7 Facts about the Sacred Heart of Jesus
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart adore the Sacred Heart of Jesus in this devotional image. (Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons)

Why does the Church have a feast day just for a heart?

The question comes to mind with the celebration of the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus coming on Friday, June 28.

Here are 7 important things for Knights to know about the Sacred Heart devotion:

  1. The heart of Jesus connects us to his true human nature.From the time he took form as a baby in Mary’s womb, Jesus has had a real human heart. Reverence of his heart reminds us that Jesus is “true God and true man” and keeps us from seeing his life, death and resurrection as solely spiritual realities.
  2. Devotion to the heart of Jesus stems from his death on the cross, when a soldier pierced the Savior’s heart with a lance. Blood and water flowed from the wound — the elements of the sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Baptism.
  3. The Sacred Heart devotion was popularized in the 17th century by the visions of Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French nun who received the 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart. The feast of the Sacred Heart was extended to the whole Church in 1856.
  4. Father Michael McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus, grew up with the Sacred Heart devotion. An image of the Sacred Heart painted on porcelain is one of the few items that have come down to us from the McGivney home in Waterbury, Conn. This tells us that our founder’s Irish-immigrant parents brought the devotion with them and passed it on to their children. The devotion lasted till the end of Father McGivney’s life — he was buried with an image of the Sacred Heart.
  5. You can see for yourself. The porcelain piece from the McGivney home and Father McGivney’s Sacred Heart-embroidered burial garments in the Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven, Conn. If that’s not in your travel plans, check out the items in this virtual tour.
  6. The help line is open. The Father McGivney Guild, which promotes our founder’s cause for sainthood, sponsors an annual novena (nine days) of Masses leading up to the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Submit your intentions to the novena online.
  7. Starting a devotion to the Sacred Heart is as easy as…saying this short prayer:

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in you.

Keeping an image of the Sacred Heart in your home, and having it blessed by a priest, is another great way to bring your own heart closer to the heart of Jesus.

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