Origin of the Public Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Father Eudes, the Founder of the Eudistes, A Precursor of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.

My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

Father Eudes, the Founder of the Eudistes, A Precursor of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

THE devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has had in the Church of God, like the coming of the Messias in the Old Law, its prophets and precursors. In the Middle Ages, St. Mechtilde, St. Gertrude, later on Canisius and others, among whom the great missionary of Normandy, Father John Eudes, must not be forgotten.
This devout client of our blessed Lady, like St. Francis of Sales, who, when speaking of the devotion to the Sacred Heart, meant the love of Jesus, recognizes but one heart in the hearts of Jesus and Mary.
Although in the strictest sense of the word he cannot be called a precursor of the Blessed Margaret Mary, who, in the account of her life, written by herself in obedience to the orders of her superiors, declares it was Our Lord Himself who, from her very cradle, deigned to prepare her for her great mission, yet, as will be seen from what follows, we are as fully justified in calling him a precursor of this devotion, as we are in calling the Blessed Father de la Colombière its first apostle. It was he who first introduced the devotion to the heart of Our Lady, which he calls the dawn from which the devotion to the Sacred Heart emanates.
The Heart of the Son, is, according to him, contained in the heart of the Mother, and whilst the Heart of Jesus is placed prominently before the eyes of the world, let us turn to the heart of Mary, and beg of it to open itself, in order to give us the Heart of her Son. Whenever this great lover of Our Lady speaks in his writings of the devotion to her sacred heart, he never fails to point out how, in honoring the heart of the Mother, we are compelled to honor the Heart of her divine Son; for, although on the one hand, these hearts are materially separated from one another, on the other hand they are spiritually so closely united to each other that this separation must be considered as only exterior and accidental.
Towards the close of his life (A.D. 1672), writing to his brethren, Father Eudes clearly explains this theory: “It has never been our intention for a moment to separate two things which God has so closely united together as the hearts of the Son of God and of His Blessed Mother.” In a letter to another person, in the same year, he again says: “The hearts of Jesus and His Blessed Mother form together one heart, full of the most perfect love.”
For this reason whatever Father Eudes and his sons have done in order to spread and encourage the devotion to the heart of Mary, must be considered as having also been done to promote the devotion to the Sacred Heart of her divine Son.
As far back as 1659 he composed a Mass and Hours in honor of the Sacred Heart, for which he obtained the required approbation and permission to publish it.
On October 20, 1672, the feast of the Sacred Heart was for the first time to publicly observed in all the chapels, seminaries and churches of the Eudistes, with the consent of the bishops, and from that time was considered one of the chief feasts of the congregation. . .

CONSIDERATIONS.

The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is not the exclusive privilege of a few pious souls. His heart was opened for all on the cross. Our loving Saviour recommended this devotion to be spread throughout all parts of the world. ls not all manhood the object of His tenderness? Have they not all been redeemed by His Precious Blood and loaded with His kindness? Have they not all wounded that adorable Heart by their sins? It is then the duty of all to pay to the Heart of Jesus a tribute of love, gratitude and reparation. Let us all seek therein refuge and consolation. Let us imitate the perfections of this adorable Heart!

PRAYER.

O Jesus, our Saviour, bless, save, and strengthen by Thy grace, this heart which Thou art pleased to maintain in Thy love. Yes, O Heart of Jesus, grant that this weak and miserable heart which now more than ever desires to work for Thy glory may abound with peace, consolation and benedictions.

ASPIRATION.

Heart of Jesus; draw us to Thee; we hasten to the odour of Thy perfumes.

PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.

My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.

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June Devotion: The Blessed Sacrament and the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Virtue to practice: Obedience, piety, dutifulness

O Jesu! Creator of the world,
Of all mankind Redeemer blest,
True God of God, in Whom we see
Thy Father’s image clear expressed!

Thee, Saviour, love alone constrained
To make our mortal flesh Thine own,
And, as a second Adam, come
For the first Adam to atone.

That selfsame love which made the sky,
Which made the sea and stars, and earth,
Took pity on our misery,
And broke the bondage of our birth.

O Jesus! in Thy Heart divine
May that same love for ever glow!
Forever mercy to mankind
From that exhaustless fountain flow!

For this the Sacred Heart was pierced,
And both with blood and water ran –
To cleanse us from the stains of guilt,
And be the hope and strength of man.

Jesu, to Thee be glory given,
Who from Thy Heart dost grace outpour,
To Father and to Paraclete
Be endless praise for evermore. Amen.

An indulgence of 5 years. A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, If this hymn is devoutly recited every day for a month (S.P.Ap., March 12, 1936). (taken from The Raccolta (c)1957)

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