The Order of the Eagle is devoted to the Immaculate And Sacred Hearts. We stay close to the Rosary (our weapon) and wear the Scapular (our armor).
In the eleventh and twelfth centuries we find the first indications of devotion to the Sacred Heart. It was the Benedictine or Cistercian monasteries, in the world of Anselmian or Bernardine that the devotion began. We cannot state with certainty to whom we are indebted for the “Vitis mystica”. Until recent times its authorship had generally been ascribed to Saint Bernard but the publishers of the Quaracchi edition attributed it to Saint Bonaventure. Saint Gertrude on the feast of Saint John the Evangelist laid her head near the wound in the Saviour’s side and heard the beating of the Divine Heart. She asked John if he had felt these pulsationson the night of the Last Supper and why he had never spoken of this experience. John replied that this revelation had been reserved for subsequent ages when the world, having grown cold, would have need of it to rekindle its love. (“Legatus divinae pietatis”, IV, 305; “Revelationes Gertrudianae”, ed. Poitiers and Paris, 1877)
On 31 August 1670 the first feast of the Sacred Heart was celebrated in the Grand Seminary of Rennes . Coutances followed suit on 20 October. The feast soon spread to other dioceses and the devotion was adopted in various religious communities.
Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), Visitandine of the monastery at Paray-le Monial, was chosen by Christ to reveal the desires of His Heart and to confide the task of inspiring new life to the devotion. There is nothing to indicated that this pious religious had known the devotion prior to the revelations. These revelations were numerous, and the following apparitions are especially remarkable: that which occurred on the feast of Saint John, when Jesus permitted Margaret Mary, as He had formerly allowed Saint Gertrude , to rest her head upon His Heart, and then disclosed to her the wonders of His love, telling her that He desired to make them known to all mankind and to diffuse the treasures of His goodness, and that He had chosen her for this work (27 Dec., probably 1673); that, probably distinct from the preceding, in which He requested to be honoured under the figure of His Heart of flesh; that, when He appeared radiant with love and asked for a devotion of expiatory love frequent Communion , Communion on the First Friday of the month, and the observance of the Holy Hour (probably June / July, 1674); that known as the “great apparition” which took place during the octave of Corpus Christi, (1675, probably 16 June), when He said, “Behold the Heart that has so loved men, instead of gratitude I receive from the greater part of mankind only ingratitude”, and asked her for a feast of reparation of the Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi, bidding her consult Father de la Colombière , then superior of the small Jesuit house at Paray; and finally, those in which solemn homage was asked on the part of the king, and the mission of propagating the new devotion was especially confided to the religious of the Visitation and the priests of the Society of Jesus . A few days after the “great apparition”, of June, 1675, Margaret Mary made all known to Father de la Colombière , and the latter, recognizing the action of the spirit of God, consecrated himself to the Sacred Heart, directed the holy Visitandine to write an account of the apparition, and made use of every available opportunity discreetly to circulate this account through France and England. At his death, 15 February 1682, there was found in his journal of spiritual retreats a copy in his own handwriting of the account that he had requested of Margaret Mary. This journal, including the account and a beautiful “offering” to the Sacred Heart, in which the devotion was well explained, was published at Lyons in 1684.
