Ways to Honor and Encourage Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The 10 Promises for the Apostles of the Sacred Heart
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Along with the 12 Promises gathered from the writings of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, there are also 10 Promises for those who promote devotion to the Sacred Heart. These are taken from the book, The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, written by Father John Croiset, S.J. during the lifetime of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque. St. Margaret Mary even wrote to Father Croiset to tell him that Our Lord was pleased with the book, that the book was completely in accordance with His wishes, and that it would not be necessary to make any changes to it. May these 10 Promises increase our zeal to spread devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus as Jesus Wants.
My Divine Master, writes St. Margaret Mary, showed me the names of several persons written in letters of gold on His Sacred Heart, names of which He will never allow to be effaced. These are the names of the persons who have labored the most to make His Sacred Heart known and loved. The Sacred Heart of Jesus has such a great desire to be known, loved and honored by men; He wishes so ardently to establish the empire of His love in all hearts by destroying in them the empire of Satan, that He promises great recompenses to all those who devote themselves with their whole hearts to establishing the reign of His Sacred Heart according to the lights and graces which He gives them. In addition to the friendship of the Divine Heart, the apostles of the Devotion are assured of the protection of the Blessed Virgin and of the saints, especially of St. Margaret Mary. She writes: Oh! what happiness for us and for all who contribute in making the loving Heart of Jesus known and glorified! For they will draw down upon themselves the friendship and eternal blessings of this unique Love of our hearts.
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The Blessed Virgin will be their special protectress, She will assist them in attaining to the perfect life.
The apostles of the Sacred Heart will make rapid progress in virtue. The Sacred Heart of Jesus will sanctify and glorify them.
The loving Heart of Jesus, writes St. Margaret Mary, has made known to me that He will take care to sanctify and glorify us before His Heavenly Father in the measure in which we exert ourselves to procure glory for Him and to increase the reign of His love in the hearts of men.
The apostles of the Sacred Heart will receive the grace of the pure love of God.
The zeal with which you labor to make the Sacred Heart of Jesus known and loved will gain for you in an ever increasing degree the crowning gift of the pure love of God.
The apostles of the Sacred Heart will draw down special blessings on their native land and on their families. Oh! what happiness for those who contribute to making the adorable Heart of Jesus known, loved and glorified! By what means they will secure a powerful Protector for their native land.
Great blessings are reserved for the works of zeal undertaken by those apostolic workers who propagate the devotion to the Sacred Heart. They will make great conversions. My divine Savior, writes St. Margaret Mary, assured me that those who labor for the salvation of souls will have the art of touching the hardest hearts and will obtain marvelous success, if they themselves are animated with a tender devotion to His Divine Heart. He will penetrate the most unfeeling hearts by the words of His preachers and faithful friends. He will so pour out the sweet unction of His ardent charity with such strong and powerful graces on their words that He will make them like a flaming sword which will cause the most frozen hearts to melt in His love. The words of these apostles will be like two-edged swords, which will penetrate the most hardened hearts and make the holy fountain of penance spring up in them, purifying and sanctifying the most obstinate sinners and rendering them susceptible to the love of this Divine Heart. By this means the most criminal souls will be led on to salutary penance.
It will be given to the apostles of the Sacred Heart to understand the inestimable value of the Cross, and they will obtain strength and consolation in their difficulties.
The adorable Heart of Jesus, writes St. Margaret Mary, wishes to establish the reign of His pure love in all hearts. Happy are those whom He will employ to aid Him to establish His reign! But He did not tell me that His friends would have nothing to suffer, for He wishes them to make their greatest happiness consist in tasting its bitterness.
The apostles of the Sacred Heart will obtain the grace of final perseverance and of a holy death. The Sacred Heart Itself will be the reward of Its apostles.
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Happy are those, writes St. Margaret Mary, whom the Sacred Heart of Jesus will employ in establishing His reign. For it seems to me that It is like a king who thinks only of recompensing His friends while He gains victories and triumphs over His enemies. When this Sacred Heart reigns victorious on His throne, Jesus will Himself be their eternal recompense.
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“Behold this heart which has so loved men.” (Jesus Christ)
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The Twelve Promises to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque for those Devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
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In a revelation to St. Margaret Mary in 1675, Our Lord promised these 12 privileges to those who have a true devotion to His Sacred Heart1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
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2. I will establish peace in their families.
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3. I will console them in all their troubles.
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4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of their death.
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5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
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6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.
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7. Lukewarm souls shall become fervent.
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8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
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9. I will bless the homes where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.
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10. I will give to devotees of My Heart the power of touching the most hardened hearts.
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11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be effaced.
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12. The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.
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DEVOTIONS AND WAY’S TO HONOR AND SPREAD THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
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1. Consecration – In mediating on the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we realize the depth of God’s sacrificial love for us. Jesus gave himself to us completely on the Cross to prove his love for us, and he continues to do so every day in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. When we receive the Eucharist, we receive the very heart of Christ.
