After Jesus died on the cross, the Roman centurion thrust a sword into Jesus’ side and at once blood and water out John (19:34). That image of the blood flowing from Jesus’ pierced side has come to symbolize the great love he has for us.
That burning love is at the centre of devotion to the Sacred heart. This devotion developed as the Church meditated on the love of Jesus and gradually came to understand it better. In the Middle Ages, it seems saints like Bernard of Clairvaux and Albert the Great preached and wrote about the Heart of Jesus. But the saint most closely associated with a devotion to the Sacred heart is Saint Margaret Mary Alacque (1647 to 1690), a cloistered nun of the Visitation convent at Paray-le-Monial, France. Jesus appeared to her several times and revealed to her how much Jesus loved her and all people. He spoke of his desire that people would love him in return, and for this purpose he wanted Margaret Mary to spread devotion to his Sacred Heart.
In the cloister she had little or no contact with outside world; how was she to do what Jesus asked? The Lord himself gave her the means through holy Jesuit, Saint Claude de La Columbiere, who was her spiritual director. He realized Margaret Mary’s charity, humility, and obedience reflected true holiness. Convinced that she was telling the truth about her visions, he asked her to write an account of the revelations. He himself began to preach about Jesus’ love for us in his Sacred Heart.
Through Margaret Mary, Jesus requested that we honour his Sacred Heart by fervently receiving Holy Communion, especially on the first Friday of the month, and offering reparation for sins. Jesus also requested that a special feast day be established to honour his Sacred Heart. In 1765 a feast day was officially observed in Poland, and an 1856 Pope Pius the IX extended it to the universal Church.
Novena to the Sacred Heart
First Day - Matthew 11:28-30
“ Come to me, all you who grow weary and are burdened and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we praise and thank you for the many blessings we receive from your Sacred Heart; open our hearts to share the love and mercy you have showered upon us. Trusting in your promise that whatever is asked in your name will be granted, we are confident that you will continue to bless us with your generous love and grant the favours we ask for at this time if they are in accord with your holy will. Amen.
Second Day - John 10:10-11
“I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.“
Third Day - John 7:37-38
“If anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scriptures say, from within him flow rivers of living water.“
Fourth Day – John: 8-12
“I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Fifth Day - John 6:35
“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will not hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.“
Six Day - John 14:6-27
“I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me you will know the Father, also.“
Seventh Day John 13:34-35
“I give you a new commandment; love one another; as I have loved you. You too will know that by this you are my disciples, if you love me, you have love for one another.“
Day Eight - John 13:13-14
“You call me teacher and Lord, and rightly so, because I am. So if I am, the Lord and Teacher, and have washed your feet, you, too, are to wash each other‘s feet, because I’ve given you an example so that, just as I have done for you, you, too, should do.“
Ninth Day – John 14:27 27
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled or afraid.“
Jesus, Divine Master, we praise and thank you for your most Sacred Heart and for the great gift of the Church that instructs us in the truth; guides us on the way to heaven, and communicates supernatural life to us. The Church continues your own saving mission here on earth as your Mystical Body. It is the source of salvation; it is a sign of your faithfulness, and the promise that you are with us always to the end of time. Grant us the grace to love your Church as you loved and sanctified Her in your blood. May all your sheep enter your fold, and may everyone humbly cooperate in the building of your kingdom. Amen.
Blessed to be the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Sacred Heart of Jesus we trust in you. Sacred Heart of Jesus may your kingdom come. Amen.
Saint John Baptist de La Salle – Prayer for us.
Live, Jesus, in our hearts. Forever!