In the Catholic Church, the month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus started in 17th century France, promoted by Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, (1647-1690), a Visitation nun. She had heavy burdens in her life from her earliest years. She lost her father to pneumonia when she was only eight years old. When she was eleven years old she suffered paralysis from rheumatic fever. She embraced her suffering by way of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. She began to be gifted with visions for her faithful devotion. She was healed from her rheumatic fever and the accompanying infirmities by a vision of Holy Mother Mary.
As a result of her devotion to Christ’s Sacred Heart, she received many visions from the Savior, one of which was of His scourging. Christ revealed more to Mary Margaret during her devotions by saying to her: “Look at this heart which has loved people so much, and yet they do not want to love me in return. Through you, My divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth.”
Jesus especially asked that all people go to Confession and receive Holy Communion often, especially on the First Friday of each month, and that reparation be made for sins committed against His Sacred Heart and the Holy Eucharist. He also requested that the Church observe a feast day specifically for the purpose of this reparation. In 1856, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart was officially added to the liturgical calendar. This year the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus falls on Friday, June 28th.
You can have a devotion to the Sacred Heart by doing as Our Lord asked: by receiving Holy Communion frequently (especially on the first Friday of each month), monthly confession, veneration of an image of His Sacred Heart, and prayers and sacrifices offered out of love for Him and for the conversion of sinners.
Jesus also gave us, through St. Margaret Mary, special promises for those who keep a loving devotion to His Most Sacred Heart. Below are the 12 promises of Jesus to those who have a true devotion to His Sacred Heart:
- I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
- I will establish peace in their homes.
- I will comfort them in all their afflictions.
- I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all, in death.
- I will bestow abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.
- Sinners will find in my Heart the source and an infinite ocean of mercy.
- Lukewarm souls shall become fervent.
- Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
- I will bless every place in which an image of my Heart is exposed and honored.
- I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
- Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in my Heart.
- I promise you, in the excessive mercy of my Heart, that my all-powerful love will granted to those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. My divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.