June - the Month of the Sacred Heart
Gratefully reprinted from the Our Lady of Fatima Chapel Bulletin in Massachusetts:

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Month of the Sacred Heart

June is consecrated to the devotion of reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Some upcoming dates especially dedicated to this devotion will be today's First Friday of June (check here for the Livestream Mass); the Feast of Corpus Christi on June 8th; and the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 16th; both of these great feasts have with them privileged octaves.

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“Now if, because of our sins also which were as yet in the future, but were foreseen, the soul of Christ became sorrowful unto death, it cannot be doubted that then, too, already He derived somewhat of solace from our reparation, which was likewise foreseen, when ‘there appeared to Him an angel from heaven’, in order that His Heart, oppressed with weariness and anguish, might find consolation.”  - Pope Pius XI, Miserentissimus Redemptor

With this simple paragraph in his encyclical, Pope Pius XI gives us all the reason we need to spend time in the actual or even spiritual presence of the Blessed Sacrament for a holy hour of reparation; and there is no better time to do so - for June is the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The Practice of Reparation

The feast and month of the Sacred Heart is not just a time for “simple” prayer. Rather, it has always been tied to the spirit of sacrifice, with reparation made for the offenses against Our Lord - especially against the Most Holy Sacrament of His Love. When the Sacred Heart appeared to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, He told her:

"Make reparation for the ingratitude of men. Spend an hour in prayer to appease Divine justice, to implore mercy for sinners, to honor Me, to console Me for My bitter suffering when abandoned by My Apostles; when they could not watch one hour with Me."

As Jesus spoke to His Apostles, so He pleads with us to stay and watch and pray with Him. His Sacred Heart is filled with sadness, because so many doubt Him, despise Him, insult Him, ridicule Him, spit upon Him, slap Him, accuse Him, condemn Him or just simply forget Him.

Every mortal sin brings down the terrible scourges on His Sacred Body, presses the sharp thorns into His Sacred Head, and hammers the cruel nails into His Sacred Hands and Feet. The cold ingratitude and indifference of mankind continually pierce His Sacred Heart. In fact, He complained to Saint Margaret Mary, that this great apathy towards His Love is what wounds His Heart the most.

As faithful Catholics, we should participate in devotion this month fully and often with our prayers, mortification and holy hours playing a vital role as desired by our Divine Savior and recalled to us by His Vicar, Pius XI.

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Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
As Revealed by Our Lord to St. Margret

God has always dealt with men in a way consonant with their nature - by drawing them to His Holy Will by promises of reward. It was so with His dealings with the chosen people under the Old Dispensation. It was the way of Christ in the New, promising even a hundredfold return for compliance with His desires. And so it is in the history of the revelation and propagation of the devotion to the Sacred Heart.

"That men might more readily respond to that wonderful and overflowing desire of love," wrote Leo XIII in his Encyclical, Annum Sacrum (1899) on the devotion, "Jesus, by the promise of rich rewards, called and drew all men to Him." St. Margaret Mary in her writings insists again and again on the ardent desire of Christ to pour out blessings with a royal generosity on those who would honor His Divine Heart and return Him love for love.

These Promises of the Sacred Heart, in the form in which they are now popularly known and approved by the Church, far surpass in variety, universality and importance those attached to any other exercises of devotion in the Church.

They are addressed to all sorts of persons: to the fervent, the tepid, and the sinful. They embrace every condition of life: priests, religious, and laity. They promise relief to the afflicted, strength to the tempted, consolation to the sorrowful, peace to the family, blessings in the home, success in our enterprises, mercy to the sinner, high sanctity to fervent souls, courage to the cold of heart. They promise power to the priest to soften the hardest hearts. They promise strength and courage on our death-bed, and tell us of the priceless gift of final perseverance and of a refuge in the Heart of Christ at our last moment.

What greater or more valuable favors than these could even the omnipotent and boundless love and goodness of the Sacred Heart bestow on us? These Promises help us to an understanding of the truth of St. Margaret Mary's glowing words: "Jesus showed me how this devotion is, as it were, the final effort of His love, the last invention of His boundless Charity."

1st Promise: "I will give to My faithful all the graces necessary in their state of life."

The duties of our daily life are numerous and often difficult. God grants us in response to prayer and frequent reception of the Sacraments all the necessary graces for our state of life. There are also extraordinary graces which lie outside the usual action of God's Providence, graces that He gives to His special friends. These are more efficacious graces, more plentifully given to the clients of the Sacred Heart.

