June - The Sacred Heart of Jesus

“Behold this Heart which has loved men so much, and yet men do not want to love Me in return. Through you My divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth.” (Words of Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque)

The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart is celebrated on the Friday following the Second Sunday after Pentecost. It is a movable feast linked to the date of Easter.The entire month of June is set aside in honour of the Sacred Heart. This practice emerged in the 1830s when the then Archbishop of Paris, Hyacinth Louis de Quelen, acted upon a suggestion by a young schoolgirl Angele de Saint Croix to dedicate a month to the Sacred Heart. His Grace decreed that his Archdiocese should practice devotion to the Sacred Heart in June and the tradition quickly became commonplace throughout the Church.

Sacred Heart Devotion to the Sacred Heart itself has deeper roots. It is a devotion to the person of Jesus and His divine love for the world. The modern origins are found in the apparitions of Jesus to the French nun Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque. A number of these revelations took place between 1673 and 1675. Firstly, Jesus disclosed the wonders of His love to Saint Margaret Mary and expressed His desire that all men should know of this love. Our Lord asked that He be honoured under the figure of the Heart of flesh. Jesus asked for frequent reception of Holy Communion and especially on the First Friday of the month. Finally, Our Lord requested that a special Feast Day be instituted in honour of His Sacred Heart and that this should be celebrated eight days after the Feast of His Body and Blood (Corpus Christi – which then was universally marked on a Thursday). The purpose of this new feast was the reparation for sins against the Eucharist which is the great sacrament of divine love. The Society of Jesus became particularly active in propagating devotion to the Sacred Heart and Blessed Pope Pius IX extended the Feast of the Sacred Heart to the Universal Church in 1856. Pope Leo XIII then consecrated every human heart to the Sacred Heart in his 1899 Encyclical Annum Sacrum .

The Twelve Promises

These are the twelve promises given by Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary to all those who are devoted to His Sacred Heart.

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 console them in all their troubles.
4.    They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of their death.
5.    I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
6.    Sinners shall find in My heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.
7.    Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8.    Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
9.    I will bless the homes where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honoured.
10.    I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.
11.    Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be effaced.
12.    The all-powerful love of my Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday on nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.

There are many devotional practices attached to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Below are descriptions and links to some of the most popular:

Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
This litany was approved for the whole Church in 1891 and many indulgences have been attached to it. Click here  to link to a version courtesy of EWTN.

Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Mindful of the infinite goodness of Christ, the faithful may recite this prayer to ask for mercy for all the many offences that have been committed against His Sacred Heart. Click here to link to a version provided by Catholic Culture.




O Sacred Heart of Jesus I place all my trust in You