is at the same time a powerful motive to urge us to the practice of a devotion which they themselves have practiced, and a reliable guide to show us how to practice it, we think it advisable to give here the views of those who had the tenderest love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus and who were most penetrated with this devotion.

St. Clare, who was inflamed with the love of Jesus Christ and filled with eagerness to love Him in return, believed that she could find no practice more suitable to testify her gratitude than to salute and adore, several times each day, the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament; and by means of this devotion, as is related in her Life, her soul was filled with the sweetest delights and the most signal favors.

The following prayer of St. Gertrude [1256-1302] to the Sacred Heart of Jesus shows the high esteem which this Saint had for this devotion: Continue reading

Revelations of the Sacred Heart and the Holy Eucharist

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Revelations of the Sacred Heart and the Holy Eucharist

There were all told perhaps forty mystical experiences of which we have some record in the life of St. Margaret Mary. Yet only three of these are properly called revelations in the technical sense, during which Our Lord appeared to the saint as the Sacred Heart and communicated to her some message that she was to transmit to others. These three are known as the “Great Apparitions,” and took place in a period of less than two years, specifically between December 27, 1673 and June 16, 1675. Let us briefly quote the circumstances under which each revelation began, as described by the saint herself.

Regarding the first apparition, on the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, she says: “One day, when I was before the Blessed Sacrament, and having at the time more leisure than usual, I felt myself wholly invested with the presence of God.”

The second apparition probably occurred early in the following year, and its beginning is described as follows in the Autobiography: “On one occasion, while the Blessed Sacrament was exposed, feeling wholly withdrawn within myself by an extraordinary recollection of all my senses and powers, Jesus Christ, my sweet Master, presented Himself to me, all resplendent with glory, His five wounds shining like so many suns.” Continue reading

Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

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Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Rev. Irenaeus Schoenherr, O.F.M.

God has always dealt with men in a way consonant with their nature–by drawing them to His Holy Will by promises of reward. It was so with His dealings with the chosen people under the Old Dispensation. It was the way of Christ in the New, promising even a hundredfold return for compliance with His desires. And so it is in the history of the revelation and propagation of the devotion to the Sacred Heart.

“That men might more readily respond to that wonderful and overflowing desire of love,” wrote Leo XIII in his Encyclical Annum Sacrum (1899) on the devotion, “Jesus, by the promise of rich rewards, called and drew all men to Him.” St. Margaret Mary in her writings insists again and again on the ardent desire of Christ to pour out blessings with a royal generosity on those who would honor His Divine Heart and return Him love for love.

These Promises of the Sacred Heart, in the form in which they are now popularly known and approved by the Church, far surpass in variety, universality and importance those attached to any other exercises of devotion in the Church. Continue reading

St. Francis Caracciolo

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St. Francis Caracciolo, Confessor

The good things brought into this world by the Holy Spirit continue to be revealed in the liturgy. Francis Caracciolo is given to us this day as another type of the sublime fecundity produced on earth by Christianity. Faith is the principle of this supernatural fecundity in the saints, just as it was in Abraham, the father of all believers; it brings forth unto the Church isolated members or entire nations alike; from it proceed the multitudinous families of religious Orders, who, in their fidelity in following the divers paths traced out for them by their founders, are the chief portion of the royal and varied adornment of the bride at the right hand of her divine Spouse. This is the thought expressed by the Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VII, on the day of the canonization of our saint, wishing, as he said, to right the judgement of such as may, perhaps, have appreciated the religious life at a low rate, according to the vain deceits of a worldly point of view, and not according to the just measure of the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

That century of universal ruin, in which the voice of Christ’s Vicar was raised addressing the whole world on this solemn occasion, resembled, but in still darker hue, the calamitous age of the pretended Reform, in which Francis, like so many others, had proved by his works and by his life the indefectibility of the Church’s holiness. Let us listen once more to the words of the same Pontiff: The bride of Christ, the Church, has now become accustomed to pursue her pilgrim career amidst persecutions from men and consolations from God. Through the saints raised up, in all ages, by his almighty hand, God fulfils his promise; making her a city seated on a mountain, a beacon, the clear light of which must needs reach the eyes of all who do not, through prejudice, voluntarily shut their eyes. While her enemies band together, vainly plotting her destruction, saying: “When will she die, when will her name perish?” crowned with ever increasing splendour by the new warriors she sends as victors to heaven, the Church remains ever glorious, ever declaring to all coming generations the might of the Lord’s strong arm. Continue reading