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
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
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
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
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.
sacred reading, you will find all of these in this site's Catholic Library, in pdf format:
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
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
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
O Take Me To Thy Sacred Heart
take me to Thy Sacred Heart and seal the entrance o'er
from that home my wayward soul, may never wander more.
Jesus take me to thyself, I'm weary waiting here.
long to lean upon Thy breast, to see and feel Thee near.
Jesus Heart meek, patient, kind, my soul to Thee I turn.
wilt not crush the bruised reed, the sorrowing spirit spurn.
Jesus open wide Thy heart, and let me rest therein,
weary is my stricken soul, of sorrows and of sin.
sought for rest and found it not, of things of earthly mould,
heart alone is worth my love, that heart that grows not cold.
Mary, by that priceless love, which Jesus heart bore Thee
that my home in life and death that loving heart may be.
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