By Christina Hermoso
Catholics dedicate the month of June to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in veneration and in gratitude for His merciful heart and His redeeming love for mankind.
Holy masses, novenas, and the recitation of devotional prayers in honor of the Sacred Heart are traditionally observed by the faithful devotees.
The Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary said, devotion to the Sacred Heart “is an expression of our faith in Jesus Christ’s mercy and our way to express our gratitude for His mercy and love.” Characteristic acts of devotion include almsgiving, consecration, and reparation.
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), a French Catholic nun, was instrumental in spreading devotion to the Sacred Heart after she had visions of Jesus beginning in 1673, when Jesus asked her to have a special feast established in honor of His Sacred Heart.
Jesus also gave her instructions on how the faithful can offer sacrifices in reparation for the offenses inflicted on His Sacred Heart such as receiving Holy Communion every first Friday of the month, observing an hour vigil every Thursday night in memory of His agony in Gethsemane, and celebrating the Feast of the Sacred Heart every year. This year, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart will be observed on June 28.