Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus goes back at least to the 11th century, but through the 16th century, it remained a private devotion, often tied to devotion to the Five Wounds of Christ. The first feast of the Sacred Heart was celebrated on August 31, 1670, in Rennes, France, through the efforts of Fr. Jean Eudes (1602-1680). From Rennes, the devotion spread, but it took the visions of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) for the devotion to become universal.

In all of these visions, in which Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary, the Sacred Heart of Jesus played a central role. The “great apparition,” which took place on June 16, 1675, during the octave of the Feast of Corpus Christi, is the source of the modern Feast of the Sacred Heart. In that vision, Christ asked St. Margaret Mary to request that the Feast of the Sacred Heart be celebrated on the Friday after the octave (or eighth day) of the Feast of Corpus Christi, in reparation for the ingratitude of men for the sacrifice that Christ had made for them. The Sacred Heart of Jesus represents not simply His physical heart but His love for all mankind.

The devotion became quite popular after St. Margaret Mary’s death in 1690, but, because the Church initially had doubts about the validity of St. Margaret Mary’s visions, it wasn’t until 1765 that the feast was celebrated officially in France. Almost 100 years later, in 1856, Pope Pius IX, at the request of the French bishops, extended the feast to the universal Church. It is celebrated on the day requested by our Lord—the Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi, or 19 days after Pentecost Sunday.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. this a great feast which more especially stress the mercy of God to us human beings.lets all consecrate ourselves,families,religious communities and even parishes to this great heart which loved us so much even to a point of allowing to die because of our sins.

  2. as we celebrate the solemnity let us also pray for parishes and congregations consecrated to the sacred heart of Christ.more especially the contemplative evangelizers of the heart of Christ.

  3. This day will always be forever in my mind because I lost my precious mother on this day and she was also a concentrated member of the sacred Heart of Jesus… May the soul of Calista Ozioko and the soul of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace amen. Forever in my heart

  4. O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in You.
    O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in You.
    O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in You.

    Come and make my heart liken unto Your Heart.

  5. Dear Jesus I come to you this day to ask you to help out a friend of mine her name is Barbara and I want you to please take care of her she’s in need of your help please look after my family and friends in the name of Jesus I trust in you Amen

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