Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus – Friday, June 16

Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi

Double of the First Class – White Vestments

Why do we adore and worship the Heart of Our Lord?

Sacred Heart

Prostestantism in the sixteenth century and Jansenism in the seventeenth had attempted to distort one of the essential truths of Christianity, namely the love of God for all men.

It became necessary that the Spirit of love, which directs the Church, should by some new means counteract the spreading heresy, in order that the Spouse of Christ, far from seeing her love for Jesus diminish should feel it always increasing.

This was made manifest in Catholic worship, which is the sure rule of our faith, by the institution of the Feast of the Sacred Heart.

Already in the Middle-Ages, many Fathers and Doctors, v. g. St. Bonaventure, and the two Benedictine virgins, St. Gertrude and St. Mechtilde, had a clear vision of the devotion to the Sacred Heart.

But in order to make this worship public and recognized, Providence first raised up St. John Eudes, who in 1670 composed an Office and a Mass of the Sacred Heart for the so-called Congregation of the Eudists. Providence then chose one of the spiritual daughters of St. Francis de Sales, St. Margaret Mary Alocoque, to whom Jesus showed His Heart at Paray-le-Monial, on June 16, 1675, Sunday after Corpus Christi, and asked her to institute a feast of the Sacred Heart on the Friday following the Octave of Corpus Christi, and asked her to institute a feast of the Sacred Heart on the Friday following the Octave of Corpus Christi. Lastly, God employed Blessed Claude de la Colombiere and the Society of Jesus for the propagation of this devotion.

In 1765, Clement XIII gave his approbation to the feast and the Office of the Sacred Heart, and in 1856 Pius IX extended it to the universal Church. In 1929 Pius XI composed a new Mass and Office for this feast and gave it a privileged Octave of the third Order.

The solemnity of the Sacred Heart recapitulates all the phases of the life of Jesus recalled in the liturgy from Advent to the Feast of Corpus Christi.

Its object is materially Jesus’ Heart of flesh, and formally the unbounded charity symbolized by this Heart, and manifested by all the mysteries of the Savior’s life, but especially by His incarnation, His death on Calvary, and the institution of the Holy Eucharist. It celebrates all the favors we have received from divine charity during the year (Collect), all His mercies (Tract), and all the marvelous things that Jesus has done for us (Introit, Alleluia).

As these manifestations of Christ’s love show the more the ingratitude of men, who only answer by coldness and indifference (Offertory), this solemnity has also a character of reparation (Collect).

It is out of love for us that Christ made Himself the victim of His sacrifice, He is thereby our Redeemer, our King of Love by right of conquest.

This Sunday is the External Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.