2nd Promise: "I will establish peace in their homes."

"'Peace is the tranquility of order, the serenity of mind, simplicity of heart, the bond of charity." (St. Augustine) It was the first thing the Angels wished to men at the birth of Jesus. Our Lord Himself bade His disciples to invoke it: "Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this house!' " (Luke 10, 5) In the Heart of Jesus will be found the true peace, that makes the home the reflex and anticipation of our heavenly Home.

3rd Promise: "I will comfort them in all their afflictions."

The desire to comfort the sorrowful is the mark of a noble and kind heart. The Sacred Heart is the most noble and generous of hearts, both human and divine. How does He console us? Not necessarily by freeing us from sorrow and affliction. He knows the priceless value of the cross--that we have sins to expiate. By His grace, He makes what is painful tolerable. "I am filled with comfort, I overflow with joy in all our troubles." (2 Cor. 7, 4)

4th Promise: "I will be their secure refuge in life, and above all in death."

"One of the soldiers opened His side with a lance, and immediately there came out blood and water." (John 19, 34) Christ's side was opened to show that Divine Providence wished all men to find in His Divine Heart an assured refuge against the enemies of our salvation. In His Heart we can find protection, strength in our frailty, perseverance in our inconstancy, assured refuge in the dangers and toils of life, and at the hour of death.

5th Promise: "I will bestow abundant blessings upon all their undertakings."

"God is love." He is ready to give His children abundant temporal blessings as long as they do not imperil our eternal interests. His "special" Providence protects and watches over those devoted to the Sacred Heart with peculiar love and tenderness. However, we should not be discouraged if our prayers for temporal favors are not always answered, for God always puts our eternal good before our temporal good.

6th Promise: "Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy."

The Redemption is the immortal drama of God's mercy; and our Divine Redeemer is, as it were, God's Mercy Incarnate. "With the Lord is kindness and with Him plenteous Redemption." (Ps. 129, 7) On earth the Heart of Christ was full of mercy toward all. Now in His glorified humanity in heaven Jesus continues to show forth His boundless mercy, "always living to make intercession for us." (Heb. 7,25)

7th Promise: "Tepid souls shall become fervent."

Lukewarmness is a languid dying state of the soul that has lost its interest in religion. The Holy Spirit expresses deep disgust for such a soul: "You are neither cold nor hot ... I am about to vomit you out of My mouth." (Apoc. 3, 15) The only remedy for it is devotion to the Sacred Heart, Who came "to cast fire on earth," i.e., to inspire the cold and tepid heart with new fear and love of God.

8th Promise: “Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection."

High perfection is the reward that Christ bestows on the fervent clients of His Divine Heart; for this devotion has, as its special fruit, to transform us into a close resemblance to our Blessed Lord. This is done by kindling in our hearts the fire of divine love, which, as St. Paul says, "is the bond of perfection." (Col. 3, 14) Through devotion to the Sacred Heart self-love will give way to an ardent zeal for His interests.

9th Promise: "I will bless every place in which an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored."

Religious pictures are a powerful appeal and inspiration. The Sacred Heart is an open book wherein we may read the infinite love of Jesus for us in His Passion and Death. He shows us His Heart, cut open by the lance, all aglow like a fiery furnace of love, whose flames appear bursting forth from the top. It is encircled with thorns, the anguishing smarts of unheeded love. May it ever impel us to acts of love and generosity.

10th Promise: "I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts."

The conversion of a sinner calls sometimes for extraordinary graces. God never forces the free will of a human being. But He can give actual graces with which He foresees the sinner will overcome the resisting attitude of the most obstinate sinful soul. This, then, is what occurs in the case of priests who are animated with great devotion to the Sacred Heart.

11th Promise: "Those who promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be effaced."

This Promise holds out to promoters of devotion to the Sacred Heart a wonderful reward--they "shall have their names written in My Heart." These words imply a strong and faithful friendship of Christ Himself, and present to us "the Book of Life" of St. John: "I will not blot his name out of the book of life." (Apoc. 3, 5)

12th Promise: "To those who shall communicate on the First Friday, for nine consecutive months, I will grant the grace of final penitence."

