St Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church

St Mary of the Annunciation Catholic Church, 97 Ashby Road, Loughborough, LE11 3AB. Tel: 01509 262123

Newsletter for Sunday 9 June 2024

Month of the Sacred Heart

The month of June is dedicated in a special manner to the Sacred Heart of JESUS. The Sacred Heart refers to the bodily Heart of Our Lord which beat within His breast for thirty three years, which ceased to beat when He died on the Cross of Calvary, and began to beat again in His glorified body when He rose from the dead on Easter Sunday, and which is now beating in a glorified body in Heaven, where He sits in glory at the right hand of His Father.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart is primarily devotion to the personal love Our Lord has for each one of us. This love was the motive behind everything He did and suffered for us, whether it be in His teaching and healing, or His giving Himself to us in the Blessed Sacrament or His dying on the Cross. Yet this great love is often received with ingratitude and indifference – even by Christians.

Although there has always been devotion in the Church to the love of God, the story of modern devotion to the Sacred Heart begins in 1677, when Our Lord appeared to St Margaret Mary (1647-90), a Visitation nun in France, and revealed to her the desires of His Heart. He requested that Christians honour Him under the figure of His Heart of flesh, receive Him in Holy Communion on the first Friday of nine consecutive months, and that a Feast of Reparation to His Sacred Heart be instituted on the Friday of the week after Corpus Christi. The Feast was first celebrated in Poland in 1765, and following a request of the French bishops, was extended to the universal Church by Blessed Pope Pius IX in 1856.

Through St Margaret Mary Our Lord made 12 promises to those who have a devotion to His Sacred Heart.

1.   I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life.
2.   I will establish peace in their families.
3.   I will comfort them in their trials.
4.   I will be their secure refuge during life, and, above all, in death.
5.   I will bestow abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
6.   Sinners will find in My Heart an infinite ocean of mercy.
7.   Lukewarm souls will become fervent.
8.   Fervent souls will rapidly grow in holiness and perfection.
9.   I will bless every place where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honoured.
10. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
11. The names of those who promote this devotion will be written in My Heart.
12. I promise thee, in the excessive mercy of My Heart, that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months, the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.

This final promise is truly wonderful. You shall not die with mortal sin on your soul or without the Sacraments of the Church. This is a ticket to Heaven. Our Lady of Fatima made a similar promise regarding the Five First Saturdays. We should place great faith in these promises, especially in these difficult times, because Our Lord never goes back on His word.

Fr Paul Gillham, IC