Feast of The Sacred Heart of Jesus and The Immaculate Heart of Mary

God is love and anyone who lives in love lives in God and God lives in him says John 4:7 – 16.

The month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The feast of the scared heart of Jesus is celebrated on the Friday of the third week after Pentecost.

We also have the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary immediately on the following Saturday after the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

It was Pope Paul VI who moved the celebration In 1969.

This year the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus will be celebrated on June 24th and the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary will be celebrated on June 25th.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus:

The devotion of the sacred heart of Jesus focuses on how the heart of Jesus is full of love for us, while the devotion of the Immaculate Heart of Mary reflects on how Mary’s heart is full of love for the saviour.

The devotion of the Scared heart of Jesus was fostered by Carthusian, Jesuit priests and promoted by St. Francis de Sales.

It was in the late 17thcentury a French Visitandine nun assisted by Claude de la Colombiere, her confessor called for the establishment of a feast in honour of the Scared Heart. The devotion began in 1670. Through the visions to Mary Alacoque, Jesus told her how he wished to be honoured with the symbol of his heart, asking for the faithful to make amends for any wrong doing they had done by frequently taking communion and by observing the holy hour. In 1856 Pope Pius IX introduced the Feast into the general calendar of the Roman Catholic Church.

The sacred heart of Jesus represents Christ’s love for mankind.

Jesus said to Margaret Mary Alacoque, “Behold this Heart which has loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself, in order to testify its love.”

God’s heart is surely full of love for us. All honour is given to the image of the sacred heart. Mostly we see the image of the sacred heart depicted with a wounded heart encircled by a crown of thorns and a radiating light. The crown of thorns tells us about the injury inflicted upon it by the ingratitude where man requite his love.

The heart of Jesus surrounded by a cross is a testimony of our Lord’s love for us. It reminds us particularly of His bitter passion and death.

The rays surrounding this precious Heart signifies the great graces and blessings which emanate from the devotion to the Scared Heart of Jesus.

The purpose of the devotion to the Scared heart of Jesus is to focus our hearts on receiving and returning His love with gratitude with all of our heart, soul and strength and that Jesus may be glorified.

The Immaculate Heart of Mary:

In 1942, the twenty fifth anniversary of Fatima, Pope Pius XI consecrated the world to the Immaculate heart of Mary.

The devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is used to refer to the life of Mary, Mother of Jesus – all her joys and sorrows, her virtues and her hidden perfection, her maternal love for Jesus Christ and her motherly and compassionate love for all mankind.

Devotion to the sacred heart of Jesus is an exercise of love to God and man. Love is the main centre of Christianity. Love is nothing more than laying down our life for the good of others. Just like Jesus laid His life for us by dying on the cross to save all humankind. God is all love and this feast is especially designed to remind us of the depth of God’s passionate love to humans.

This feast helps us to draw near to the tender mercy and forgiveness of the Lord, poetically the heart is a symbol of love, our emotions, and passion.

We can see in many places in the Gospel Jesus’ heart is moved with pity for the crowds and He tells that He is gentle and humble of heart towards the people.

The immaculate Heart is depicted pierced with seven wounds in homage to the seven dolors of Mary.

As we know Mary kept all things in her heart and pondered over them. The image of the pierced heart is the most popular representation of the Immaculate heart. And we are all aware that Mary co-operated in the work of our redemption.

Saturday is the day of the week dedicated in honour of Mary. It is based on a legendary account that Jesus appeared to Mother Mary on a Saturday, the day after His death. He did so to reward her for her steadfast faith in His divinity.

One of the most popular Marian devotions in the Catholic Church today is that of the Immaculate heart of Mary honoured alongside with the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Behold His heart that has loved men so much. The heart of Jesus was on fire for love of all mankind.

In the apparition to Margaret Mary Alacoque Jesus has given her 12 promises. Jesus has promised blessings to those who practice devotion to His Sacred Heart.

The twelve promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus:

  1. I will give them all the Graces necessary for their state of life.
  2. I will give peace in their families and unite families that are divided.
  3. I will console them in all their troubles.
  4. I will be their refuge during their life and above all in death.
  5. I will bestow the blessing of heaven on all their undertakings.
  6. Sinners shall find in my heart the source and Infinite Ocean of mercy.
  7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
  8. Fervent souls shall rise quickly to great perfection.
  9. I will bless those places wherein the image of my Scared Heart shall be exposed and honoured.
  10. I will give to priest who are animated by a tender devotion to my divine heart the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
  11. Persons who propagate this devotion shall have their names eternally written in my heart never to be effaced.
  12. In the excess of the mercy of my heart, I promise God that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who will receive communion on the first Fridays in nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance, they will not die in my disgrace nor without receiving the sacraments, and my heart will be their secure refuge in the last hour.

Through this devotion one can experience boundless love of Jesus for the human race. The love from His heart motivates all His actions especially by scarifying His life for our sake.

Lord we pray to you to be our support forever, O heart of Jesus, treasure of tenderness, You yourself are our joy, happiness and our only hope.

Immaculate heart of Mary is a model of perfect love towards God and her motherly and compassionate love to all mankind.

We have the Promises of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which are attached to the five first Saturday’s devotion.

The five first Saturday devotion is reparation to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary that is to have compassion on her heart which is covered with horns by our ingratitude.

The following are the promises:

  1. The salvation of our own soul to all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months – confess their sins, attend mass, receive holy communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for five minutes meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary.
  2. The salvation of sinners and numerous souls that the justice of God condemns for sins committed against me that I come for reparation.
  3. Peace in the world.
  4. Saint Alphonsus Ligouri says: After the love which we give Jesus Christ, we must give the chief place in our heart to the love of His Mother Mary.

The aim of the devotion is to unite mankind to God through Mary’s heart, and this process involves the ideas of consecration and reparation. Heart is a way of being completely devoted to God.This involves a total gift of self, something only ultimately possible with reference to God, but Mary is our intermediary in the process of consecration.

  1. The sacred heart is viewed as the source of God’s boundless love and charity. While the devotion to the Immaculate Heart stresses the nature of Mary’s love and concern for all who call upon her. The two hearts are linked by devotion, prayers and feasts.
  2. By keeping these two feasts in mind let us be people of love, compassion and live by showing our gratitude to God and man.

One must have a heart which is free from sin and is faithful to God’s commandment and love Him above all things and also to help others in their needs.

Let us decide to become one with all the faithful. In offering the prayers, our actions and sufferings of each day to the Scared Heart of Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of His Mother Mary.

We shall certainly receive showers of Graces both for ourselves and for the salvation of the souls of our brethren.

-Francisca Fatima da Costa