What is the Meaning of the Sacred Heart of Jesus?

Sacred Heart, modern, blue robeSACRED HEART. The physical Heart of Christ as the principal sign and symbol of the threefold love with which he loves his eternal Father and all mankind. It is, therefore, a symbol of the divine love he shares with the Father and the Holy Spirit but that he, the Word made flesh, alone manifests through a weak and perishable body, since “in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). It is, besides, the symbol of that burning love which, infused into his soul, enriches the human will of Christ and enlightens and governs its acts by the most perfect knowledge derived both from the beatific vision and that which is directly infused. And finally it is the symbol also of sensible love, since the body of Christ possesses full powers of feeling and perception, in fact more so than any other human body (Pope Pius XII, Haurietis Aquas, II, 55-57).


The subjective response of the faithful to the objective fact of Christ’s love, divine and human, symbolized in his physical Heart. Historically the Devotion to the Sacred Heart is an outgrowth of devotion to Christ’s sacred humanity, which the Church has more than once defended as adorable because the human nature of Christ forms one Person with the divine nature, and that Person is divine. A series of mystics over centuries contributed to the development of this devotion, notably St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), St. Bonaventure (1221-74), St. Mechtilde (1210-80), St. Gertrude (1256-1302), St. Frances of Rome (1384-1440), St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622), and St. John Eudes (1601-80). But it was especially St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-90), whose revelations before the Blessed Sacrament gave the devotion its modern aspect and importance. Through her Jesuit spiritual director, Claude de la Colombiere (1641-82), the Society of Jesus made promotion of the cultus of the Sacred Heart part of its institute, notably through the Apostleship of Prayer.

About bodhicap

This is the journal-blog from the Capuchins at Bodhi Institute of Theology, Tillery, Kollam, India.
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