This Promise contains a great reward, which is nothing less than heaven. "Final perseverance is a gratuitous gift of God's goodness, and cannot be merited as an acquired right by any individual act of ours." (Council of Trent) It is given as the reward for a series of acts continued to the end: "He who has persevered to the end will be saved." (Matt. 10, 22)

- By Rev. Irenaeus Schoenherr, O.F.M.

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First Friday of the Month

At the end of the 17th century Our Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alocoque (1647-1690) and asked her to spread devotion to His Most Sacred Heart. In a letter written to her Mother Superior in May 1688, St. Margaret Mary set out what is called The Great Promise which Our Lord made regarding the Nine First Fridays and what we must do to earn it:

“On a Friday during Holy Communion, Our Lord said these words to His unworthy slave: ‘I promise you in the excessive mercy of My Heart that Its all powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on nine first Fridays of the month consecutively the grace of final repentance, and they will not die under My displeasure or without receiving the Sacraments, My Divine Heart making Itself their assured refuge at the last moment.’”

The specific conditions to fulfill the Great Promise are, therefore, twofold:
  • They must be made on nine consecutive First Fridays of the month.
  • They must receive Holy Communion with the intention of making reparation.
  • The communicant should have the intention (at least implicitly) of making reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for all the sinfulness and ingratitude of men (especially against the Most Blessed Sacrament).
Our Lord made many promises to St. Margaret Mary regarding those who practice the Nine First Fridays and have a deep devotion to His Sacred Heart. The Twelve Promises listed above, includes the Great Promise. It was Our Lord's special desire that the First Friday of each month be consecrated to the devotion of reparation to, and adoration of His most Sacred Heart.

In the way of suggestions on how to better prepare for the First Friday, it would be well to read the evening before, a good book on the devotion, or on Our Lord's Passion. Then, on the day itself, we should awake and consecrate all our thoughts, words and deeds to the Sacred Heart of Jesus; that He may be thereby honored and glorified. Let us especially endeavor to stir in our souls a deep sorrow for the innumerable offenses and sacrileges heaped upon the Sacred Heart in the Most Holy Sacrament of His Love. Should we find this difficult, let us consider earnestly, the many reasons we have for giving our tepid hearts to Jesus, and acknowledge with sorrow, the faults of which we have been guilty through our want of respect in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, or through any negligence in receiving Our Lord in Holy Communion.

As the object of this devotion is to inflame our hearts with an ardent love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and to repair, as far as lies in our power, all the outrages which are daily committed against the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, it is evident that these exercises are not confined to any particular day.

Those, therefore, who are prevented from practicing this devotion on the First Friday, can do so on any other day during the month. In the same manner they may offer the first Communion closest to the First Friday for this intention, consecrating the whole day to the honor and glory of the Sacred Heart, and performing in the same spirit all the pious exercises they were unable to accomplish on the First Friday.

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Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of heaven,
Have mercy on us*
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world,*
God, the Holy Ghost,*
Holy Trinity, one God,*
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father,*
Heart of Jesus, formed by the Holy Ghost in the Virgin Mother's womb,*
Heart of Jesus, substantially united to the Word of God,*
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty,*
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God,*
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High,*
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven,*
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity,*
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love,*
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love,*
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues,*
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise,*
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts,*
Heart of Jesus, wherein are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,*
Heart of Jesus, wherein dwelleth all the fulness of Godhead*
Heart of Jesus, in Whom the Father is well pleased,*
Heart of Jesus, of Whose fulness we have all received,*
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills,*
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy,*
Heart of Jesus, rich unto all who call upon Thee,*
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness,*
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our offenses,*
Heart of Jesus, overwhelmed with reproaches,*
Heart of Jesus, bruised for our iniquities,*
Heart of Jesus, obedient even unto death,*
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance,*
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation,*
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection,*
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation,*
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins,*
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in Thee,*
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee,*
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints,*

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world.
Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

V. Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
R. Make our hearts like unto Thine.

Let us pray

Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Thy well-beloved Son and upon the praise and satisfaction which He offers unto Thee in the name of sinners; and do Thou of Thy great goodness grant them pardon when they seek Thy mercy, in the name of the same Thy Son, Jesus Christ, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee for ever and ever. Amen.

Indulgence of seven years, each time - P.P. Leo XIII; April 2, 1899
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre

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June - the Month of the Sacred Heart - by Stone - 06-02-2023, 06:24 AM

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