As new editions of this august publication are released in print on Fridays, to write about a feast that falls on a Friday forces me to jump ahead, which is what we shall do hereunder.
Next Friday is the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. St John Eudes (d 1680) was a source of modern devotion to the Sacred Heart, as were the accounts by St Margaret Mary Alacoque (d 1690) of revelations from the Lord.
Eventually, in 1856, Blessed Pius IX gave the feast to the whole world, and in 1889 Leo XIII dedicated the whole world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus; in 1899 he also approved for public use a litany of 33 invocations.
In 1928 Pius XI prescribed an Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart in an encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor. He wrote:
Even as consecration proclaims and confirms this union with Christ, so does expiation begin that same union by washing away faults, and perfect it by participating in the sufferings of Christ, and consummate it by offering victims for the brethren. And this indeed was the purpose of the merciful Jesus, when He showed His Heart to us bearing about it the symbols of the Passion and displaying the flames of love, that from the one we might know the
infinite malice of sin, and in the other we might admire the infinite charity of Our Redeemer, and so might have a more vehement hatred of sin, and make a more ardent return of love for His love.
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