Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus began with the early Church Fathers and has grown to be a favorite devotion among Catholics.
June is the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Several saints received messages and visions from Jesus about His great love for all of us in spite of our sins and laxity. One of these saints was Sister Josefa Menendez, a Spanish nun who lived from 1890 to 1923. She joined the French Order of the Sacred Heart, and for the rest of her life, she suffered and prayed and wrote down the messages that Jesus directed her to write. Her story, as well as all the messages, are contained in the book The Way of Divine Love.
On June 13th, 1917, on the feast of St. Anthony, in Fatima, Our Lady showed to the three children her thorn-wreathed heart, and said, “God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.” Here we have to remember that the sufferings of Our Lady were prophesied by Simeon who foretold that a sword of sorrow would pierce Our Lady’s heart, at the presentation of Christ in the Temple. In the first place, this devotion entails acts of reparation. The thorns that surround the Heart of Mary represent our sins and our rejection of the love of Our Mother, and even the graces that we do not dare to ask because we are afraid of taking new and difficult responsibilities.
This year we celebrate the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus on July 1. This feast day, though not a Holy Day of Obligation, nevertheless is surely one of the most revered of all feast days. There are likely more people dedicated to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus than to all the saints combined. It is a devotion that even Protestants practice, as evidenced by the many pictures of the Sacred Heart in their homes.