The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is celebrated on the Friday after the eighth day of the Feast of Corpus Christi, which is 19 days after Pentecost. The Sacred Heart of Jesus represents not simply his physical heart but his love for all mankind.
The “great apparition”, which took place on June 16, 1675, is the source of the modern Feast of the Sacred Heart. In that vision, Christ asked St. Margaret Mary to request that the Feast of the Sacred Heart be celebrated on this day in reparation for (to amend) the ingratitude people have, for the sacrifice that Christ had made for them.
See details on this requested devotion with the essential prayers and acts, including the “First Friday” and the “Nine Fridays” promises at http://sacredheartdevotion.com/ conversations-with-the-sacred-heart-of-jesus/ or The Devotion To The Sacred Heart of Jesus, Fr. John Croiset, S. J.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart
There are two things that must always be found together in the devotion to the Sacred Heart: Christ’s heart of flesh and Christ’s love for us. In honoring the heart of Christ, our reverence lingers on the person of Jesus in the fullness of his love. This love of Christ for us was the moving force of all he did and suffered for us – on the cross, in giving himself in the Blessed Sacrament, in his teaching and healing, in his praying and working. When we speak of the Sacred Heart, we mean Jesus showing us his heart, Jesus all love for us and all lovable. Jesus Christ is the incarnation of God’s infinite love. The human nature which the Son of God took upon himself was filled with love and kindness that has never found an equal. He is the perfect model of love of God and neighbor.
What Does the Sacred Heart Symbol Represent?
Jesus’ Sacred Heart represents the divine love he shares with the Father and the Holy Spirit and the love he has for us. It also represents his physical human heart, the word made flesh through the Incarnation.
Cross: the crucifixion, the ultimate sacrifice
Crown of Thorns: Jesus’ suffering & agony on the cross, which he willingly endured for our sake
Flames: Jesus burning love for us and its purifying and transformational power
Wound & Blood: the piercing of Jesus’ side during his crucifixion, his precious blood spilled for our redemption
Dear God, help me to put aside the things that are breaking my heart, to pray about the things that break yours.
The agony Jesus suffered before and during his crucifixion is likely more severe than anything we’ll encounter. The good thing is, he isn’t asking that of us. He simply desires that we keep him company amid his pain and sorrow. He wants us to go to him as we accept (and offer up) the relatively little crosses he allows us to carry. He wants our trustful smile as we spiritually sit at the foot of the cross while accepting our own small share in it. He is God, but he is also our friend, and loves it when we seek his gentleness and mercy.
We can grow in holiness and console his Sacred Heart that is filled with such sorrow, simply by going to him with our own trusting and humble hearts. When we trust him, he’s free to work miracles of mercy and form us into the great saints he longs for us to be.
Source: Consoling the Heart of Jesus, Michael E. Gaitley