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Yes, Jesus gives us his heart again and again, and the only reasonable thing to do is to give our hearts to him in return. One beautiful way to do this is by consecrating ourselves to the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
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CONSECRATION TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
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To the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I give myself and consecrate to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ, my person and my life, my actions, pains and sufferings, so that I may be unwilling to make use of any part of my being other than to honor, love and glorify the Sacred Heart. This is my unchanging purpose, namely, to be all His, and to do all things for the love of Him, at the same time renouncing with all my heart whatever is displeasing to Him. I therefore take Thee, O Sacred Heart, to be the only object of my love, the guardian of my life, my assurance of salvation, the remedy of my weakness and inconstancy, the atonement for all the faults of my life and my sure refuge at the hour of death.
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Be then, O Heart of goodness, my justification before God the Father, and turn away from me the strokes of His righteous anger. O Heart of love, I put all my confidence in Thee, for I fear everything from my own wickedness and frailty, but I hope for all things from Thy goodness and bounty.
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Remove from me all that can displease Thee or resist Thy holy will; let Thy pure love imprint Thy image so deeply upon my heart, that I shall never be able to forget Thee or to be separated from Thee.
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May I obtain from all Thy loving kindness the grace of having my name written in Thy Heart, for in Thee I desire to place all my happiness and glory, living and dying in bondage to Thee. Amen.
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2. Enthronement – An important aspect of devotion to the Sacred Heart is recognizing and submitting to the authority of Jesus Christ in every aspect of our lives. Jesus is truly a king—the king of the Church, of our families, and of society in general. The tradition of enthroning the Sacred Heart is an excellent way to express this kingship of Christ.
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In this ceremony, a blessed image of the Sacred Heart is placed prominently in our homes, reminding us that Jesus is our king, and that we should love and serve him with our whole hearts.
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The purpose of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is to make us aware of His love and to arouse us to respond to that love by offering our love in return. We do this by the consecration of ourselves to Jesus and by reparation (prayer and sacrifices in atonement for our sins and sins of others). The enthronement is a crusade to establish the Social Reign of the Sacred Heart in society through the family, the social cell. It is the answer to the question: “What can we do to save the family?”
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The enthronement will restore the family to Christ because the family is putting Our Lord and His interest first. In return the Sacred Heart takes over the interests of the family. Our Lord Himself has promised that He will bless and sanctify those families who enthrone Him as King. He asked St. Margaret Mary, to whom He revealed His Sacred Heart, that He be allowed to reign over the homes of the rich and the poor; that He be solemnly received as King and Friend and that His Sacred Heart be honored and loved. Consider Our Lord’s beautiful promises carefully and then full of trust and confidence, sincerely and devoutly follow step by step the Enthronement Ceremony.
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What Must I do to Enthrone the Sacred Heart of Jesus in my Home?
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The family makes arrangements with a priest as to date, time etc. It is important to have a priest preside at the ceremony but it is not essential. The father or someone else may preside and lead the prayers. In any case, consult a traditional Catholic priest who is familiar with the enthronement process. If possible, attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on the day of the enthronement. The entire family should try to receive Holy Communion at this Mass. A beautiful picture or statue of the Sacred Heart is procured and a place of honor or “throne” is prepared (preferably in the most prominent place of your home) and decorated with flowers and candles. Ceremonial leaflet and other literature needed for this occasion can be obtained from a promoter or priest who has responsibility for the enthronement in a particular diocese. Invite your friends and relatives to be present; thus you will already begin to be an “apostle” of the Sacred Heart. Have a family gathering in honor of your Divine Guest.
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[The Enthronement Ceremony]
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Renewal of the Consecration of the Family
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(To be said at night prayers in union with all families in which the Sacred Heart has been enthroned)
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Most sweet Jesus, humbly kneeling at Thy feet, we renew the consecration of our family to thy Divine Heart. Be Thou our King forever! In Thee we have full and entire confidence. May Thy spirit penetrate our thoughts, our desires, our words and our works. Bless our undertakings, share in our joys, in our trials and in our labors. Grant us to know Thee better, to love Thee more, to serve Thee without faltering.
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By the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of Peace, set up Thy kingdom in our country. Enter closely into the midst of our families and make them Thine own through the solemn enthronement of Thy Sacred Heart, so that soon one cry may resound from home to home: “May the triumphant Heart of Jesus be everywhere loved, blessed and glorified forever!” Honor and glory to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary!
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“Sacred Heart of Jesus, protect our families.”
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Our Lord revealed to Mother Rafols, who belonged to the mother house of the Sacred Heart in Saragoza, Spain (19th century) that His Sacred Heart is hurt when It is forgotten, offended and despised by souls consecrated to Him. They sometimes forget how dearly He loves His chosen ones, how eagerly He waits in the Tabernacle for them to come to Him for inspiration and assistance in the great mission of saving souls. He wants them to be humble and chaste, and to practice true charity towards one another, and thus, avoid giving scandal. He desires that His priests be living models of Himself and that they propagate devotion to His Sacred Heart.