The death of Margaret Mary, 17 October 1690, did not dampen the ardour of those interested; on the contrary, a short account of her life published by Father Croiset in 1691, as an appendix to his book “De la Dévotion au Sacré Cœur”, served only to increase it. In spite of all sorts of obstacles, and of the slowness of the Holy See, which in 1693 imparted indulgences to the Confraternities of the Sacred Heart and, in 1697, granted the feast to the Visitandines with the Mass of the Five Wounds, but refused a feast common to all, with special Mass and Office, the devotion spread, particularly in religious communities. The Marseilles plague, 1720, furnished perhaps the first occasion for a solemn consecration and public worship outside of religious communities. Other cities of the South followed the example of Marseilles, and thus the devotion became a popular one. In 1726 it was deemed advisable once more to importune Rome for a feast with a Mass and Office of its own but in 1729 Rome again refused. However, in 1765, it finally yielded and that same year, at the request of the queen, the feast was received quasi officially by the episcopate of France. In 1856 Pope Pius IX extended the feast to the universal Church under the rite of double major. In 1889 it was raised by the Church to the double rite of first class. The acts of consecration and of reparation were everywhere introduced together with the devotion. Since about 1850 groups, congregations, and States have consecrated themselves to the Sacred Heart. In 1875 this consecration was made throughout the Catholic world. Still the pope did not wish to take the initiative or to intervene. On 11 June, 1899 by order of Leo XIII and with the formula prescribed by him, all mankind was solemnly consecrated to the Sacred Heart. The idea of this act, which Leo XIII called “the great act” of his pontificate, had been proposed to him by a religious of the Good Shepherd from Oporto (Portugal) who said that she had received it from Christ Himself. She was a member of the Drost-zu-Vischering family, and known in religion as Sister Mary of the Divine Heart. She died on the feast of the Sacred Heart, two days before the consecration, which had been deferred to the following Sunday. Whilst alluding to these great public manifestations we must not omit referring to the intimate life of the devotion in souls, to the practices connected with it, and to the works and associations of which it was the very life. Moreover, we must not overlook the social character which it has assumed particularly of late years. The Catholics of France, especially, cling firmly to it as one of their strongest hopes of ennoblement and salvation.
Efficacious Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
I. O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.” Behold I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of…… (here name your request)
Our Father…. Hail Mary…. Glory Be to the Father… Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
II. O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.” Behold, in your name, I ask the Father for the grace of…….(here name your request)
Our Father…. Hail Mary…. Glory Be to the Father… Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
III. O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away.” Encouraged by your infallible words I now ask for the grace of…..(here name your request)
Our Father…. Hail Mary…. Glory Be to the Father… Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of you, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, your tender Mother and ours.
Say the Hail, Holy Queen and add: St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.
The Fatima Message Explains:
Jesus Wants Devotion to the
Joined to Devotion
to the Immaculate Heart
In various parts of the Fatima Message, devotion to the Sacred Heart is promoted with devotion to the Immaculate Heart.
The Message of the Angel of Fatima
First there are the words of the Angel of Peace in the spring of 1916 to the 3 children of Fatima:
The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications.
Then he speaks again in the summer of 1916:
The Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary have merciful designs for you.
Then in the autumn of 1916, he dictates a prayer which in part says:
And I draw upon the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary that You might convert poor sinners.
This theme of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, in the Fatima Message, is also seen in the apparitions of Jesus and Mary to Sister Lucy at Pontevedra and Tuy noted above.
This same theme is seen in the prayers Jesus dictated for us to say in honor of the Pure and Immaculate Conception of Our Lady as well as the prayer to the Sweet Heart of Mary given at Rianjo.
Jesus Addresses This Subject Explicitly:
But the most striking message about the importance of joining the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus with that of the Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is seen in the dialogue of Jesus with Sister Lucy in 1936. We quote here directly from Sister Lucys letter of May 18, 1936 to her spiritual director who had asked her several questions. She replies:
About the other questions, if it will be convenient to insist in order to obtain the Consecration of Russia? I answer in almost the same way as I answered the other times. I am sorry that it has not been done yet, but the same God Who asked for it, is the One Who permitted it. I am going to say what I feel about it, although it is too delicate a subject to talk about in a letter, due to the danger of it getting lost and being read, but I entrust it to the same God, because I am afraid I have not treated the matter with enough clarity.
Is it convenient to insist? I dont know. It seems to me that if the Holy Father did it right now, God would accept it, and would fulfill His promise; and without any doubt, through this act, the Holy Father would gladden Our Lord and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. (Her letter continues:)
(Lucy) Intimately I have spoken to Our Lord about the subject, and not too long ago I asked Him why He would not convert Russia without the Holy Father making that Consecration?
