Feast of the Sacred Heart

The Feast of the Sacred Heart is a solemnity in the liturgical calendar of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.[2] According to the General Roman Calendar since 1969, it is formally known as the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (Latin: Sollemnitas Sacratissimi Cordis Iesu) and celebrated on the second Friday after Trinity Sunday (see § Date,below.)[3] Some Anglican Franciscans keep the feast under the name of the Divine Compassion of Christ.[4][5]

Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
18th century depiction of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and Saint Louis Gonzaga with the Sacred Heart by José de Páez
Observed byCatholic Church
Antiochian Orthodox Church[1]
DateFriday after the second Sunday after Pentecost
2023 dateJune 16
2024 dateJune 7
2025 dateJune 27
2026 dateJune 12
Related toSacred Heart Sunday

History edit

The first liturgical feast of the Sacred Heart was celebrated, with episcopal approval, on 31 August 1670, in the major seminary of Rennes, France, through the efforts of John Eudes.[6] The Mass and Office composed by Eudes were adopted elsewhere also, especially in connection with the spread of devotion to the Sacred Heart following on the reported revelations to Margaret Mary Alacoque and Mary of the Divine Heart.

In 1726 Rome was again asked for a feast with a Mass and Office of its own; this was refused in 1729, but granted in 1765. In that year, at the request of the queen, the feast was received quasi-officially by the episcopate of France. A Mass of the Sacred Heart won papal approval for use in Poland and Portugal in 1765, and another was approved for Venice, Austria and Spain in 1788.

A traditional Herz-Jesu-Feuer ("Sacred Heart fire") on the slope of Mount Ifinger in South Tyrol, Italy, 2009.

In 1856, at the entreaties of the French bishops, Pope Pius IX extended the Feast of the Sacred Heart to the Latin Church under the rite of double major. It was to be celebrated on the Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi. In June 1889, Leo XIII raised the feast to the dignity of the first class.[7] In 1928, Pope Pius XI raised the feast to the highest rank, double of the first class, and added an octave; the 1955 reforms of the General Roman calendar suppressed, among others, the octave of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. With the liturgical changes in 1969, the feast was assigned the highest rank of solemnity.

The Mass prayers and readings approved on that occasion were replaced with new texts in 1929, and the lectionary published to accompany the 1970 Roman Missal provides three sets of readings, one for each year of the festive three-year liturgical cycle.

Priests may use this Mass, celebrated with white vestments, as a Votive Mass on other days also, especially on the first Friday of each month (unless falling on a day of higher rank). On this first Fridays it is also common to hold an Eucharistic adoration for a few hours (see First Friday devotion).

In Austria and South Tyrol, the so-called Sacred Heart Sunday, that is the Sunday after the Feast of the Sacred Heart, is also celebrated. Numerous processions take place on this day. Sacred Heart Fires are lit in the Bozen (Bolzano) area of Italy, among others.

Since 2002, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is also a special day of prayer for the sanctification of priests.[8] In 2009, the feast marked the beginning of a "Year for Priests".[9]

The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary immediately follows on Saturday.[10]

On June 12, 2023, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the following statement:

This year, on June 16 — the day of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus — a professional baseball team has shockingly chosen to honor a group whose lewdness and vulgarity in mocking our Lord, His Mother, and consecrated women cannot be overstated. This is not just offensive and painful to Christians everywhere; it is blasphemy.[11]

The bishops called on Catholics to pray the Litany of the Sacred Heart on June 16, offering this prayer "... as an act of reparation for the blasphemies against our Lord we see in our culture today."[11]

Date edit

The solemnity is celebrated on the second Friday following Trinity Sunday.[12] The earliest possible date is May 29, as in 1818 and 2285. The latest possible date is July 2, as in 1943 and 2038. Therefore, it is the last feast date of the year dependent on the date of Easter.

In places where the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ is perpetually transferred from Thursday to Sunday (such as the United States and United Kingdom), it will appear on the local calendar as the Friday after the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.[12][3]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ 12 July, Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate. https://www.orthodoxwest.com/kalendar
  2. ^ "Come and join us for the inaugural Mass of the Oxford English Missal Society!". Oxford, England: Oxford English Missal Society. 10 June 2021. Archived from the original on 2021-06-10. Retrieved 11 June 2021 – via Twitter.
  3. ^ a b "Calendar:Solemnities:Sacred Heart". Liturgy Office of England and Wales (Catholic Church). 2023. Retrieved 2024-02-06.
  4. ^ "Celebrating Common Prayer".
  5. ^ "Feast of the Sacred Heart or Divine Compassion".
  6. ^ Bainvel, Jean (1910). "Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus". Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 7. New York City: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved 1 June 2014 – via New Advent.
  7. ^ Pope Leo XIII, Annum Sacrum, §2, May 25, 1899, Libreria Editrice Vaticana
  8. ^ "World Priest Day". Archived from the original on 2020-10-09. Retrieved 2014-06-01.
  9. ^ "Year for Priests". United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Archived from the original on 26 December 2009.
  10. ^ Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), pp. 94, 135
  11. ^ a b "Catholics Invited to Pray an Act of Reparation on Solemnity of the Sacred Heart", USCCB, June 12, 2023
  12. ^ a b "Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus". Vatican News. Retrieved 2023-02-05. The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus – also the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests – is celebrated on the Friday after the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. This suggests to us that the Eucharist (Corpus Christi) is none other than the Heart of Jesus himself, of the One who "takes care of us" with his "heart".