The Sacred Heart of Jesus
Our dedication as a parish to the mystery of The Sacred Heart of Jesus is intended to draw us deeper into the mystery of God. In our parish, we are called in a special way to reflect on the Sacred Heart of Jesus, burning with love for us!
Interest in and reflection on the heart of Jesus goes back to the early days of the Church. The piercing of Our Lord’s side with a lance during the Crucifixion followed by the flowing of blood and water was a powerful image for the disciples. The early Church Fathers saw Jesus’ pierced heart as a symbol of his love and sacrifice. Reflection upon the suffering heart of Jesus grew throughout the Middle Ages.
Then between 1673-1675, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque had a series of visions of the Sacred Heart that profoundly influenced it’s devotion. In the first of her three “great visions” she was brought into the presence of Our Lord who said,
My divine Heart is so passionately fond of the human race, and of you in particular, that it cannot keep back the pent-up flames of its burning charity any longer. They must burst out through you and reveal my Heart to the world, so as to enrich mankind with my precious treasures.
Each of her visions showed her a heart burning with love for people who were not loving him back in return. Saint Margaret Mary’s mission was to spread devotion to the Sacred Heart as a means to call people back to faith and love. Many spiritual benefits were promised for all who displayed an image of the Sacred Heart in their home. The devotion grew.
In 1856, Pius IX established it’s feast day for the entire Church. And it was from St. Margaret Mary’s hometown of Paray-le-Monial that the extremely successful “Enthronement Crusade” (encouraging placing an image of the Sacred Heart in the home) began in 1907.
Reflecting on the heart of Jesus, pierced, bleeding, crowned & on fire is a traditional and powerful way to illustrate what we know to be true: that the love of God is real & that nothing will separate us from the love of God!