The visions of Christ and the eventual devotion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus began with St. Margaret Mary Alacoque around the year 1671. During the visions, Our Lord asked that she would spread devotion to his Sacred Heart, the devotion of First Fridays, and the practice of making Holy Hours before the Blessed Sacrament.
Christ promised in his visions to her that those who consecrate themselves to his Sacred Heart would receive graces necessary in their state of life, a plethora of blessings and comfort, and peace in their homes. Those who receive Holy Communion for nine consecutive First Fridays will be given grace of final perseverance and will find refuge at the moment of death through the Sacred Heart.
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque entered Heavenly Glory on October 17, 1690 at Paray-le-Monial and was canonized a saint by Pope Benedict XV in 1920. Her feast day is celebrated on October 17. Along with her, St. John Eudes and Blessed Claude La Colombiere are known as the “Saints of the Sacred Heart.” Pope Clement XIII officially approved the devotion of the Sacred Heart in the year 1765.
This has been a blessed week in the life of the Church. On Sunday, we celebrated the great Solemnity of Corpus Christ and now at the end of the week we celebrate the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Both of these days focus on the Blessed Sacrament, Christ’s True Presence among us today.
Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
To the Sacred Heart of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, I give myself and I consecrate my person and my life, my actions, pains, and sufferings, so that I may be unwilling to make use of any part of my being other than to honor, love, and glorify the Sacred Heart.
This is my unchanging purpose, namely to be all his and to do all things for the love of him, at the same time renouncing with all my heart whatever is displeasing to him. I therefore take you, O Sacred Heart, to be the only object of my love, the guardian of my life, my assurance of salvation, the remedy of my weakness and inconstancy, the atonement for all the faults of my life, and my sure refuge at the hour of death.
Be then, O Heart of goodness, my justification before God the Father, and turn away from me the strokes of his righteous anger. O Heart of love, I put all my confidence in you, for I fear everything from my own weakness and frailty, but I hope for all things from your goodness and bounty.
Remove from me all that can displease you or resist your holy will; let your pure love imprint your image so deeply upon my heart that I shall never be able to forget you or to be separated from you. May I obtain from your loving kindness the grace of having my name written in your heart, for in you I desire to place all my happiness and glory, living and dying in bondage to you.
Father, we honor the heart of your Son, broken by our cruelty, yet symbol of love’s triumph, pledge of all that we are called to be. Teach us to see Christ in the lives we touch and to offer him living worship by love-filled service to our brothers and sisters. We ask this Christ Our Lord.