Meeting the Sacred Heart

Yesterday was the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a traditional feast that goes back centuries. As a private devotion, it was commonplace by the sixteenth century and grew even more popular after a series of visions experienced by French visitation nun, Mary Margaret of Alacoque.

Pope Pius IX made the devotion a feast in the universal Church in 1856 and then in 1899, Pope Leo XIII consecrated the world to the Sacred Heart. A number of encyclicals have been written on the devotion over the years.

This feast can be a little strange to new or non-Catholics who haven’t quite developed the stomach for devotions that are seemingly focused on body parts. In reality, the feast is really a meditation on the profound  love that Jesus Christ has for each and every person. 

For the modern Christian who wants to contemplate the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I recommend a new book: A Heart Like His: Meditations on the Sacred Heart of Jesus, by IC friend, Fr. Thomas D. Williams.

Fr. Williams’ meditations are short and accessible — each focused on the basic prayer that the Lord make our hearts more like His own. The book has a padded cover and a ribbon to mark your place — perfect for nighttime reading. And it also includes a separate chapter and prayer for the sister feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which is today.


Zoe Romanowsky


Zoe Romanowsky is writer, consultant, and coach. Her articles have appeared in "Catholic Digest," "Faith & Family," "National Catholic Register," "Our Sunday Visitor," "Urbanite," "Baltimore Eats," and Zo

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