(Jesus) Because I want My whole Church to acknowledge that Consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so that it may extend its cult later on, and put the Devotion to My Mothers Immaculate Heart beside the Devotion to My Sacred Heart.
But My God, the Holy Father probably wont believe me, unless You Yourself move him with a special inspiration.
The Holy Father. Pray very much for the Holy Father. He will do it, but it will be late!… Nevertheless the Immaculate Heart of Mary will save Russia. It has been entrusted to Her.”
The 10 Promises for the
Apostles of the Sacred Heart
Along with the 12 Promises gathered from the writings of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, there are also 10 Promises for those who promote devotion to the Sacred Heart. These are taken from the most authoritative book on the subject, The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, written by Father John Croiset, S.J. during the lifetime of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque. In fact, St. Margaret Mary wrote to Father Croiset to tell him that Our Lord was pleased with the book, that the book was completely in accordance with His wishes, and that it would not be necessary to make any changes to it. May these 10 Promises increase our zeal to spread devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
My Divine Master, writes St. Margaret Mary, showed me the names of several persons written in letters of gold on His Sacred Heart, names of which He will never allow to be effaced. These are the names of the persons who have labored the most to make His Sacred Heart known and loved.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus has such a great desire to be known, loved and honored by men; He wishes so ardently to establish the empire of His love in all hearts by destroying in them the empire of Satan, that He promises great recompenses to all those who devote themselves with their whole hearts to establishing the reign of His Sacred Heart according to the lights and graces which He gives them.
In addition to the friendship of the Divine Heart, the apostles of the Devotion are assured of the protection of the Blessed Virgin and of the saints, especially of St. Margaret Mary.
She writes: Oh! what happiness for us and for all who contribute in making the loving Heart of Jesus known and glorified! For they will draw down upon themselves the friendship and eternal blessings of this unique Love of our hearts. The Blessed Virgin will be their special protectress, She will assist them in attaining to the perfect life.
The apostles of the Sacred Heart will make rapid progress in virtue. The Sacred Heart of Jesus will sanctify and glorify them.
The loving Heart of Jesus, writes St. Margaret Mary, has made known to me that He will take care to sanctify and glorify us before His Heavenly Father in the measure in which we exert ourselves to procure glory for Him and to increase the reign of His love in the hearts of men.
The apostles of the Sacred Heart will receive the grace of the pure love of God.
The zeal with which you labor to make the Sacred Heart of Jesus known and loved will gain for you in an ever increasing degree the crowning gift of the pure love of God.
The apostles of the Sacred Heart will draw down special blessings on their native land and on their families.
Oh! what happiness for those who contribute to making the adorable Heart of Jesus known, loved and glorified! By what means they will secure a powerful Protector for their native land.
Great blessings are reserved for the works of zeal undertaken by those apostolic workers who propagate the devotion to the Sacred Heart. They will make great conversions.
My divine Savior, writes St. Margaret Mary, assured me that those who labor for the salvation of souls will have the art of touching the hardest hearts and will obtain marvelous success, if they themselves are animated with a tender devotion to His Divine Heart.
He will penetrate the most unfeeling hearts by the words of His preachers and faithful friends. He will so pour out the sweet unction of His ardent charity with such strong and powerful graces on their words that He will make them like a flaming sword which will cause the most frozen hearts to melt in His love. The words of these apostles will be like two-edged swords, which will penetrate the most hardened hearts and make the holy fountain of penance spring up in them, purifying and sanctifying the most obstinate sinners and rendering them susceptible to the love of this Divine Heart. By this means the most criminal souls will be led on to salutary penance.
It will be given to the apostles of the Sacred Heart to understand the inestimable value of the Cross, and they will obtain strength and consolation in their difficulties.
The adorable Heart of Jesus, writes St. Margaret Mary, wishes to establish the reign of His pure love in all hearts. Happy are those whom He will employ to aid Him to establish His reign! But He did not tell me that His friends would have nothing to suffer, for He wishes them to make their greatest happiness consist in tasting its bitterness.
