Catholicism, Catholic, Traditional Catholicism, Catholic Church

``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D

Feast of
the Sacred Heart

These words from St. Augustine characterize this feast: "Longinus opened the side of Jesus with His spear; in it I enter, and securely rest."

Today, on the Octave of the Feast of Corpus Christi, we honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus -- His divine love, His burning love that fed His human will, and His sensible love that affects His interior life. You can read here about Devotion to the Sacred Heart here to come to understand the meaning of this day and the various devotions, like this Feast, that spring from it.

If you haven't consecrated your home by Enthronement of the Sacred Heart, today is a perfect day to do so! If you've already done so, it is a good day to renew the consecration (you can read about the consecration and its renewal at the page just linked to).

It is also a good day to pray the Litany of the Sacred Heart, and a plenary indulgence is granted to those who, under the usual conditions, publicly make an
Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart on this day (download in pdf format for easy printing):

Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart

Most sweet Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before Thee, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries to which Thy loving Heart is everywhere subject.

Mindful, alas! that we ourselves have had a share in such great indignities, which we now deplore from the depths of our hearts, we humbly ask Thy pardon and declare our readiness to atone by voluntary expiation, not only for our own personal offenses, but also for the sins of those, who, straying far from the path of salvation, refuse in their obstinate infidelity to follow Thee, their Shepherd and Leader, or, renouncing the promises of their baptism, have cast off the sweet yoke of Thy law.

We are now resolved to expiate each and every deplorable outrage committed against Thee; we are now determined to make amends for the manifold offenses against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behavior, for all the foul seductions laid to ensnare the feet of the innocent, for the frequent violations of Sundays and holydays, and the shocking blasphemies uttered against Thee and Thy Saints. We wish also to make amends for the insults to which Thy Vicar on earth and Thy priests are subjected, for the profanation, by conscious neglect or terrible acts of sacrilege, of the very Sacrament of Thy Divine Love; and lastly for the public crimes of nations who resist the rights and teaching authority of the Church which Thou hast founded.

Would that we were able to wash away such abominations with our blood. We now offer, in reparation for these violations of Thy divine honor, the satisfaction Thou once made to Thy Eternal Father on the Cross and which Thou continuest to renew daily on our Altars; we offer it in union with the acts of atonement of Thy Virgin Mother and all the Saints and of the pious faithful on earth; and we sincerely promise to make recompense, as far as we can with the help of Thy grace, for all neglect of Thy great love and for the sins we and others have committed in the past. Henceforth, we will live a life of unswerving faith, of purity of conduct, of perfect observance of the precepts of the Gospel and especially that of charity. We promise to the best of our power to prevent others from offending Thee and to bring as many as possible to follow Thee.

O loving Jesus, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mother, our model in reparation, deign to receive the voluntary offering we make of this act of expiation; and by the crowning gift of perseverance keep us faithful unto death in our duty and the allegiance we owe to Thee, so that we may all one day come to that happy home, where with the Father and the Holy Spirit Thou livest and reignest, God, forever and ever. Amen.

For sacred reading, you will find all of these in this site's Catholic Library, in pdf format:


Many will have prepared for this feast by praying the Novena to the Sacred Heart beginning on the Feast of Corpus Christi, and ending on the eve of this feast.

In Tyrol, where Austria and Italy come together, great fires made in the shape of the Sacred Heart are built in the mountains to honor the love of Christ on the Sunday following the Feast of the Sacred Heart. This tradition -- called Herz-Jesu-Feuer -- goes back to 1796 when Tyrol was threatened by Napoleon's troops. The Tyrolean parliament decided to entrust their land to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to beg for divine assistance, and this proposal was met with unanimous approveal. The Tyroleans soundly defeated the French, so thereafter, the Feast of the Sacred Heart became an especially revered holiday in the region. These heart-shaped fires are built so high up in the mountains that they can be seen from far, far away.

There are no special food-related customs that I know of, but a heart-shaped cake or cookies come easily to mind. To make a heart-shaped cake without a special heart-shaped pan, pour half of your cake batter into an 8" round pan, and the other half into an 8" square pan (make sure equal amounts of batter go into each pan). After they're baked, removed from pans, and cooled, position the square cake on the diagonal so a corner is pointed toward you. Cut the round cake in half across its diameter, then place half up against the top left diagonal side of the square cake, and the other half against the top right diagonal side of the square cake. Press it all together with buttercream, and then decorate as usual (don't forget the thorns!). Note that the cake will be rather large in terms of surface area. You might have to get a 17"X17" piece of cardboard and cover it with foil to use as a base for it. Note, too, that you could use 9" pans; just be sure that the pans are of equal size -- either both 8" or both 9"
(see this site's page on The Three Hearts for illustrations of the hearts of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph).

As to music, I leave you with the hymn "O Take me to Thy Sacred Heart" beautifully sung by a family of four who call themselves the The Carvalho Quartet:

O Take Me To Thy Sacred Heart

O take me to Thy Sacred Heart and seal the entrance o'er
That from that home my wayward soul, may never wander more.

Yes, Jesus take me to thyself, I'm weary waiting here.
I long to lean upon Thy breast, to see and feel Thee near.

O Jesus Heart meek, patient, kind, my soul to Thee I turn.
Thou wilt not crush the bruised reed, the sorrowing spirit spurn.

O Jesus open wide Thy heart, and let me rest therein,
For weary is my stricken soul, of sorrows and of sin.

I've sought for rest and found it not, of things of earthly mould,
One heart alone is worth my love, that heart that grows not cold.

O Mary, by that priceless love, which Jesus heart bore Thee
Pray that my home in life and death that loving heart may be.

Note that on August 22 -- on the octave of the Assumption --  we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

By the venerable P. Simon Gourdan

The most sacred devotion, for by it man venerates the holiest sentiments and emotions of the Heart of Jesus, by which He has sanctified the Church, glorified His Heavenly Father, and presented Himself to us as the perfect model of the most exalted sanctity.

The oldest devotion of the holy Church, which, instructed by the great St. Paul, has at all times recognized the munificence of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The most approved devotion, for the Holy Scriptures everywhere exhort us to renew our heart by changing our lives, rendering them contrite by true penance, inflaming them with the fire of divine love, and adorning them by the exercise of all virtue. Therefore a new heart is promised on which to remodel our Heart. That Heart can be no other than the Heart of Jesus, which is given us as an example of all virtue, and which we must imitate if we wish to be saved.

The most perfect devotion, for it is the: source of all other devotions; the Heart of Jesus is that inexhaustible treasury from which the Mother of God and all the saints have drawn their graces, their life, their virtues, and all spiritual blessings. Filled from this treasury, other servants of God have instituted different devotions.

The most useful devotion, for in it we have the Fountain of Life itself before our eyes, from which we can draw directly, and increase in all virtue by adoring this divine Heart, meditating on its holy desires, and seeking to imitate it.

The devotion most pleasing to Christ, for by it we honor God, as Christ requires, in spirit and in truth, because we adore the interior power of God, seeking to please His heart.

Finally; the most necessary devotion, for its object is that we become intimately connected as members with Jesus, our Head, that we live by and according to His spirit, and have only one heart and soul with Christ.


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