Devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, through their very nature, are worship. Their Object is the very Love with which God, through Jesus, Loves us, while being at the same time an exercise of our own love by which we are related to God and to other men.Pope Pius XII
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is devotion to Jesus Christ Himself but in the particular ways of meditating on his interior life and on His Threefold Love. Pope Pius XII, from his 1956 encyclical. Haurietis Aquas (On Devotion To The Sacred Heart). In essence, this refers to [[virtues:charity|Charity]]; namely:
- His Divine Love
- His Burning Love that feeds His Human Will
- His Sensible Love that affects His Interior Life.
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul Luke 10:27
Devotion to the Sacred Heart can be pathetically cheapened by treating it as simply “another” devotion. Throughout the Church, Popes have exhorted us to remember what, it contains in its doctrinal foundation [[theology:cardinal_mysteries|Seven Cardinal Mysteries of our Faith]].
"With the heart we believe unto justice" Rom. 10:10
We endeavor to explain this particular devotion: Litany to the Sacred Heart of Jesus In 1899 Pope Leo XIII approved the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for public use. There are 33 invocations, fitting as it represents one for each year of Earthly Ministry and Life of our Lord Jesus Christ. Attached to this Litany is a partial indulgence.
History and Apparitions
From the earliest days of the Church:
“Christ’s open side and the mystery of Blood and Water were meditated upon, and the Church was beheld; issuing from the side of Jesus as Eve came forth from the side of Adam. It is in the eleventh and twelfth centuries that we find the first unmistakable indications of devotion to the Sacred Heart. Devotion to the Sacred Heart developed out of the devotion to the Holy Wounds, Through the Wound in the Side, the Wounded Heart was gradually reached, and the Wound in the Heart symbolized the wound of Love.”Catholic Encyclopedia
St. Justin Martyr (d. 165) and St. Irenaeus of Lyons (d. 202).
The devotion of the Sacred Heart, in a general sense, is of the birthplace of the Church and the font of Love and is popular in Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries, especially in response to the devotion of St. Gertrude the Great (b. 1256)
Specific devotions became even more popularized when St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), a Visitation Nun, had a personal revelation involving a series of visions of Christ as she prayed before the Blessed Sacrament. Christ emphasized to her His Love and His many Wounds that are caused by Man’s indifference to His Love
“He disclosed to me the marvels of His Love and the inexplicable secrets of His Sacred Heart.”