The Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Message of Fatima
The Fatima Center wishes you a blessed and grace-filled feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus!
“Behold this Heart! which has so loved men as to spare Itself nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, to testify to them Its love, and in return I receive nothing but ingratitude from the greater part of men by the contempt, irreverence, sacrileges, and coldness which they have for Me in this Sacrament of My love.” (Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque)
In today’s Divine Office readings for Matins is related the history of, and progressive increase in, devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. (That can be read here. Also listed there are Twelve Promises for those who honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the manner requested by Our Lord and Ten Promises for those who promote this devotion.)
In this reflection we shall consider this great Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in light of the Message of Fatima. We invite you to add other considerations in our comment section below.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Fatima Apparitions
“I want My whole Church to acknowledge that Consecration [of Russia] as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so that later on it will put the Devotion to My Mother’s Immaculate Heart beside the Devotion to My Sacred Heart.” (Our Lord to Sister Lucia, May 1936)
We see that Our Lord wants the devotions to His Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary joined. And oftentimes in the Fatima apparitions they are promoted together. For example, in 1916 the Angel of Fatima mentioned both in each apparition to the three shepherd children.
- Spring: “The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.”
- Summer: “The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy for you!”
- Autumn: “And by the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.” (Excerpt of prayer taught by the Angel.)
This also occurs in other Fatima-related apparitions of Our Lord and Our Lady:
- Our Lady, July 13, 1917: “You have seen Hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wills to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. … To prevent this [punishment of the world for its many offenses], I shall come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays.”
- The Child Jesus, December 10, 1925 (to Sister Lucia in Pontevedra, Spain): “Have compassion on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce It at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of Reparation to remove them.”
- Our Lady (Pontevedra): “Look My daughter, at My Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce Me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude.”
- Our Lady, June 13, 1929 (to Sister Lucia in Tuy, Spain): “The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.”
- Our Lord, May 1936 (to Sister Lucia, in response to her question of why He requires the Consecration of Russia to be done by the Pope together with all the Catholic bishops): “Because I want My whole Church to acknowledge that Consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so that later on it will put the Devotion to My Mother’s Immaculate Heart beside the Devotion to My Sacred Heart.”
By this sequence of quotes we see that those who truly love Our Lord Jesus Christ will heed His request to honor His Mother by practicing devotion (and making reparation) to Her Immaculate Heart. But this last quote is the most explicit one regarding the importance of joining these two devotions: Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
But why does Our Lord want these two devotions joined?
God wants these two devotions joined in Catholic practice to correctly and accurately reflect the sublime truth that the Heart of Jesus and the Heart of Mary are mystically One United Heart. This great mystery is explained well by St. John Eudes, St. Louis de Montfort and many other great Marian saints. Catholic devotions must always be consistent with Catholic dogma so as to lead man ever more deeply to God, Who is Absolute Truth.
The most authentic devotion is imitation. So to be devoted to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts means that we imitate them as best we can. And no one imitated Our Lord more perfectly than Our Lady. In fact, She is so perfectly conformed to His Heart that one can speak of their Two Hearts as simply being One. Can one find a simpler or better explanation of sanctity?
Our Lady’s Heart being perfectly united to Our Lord’s Heart is in turn a prefigurement of what will analogously happen to every human heart which enjoys the Beatific Vision eternally in Heaven. This profound reality is therefore also foundational to the mystery of the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ.
Consider the following words of St. Paul’s in light of these truths: “That [the Sacred Heart of] Christ may dwell by faith in your hearts; that being rooted and founded in charity, you may be able to comprehend … [and] know also the [Sacred Heart] of Christ, which surpasseth all knowledge, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.” (cf. Ephesians 3:17-19)
And we may consider the following as well: “[T]hat I may live to God; with [the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts] I am nailed to the Cross. And I live, now not I; but [the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts] liveth in me. And that I live now in the flesh; I live in the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and delivered Himself for me.” (cf. Galatians 2:19-20)
All this means that if we practice devotion to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts well, then we are in fact “practicing for Heaven” here on earth. This is basically another way of correctly addressing the question so often at the forefront of man’s mind: What is ‘the meaning of life’?
Also, Our Lord will not convert Russia until the Pope and the bishops publicly and solemnly consecrate specifically Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. God wills that when the sudden and miraculous conversion of Russia takes place, everyone will be able to recognize that it was a direct result of that Consecration – due to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary (and the obedience of the Pope and the bishops to the command of Our Lord). God also wills everyone to acknowledge it as a gift of Jesus’ ardent desire to manifest His Heart “with all Its treasures of love and mercy, of sanctification and salvation.”
What You Can Do
“The practice of this devotion to the Sacred Heart will not bear proper fruit without the proper motive, which is essential to the devotion. That motive is love of Jesus Christ and making reparation, as far as in our power, for all the indignities and outrages which Jesus Christ suffers daily in the Blessed Eucharist at the hands of sinful men.” (from The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus)
On this great Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we encourage all Catholics to greater love and devotion of Our Lord’s Sacred Heart, and to make reparation for the outrages which He suffers daily in the Blessed Sacrament. Here are a few suggested devotional practices; please add your own:
- Celebrate the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart; attend Mass, receive Communion.
- Pray the Rosary before an image of the Sacred Heart.
- Consecrate the feast day to honoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus; in addition to the above, visit Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, delay unnecessary business for another day if possible, and offer sacrifices as reparation by denying ourselves all useless amusement.
- During the month of June, the month of the Sacred Heart, attend Mass and receive Communion as often as possible; specifically offering them in reparation for the ingratitude of so many men towards His Sacred Heart.
- Observe the First Friday of each month: attend Holy Mass, receive Communion of Reparation.
- Pray the Litany of the Sacred Heart, perhaps every day in June, after your daily Rosary or as part of your morning or night prayers.
- Learn more about this devotion; read the book, The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, by Fr. John Croisset, S.J.
- Promote devotion to the Sacred Heart (see the Ten Promises associated for doing so).
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
 This section based on Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary: Prayers, Practices & Promises, pp. 27-28; The True Story of Fatima, pp. 6-7.
 In context, Sister Lucia’s confessor had already tried for seven years to convince the Pope to do the Consecration of Russia, but without success; therefore, recognizing the futility of these efforts, she asked Our Lord why He would not convert Russia without the Pope’s cooperation.
 Surely, the union of the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary in One is the absolute closest imitation a created being can achieve to the unity found in the Blessed Trinity: three distinct Divine Persons in One God.