The apostles of the Sacred Heart will obtain the grace of final perseverance and of a holy death.
The Sacred Heart Itself will be the reward of Its apostles.
Happy are those, writes St. Margaret Mary, whom the Sacred Heart of Jesus will employ in establishing His reign. For it seems to me that It is like a king who thinks only of recompensing His friends while He gains victories and triumphs over His enemies. When this Sacred Heart reigns victorious on His throne, Jesus will Himself be their eternal recompense.
Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is at the very core of the Fatima message. The Blessed Mother presented it as the solution to the problems of the world and to save souls from going to Hell.
Devotion of Reparation
As recommended by the Blessed Mother, this devotion is intended to make reparation for the ongoing offenses suffered by the Immaculate Heart. At the June 1917 apparition, Our Lady opened her hands, which gave off an intense light: “In front of the palm of Our Lady’s right hand was a heart surrounded with thorns that appeared to be piercing it. We understood it was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, insulted by the sins of humanity, which wanted reparation.”
A Symbol of Our Lady’s Love
From time immemorial the heart has symbolized love, the most noble of all sentiments. In relation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, it represents the Savior’s redeeming love to the point of delivering Himself for us and the co-redeeming love of Mary Most Holy that is united intimately with her Divine Son’s sacrifice.
Thus, the object of devotion to the Sacred Hearts is His merciful love. This is why Pope Pius XII affirmed the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus—it is fundamental. Based on his argument, theologians say the same about the Immaculate Heart of Mary: it is well understood and it is the essence of all devotion to the Blessed Mother.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary is also a dolorous heart, pierced with sorrow. Soon after the joys of the Savior’s birth, at the Presentation in the Temple, the old Simeon, turning to the Mother of God, prophesied, “Behold, this child is set for the ruin, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted. And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed.”
A Maternal Heart, Full of Tenderness
It would be impossible in a short article to cover all aspects of the Immaculate Heart. But one cannot fail to recall that it is a motherly Heart filled with the tenderness that the best of all mothers had for the best of all sons. This tenderness is reflected in the love, full of mercy, that she has for us; which is why we invoke her as Mater Misericordiae.
A Devotion Suited to Our Days
We find ourselves today in a time when sentiment is dying and relationships between persons are increasingly dominated by brutality, cynicism, self-interest and sensuality.
Just think of abortion! Is this not the most cruel and brutal suppression of the most noble of all affections, which is motherly love? Isn’t this love often shortchanged by the attachment for a professional career or a transitory promiscuous relationship? Isn’t something similar happening to fatherly love? Isn’t this tragic egoism that destroys family relationships, and thus the family itself, spreading to all other types of human relationships? Thus one understands the Blessed Mother’s 1917 prophetic wisdom in Fatima when men would witness the death of sentiment.
Hence the remedy for the immense crisis we find ourselves in is devotion to that venerable and most holy Heart capable of restoring true feelings of love, affection and mercy, and the purity of which our times are so needful. The Immaculate Heart is the source, overflowing with motherly love, of the one who is “full of grace.”
A Solemn Act of Consecration to the
Immaculate Heart of Mary
Most Holy Virgin Mary, tender Mother of men, to fulfill the desires of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the request of the Vicar of Your Son on earth, we consecrate ourselves and our families to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, O Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and we recommend to You, all the people of our country and all the world.
Please accept our consecration, dearest Mother, and use us as You wish to accomplish Your designs in the world.
O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and Queen of the World, rule over us, together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, Our King. Save us from the spreading flood of modern paganism; kindle in our hearts and homes the love of purity, the practice of a virtuous life, an ardent zeal for souls, and a desire to pray the Rosary more faithfully.
We come with confidence to You, O Throne of Grace and Mother of Fair Love. Inflame us with the same Divine Fire which has inflamed Your own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Make our hearts and homes Your shrine, and through us, make the Heart of Jesus, together with your rule, triumph in every heart and home.