Today marks a special occasion in the Catholic faith – the anniversary of the very first feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, celebrated on August 31st. There’s even a beautiful prayer dedicated just for it!
This devotion, symbolizing Jesus’ boundless love for humanity, has roots that go back centuries. Though its origins trace back to the 11th and 12th-century monasteries, the public celebration took flight thanks to St. Eudes in the 17th century. He not only amplified this devotion but anchored August 31st as a day of reverence.
St. Eudes had a fascinating perspective. He beautifully tied the Sacred Heart of Jesus with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, stating, “Whoever beholds Jesus sees Mary; whoever loves Jesus, loves Mary.”
The imagery of the heart, burning and encircled with thorns, speaks volumes. It conveys Jesus’ enduring love and the sacrifices he made for us. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a visionary nun, further deepened the devotion by sharing her encounters with Jesus, who expressed a profound desire for its wider embrace.
So, on this day, let’s honor the Sacred Heart’s message of unwavering love and get closer to Jesus. With St. Eudes’ emphasis on this special feast, we are reminded of the ever-present divine affection for us all.
“O Heart all loveable and all loving of my Saviour, be the Heart of my heart, the Soul of my soul, the Spirit of my spirit, the Life of my life and the sole principle of all my thoughts, words and actions, of all the faculties of my soul and of all my senses, both interior and exterior. Amen. – St. John Eudes”