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He desires that men perform acts of satisfaction to forestall the wrath of Divine Justice, and that the Feast of the Sacred Heart be made a holy Day of Obligation and that all the faithful receive Holy Communion on that day. (It is a Holy Day of Obligation in Spain).
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To those who devoutly wear the image of His Sacred Heart, He promised great graces and special protection at the hour of their death. He said that in times to come, many souls would propagate the devotion to His Sacred Heart.
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Blessed Pope Pius IX in 1856 extended the devotion to the Sacred Heart to the entire world. The whole human race was commended to the Sacred Heart by Leo XIII in 1899. A special act of consecration was prescribed by Pope Pius XI in 1929 to be recited throughout the entire world on the Feast of Christ the King.
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The prayer printed below was ordered by Pope Leo XIII to be said after Low Mass to “restrain” Satan and is followed by the threefold repetition of the ejaculation invoking the aid of the Sacred Heart for this purpose: “Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!”
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Prayer to St. Michael
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Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
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3. Reparation – The name of Jesus is regularly blasphemed and abused in media, literature, and every day conversation. Each time this happens, the heart of Christ is wounded again by the rejection of his creatures. One way we can show love to the Sacred Heart is by making acts of reparation for the abuse that Jesus receives.
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REPARATION PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
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O Sacred Heart of Jesus, animated with a desire to repair the outrages unceasingly offered to Thee, we prostrate before Thy throne of mercy, and in the name of all mankind, pledge our love and fidelity to Thee.
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The more Thy mysteries are blasphemed, the more firmly we shall believe them, O Sacred Heart of Jesus!
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The more impiety endeavors to extinguish our hope of immortality, the more we shall trust in Thy Heart, sole Hope of mankind!
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The more hearts resist Thy Divine attractions, the more we shall love Thee, O infinitely amiable Heart of Jesus!
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The more unbelief attacks Thy Divinity, the more humbly and profoundly we shall adore It, O Divine Heart of Jesus!
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The more Thy holy laws are transgressed and ignored, the more we shall delight to observe them, O most holy Heart of Jesus!
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The more Thy Sacraments are despised and abandoned, the more frequently we shall receive them with love and reverence, O most generous Heart of Jesus!
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The more the imitation of Thy virtues is neglected and forgotten, the more we shall endeavor to practice them, O Heart, model of every virtue!
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The more the devil labors to destroy souls, the more we shall be inflamed with desire to save them, O Heart of Jesus, zealous Lover of souls!
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The more sin and impurity destroy the image of God in man, the more we shall try by purity of life to be a living temple of the Holy Spirit, O Heart of Jesus!
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The more Thy Holy Church is despised, the more we shall endeavor to be her faithful children, O Sweet Heart of Jesus!
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The more Thy Vicar on earth is persecuted, the more will we honor him as the infallible head of Thy Holy Church, show our fidelity and pray for him, O kingly Heart of Jesus!
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O Sacred Heart, through Thy powerful grace, may we become Thy apostles in the midst of a corrupted world, and be Thy crown in the kingdom of Heaven. Amen.
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First Fridays – When our Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary and revealed the devotion to the Sacred Heart, he requested the practice of attending mass, going to confession, and receiving him in the Eucharist on the first Friday of 9 consecutive months. This devotion is important because we remember the passion and death of our Lord on Friday. It is essentially a novena that reminds us of the love of Jesus for us, and instills in us a desire to imitate his sacrificial love.
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Frequent Prayer – Prayer is the breath of the spiritual life and the primary way we grow in love for God and neighbor. Calling frequently on the Sacred Heart is an excellent way to pray, since doing so is an appeal to the love and mercy of Jesus. Prayer to the sacred heart can be as lengthy as a novena or litany, or as simple as a spontaneous, “Sacred heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.”
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Imitation – Devotion to the Sacred Heart is designed to inspire imitation. We can say all the right prayers and even practice the first Friday devotion faithfully, but if we aren’t imitating the self-giving, sacrificial love of Jesus, we aren’t truly devoted to his heart. Of course, imitating the Sacred Heart starts with giving love to Christ and being ready to sacrifice for his sake. But it also involves loving those we encounter every day—including those we don’t particularly like. It means loving and forgiving our enemies and those who persecute us. It means laying our life down for others.
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7. Missionary activity – Finally, loving the Sacred Heart of Jesus means bringing its love to others. It means sharing our faith with those who may have fallen away from it, or who might have never heard of the fact that Christ lovingly gives himself to us, body and soul, in the Eucharist. It means bearing witness to the fact the Jesus is our king whom we serve sacrificially. And it means bearing our crosses lovingly and patiently.

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