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What is the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus?

The Heart is the symbol of human love. This Catholic devotion honors the Sacred Heart of Our Lord, through which was manifested to us God’s eternal love for everyone. “God is Love” (1 John 4:8), and so in honoring the human expression of that Love, especially on the Cross, we honor Its Divine Source.

Why is the Sacred Heart important?

St. John Paul II said, “The Sacred Heart has given us everything — redemption, salvation, sanctification.”

The Sacred Heart is the actual heart of Christ and also indicates His love for humanity. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “The prayer of the Church venerates and honors the Heart of Jesus just as it invokes his most holy name. It adores the incarnate Word and his Heart which, out of love for men, he allowed to be pierced by our sins.” (CCC 2669)

“If I cannot see the brilliance of your Face or hear your sweet voice, O my God, I can live by your grace, I can rest on your Sacred Heart!” – St. Thérèse of Lisieux

What is the history of the Sacred Heart devotion?

The foundation for the Sacred Heart devotion began in early Christianity. Sacred Scripture, particularly the New Testament, mentions the love of God many times, and the Church Fathers discuss God’s love as well.

In the eleventh century, Christians often meditated on the Five Wounds of Jesus, and the specific devotion to the Sacred Heart came from this meditation. St. Gertrude the Great, who had private revelations regarding the Sacred Heart, helped further the understanding of Jesus’ Sacred Heart in the late 13th-century.

Several centuries later, in 1670, St. John Eudes celebrated the first Feast of the Sacred Heart. In 1673, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French Visitation nun, received her own revelations, in which Jesus explained His love for all people, even allowing St. Margaret to lay her head on His Heart, as He had also allowed St. Gertrude to do. He asked that Catholics receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays of the month and adore Him in the Holy Eucharist.

In 1675, Jesus told St. Margaret that He wanted an annual feast in honor of His Sacred Heart. In 1856, Blessed Pope Pius IX designated that the Feast of the Sacred Heart would be celebrated universally on the Friday after the Corpus Christi octave each year.

“In the Sacred Heart every treasure of wisdom and knowledge is hidden. In that Divine Heart beats God’s infinite love for everyone, for each one of us individually.” – St. John Paul II

Why is Jesus’ Heart on fire?

Jesus told St. Margaret Mary, “My Sacred Heart is so intense in its love for men, and for you in particular, that not being able to contain within it the flames of its ardent charity, they must be transmitted through all means.”

St. Gertrude the Great said, “O Sacred Heart of Jesus, fountain of eternal life, Your Heart is a glowing furnace of Love. You are my refuge and my sanctuary. O my adorable and loving Savior, consume my heart with the burning fire with which Yours is aflame. Pour down on my soul those graces which flow from Your love. Let my heart be united with Yours. Let my will be conformed to Yours in all things. May Your Will be the rule of all my desires and actions. Amen.”

Why does Jesus point to His Heart?

In Sacred Heart imagery, Jesus usually points to His Heart. This is to indicate His eternal love for each one of us.

What is the First Friday devotion?

Jesus Himself started the First Friday devotion. The last of twelve Sacred Heart Promises, He said, “I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. My divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment."


Videos About Sacred Heart of Jesus

How do I consecrate myself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus?

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque gave us this Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus:

“O Sacred Heart of Jesus, to Thee I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, my actions, trials, and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honoring and glorifying Thee. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to Thee, and to do all for Thy love, renouncing with my whole heart all that can displease Thee.

I take Thee, O Sacred Heart, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the reparation for all the defects of my life, and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. Be Thou, O Most Merciful Heart, my justification before God Thy Father, and screen me from His anger which I have so justly merited. I fear all from my own weakness and malice, but placing my entire confidence in Thee, O Heart of Love, I hope all from Thine infinite Goodness. Annihilate in me all that can displease or resist Thee. Imprint Thy pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget Thee or be separated from Thee.

I beseech Thee, through Thine infinite Goodness, grant that my name be engraved upon Thy Heart, for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory, to live and to die as one of Thy devoted servants. Amen.”

“We must never be discouraged or give way to anxiety... but ever have recourse to the adorable Heart of Jesus.” - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

What is the enthronement to the Sacred Heart?

Father Mateo Crawley-Boevey, a 20th-century Chilean priest who spent his life advocating for the Sacred Heart Enthronement, said, “The enthronement is the official and social recognition of the rule of the Sacred Heart of Jesus over the Christian family, a recognition affirmed, outwardly expressed and made permanent by the solemn installation of the image of the divine Heart in a conspicuous place in the home and by the Act of Consecration.”


Who is the patron saint of devotees to the Sacred Heart?

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque is the patron saint of those devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Read about her life here:


St. Gertrude the Great and St. John Eudes were both early proponents of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Read more about both of them here:


What is the relationship with the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary?

The hearts of Mary and Jesus are deeply entwined. The Blessed Virgin gave her consent to the divine plan of redemption (Lk. 1:38), and Our Lord willed and accomplished it. Thus, these two Hearts can never be separated. The Servant of God Lúcia dos Santos, one of the visionaries of Fatima, expressed it this way, “[While Jesus was in Mary’s womb], the Heart of Christ was beating in unison with the Heart of Mary.”

The Feast day of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is always the day after the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.