June, the month of the Sacred Heart

June, the month of the Sacred Heart

June, the month of the Sacred Heart

The Month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart. The Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the Friday following the second Sunday after Pentecost, which this year falls on the 16th June. In addition to the liturgical celebration, many devotional exercises are connected with the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In Ireland we had so many of those practices, especially that of keeping the Sacred Heart lamp lighting in the house. It was also the custom to place each family under the protection of the Sacred Heart, and older homesteads had the Sacred Heart pledge hanging on the wall with each family member inscribed on it.

Of all devotions, devotion to the Sacred Heart was, and remains, one of the most widespread and popular in the Church.

The particular devotion to the Sacred Heart originated in the Burgundy region of France in the late sixteenth century, following the visions of a young woman, remembered now as St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. The town of Paray le Monial is now the centre of that devotion, which has spread worldwide.

At the time it was a way of countering the Jansenist heresies which were being promoted. The Jansenists believed in an all-powerful, judgmental God, taking only those, who lived rigidly by the rules, into His kingdom.  The mercy and love of the Heart of Jesus for all, as seen in His life and death was suppressed in this heresy.

The devotions which were promoted were a means of reminding all at a time when war and hunger were widespread that God was a merciful, forgiving God, and this love came into our human lives through the very heart of the Son, Christ on Earth.

In this time of uncertainty perhaps we can take comfort from this heart filled with love for all and pray that the world will come to remind itself that love is what is needed to heal our brokenness.

As we listen to our Parish choir singing the beautiful hymn to the Sacred Heart, we can think of what it means to many in Ireland still, and around the world, where this devotion to mercy and love brings so much peace and hope to so many souls.

Click on the video to hear our choir sing the hymn to the Sacred Heart which they do at Mass each Sunday in June.

Sweet Heart of Jesus! Fount of love and mercy,
Today we come thy blessings to implore;
Oh touch our hearts so cold and so ungrateful,
And make them Lord, thine own for evermore.

Sweet Heart of Jesus! We implore, 
Oh, make us love thee, more and more.

Sweet Heart of Jesus! Make us pure and gentle
And teach us how to do thy blessed will;
To follow close the print of thy dear footsteps,
And when we fall, sweet heart oh, love us still.
Sweet Heart of Jesus! We implore, 
Oh, make us love thee, more and more.