The month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart. The Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the Friday following the second Sunday after Pentecost, which this year is 11 June. In addition to the liturgical celebration, many devotional exercises are connected with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, including the Sacred Heart of Jesus novena which you can find on our website. Of all devotions, devotion to the Sacred Heart was, and remains, one of the most widespread and popular in the Church.
Understood in the light of the Scriptures, the term “Sacred Heart of Jesus” denotes the entire mystery of Christ, the totality of his being, and his person considered in its most intimate essential: Son of God, uncreated wisdom; infinite charity, principal of the salvation and sanctification of mankind. The “Sacred Heart” is Christ, the Word Incarnate, Saviour, intrinsically containing, in the Spirit, an infinite divine-human love for the Father and for his brothers.
The Popes on Devotion to the Sacred Heart
The feast of the Sacred Heart was approved for specified dioceses by Clement XIII in 1765, and extended to the whole Church by Pius IX in 1856. In 1889 Pope Leo XIII elevated it to the rank of first class, and through an encyclical letter in 1899 dedicated the whole Catholic world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart was also an essential component of Pope John Paul II’s hopes for the “new evangelisation” called for by the Church.
“For evangelisation today,” he said, “the Heart of Christ must be recognised as the heart of the Church: It is He who calls us to conversion, to reconciliation. It is He who leads pure hearts and those hungering for justice along the way of the Beatitudes. It is He who achieves the warm communion of the members of the one Body. It is He who enables us to adhere to the Good News and to accept the promise of eternal life. It is He who sends us out on mission. The heart-to-heart with Jesus broadens the human heart on a global scale.”