Feast of the Sacred Heart

The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (Latin: Sollemnitas Sacratissimi Cordis Iesu) is a solemnity in the liturgical calendar of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church and certain Anglo-Catholic communities.[1] As celebrated in the Roman Rite of the Latin Church, it falls on the Friday that follows the second Sunday after Pentecost.[2]

Solemnity of the Sacred Heart
Sacred Heart 1770.jpg
Observed byCatholic Church
DateFriday after the second Sunday after Pentecost
2020 dateJune 19
2021 dateJune 11
2022 dateJune 24
2023 dateJune 16
Related toSacred Heart Sunday

The devotion to the Sacred Heart is one of the most widely practiced and best known Catholic devotions, taking Jesus Christ's physical heart as the representation of his divine love for humanity.


Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus can be clearly traced back at least to the eleventh century. It marked the spirituality of Bernard of Clairvaux in the twelfth century and of Bonaventure and Gertrude the Great in the thirteenth. The beginnings of a devotion toward the love of God as symbolized by the heart of Jesus are found even among the Church Fathers, including Origen, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine of Hippo, Hippolytus of Rome, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr and Cyprian, who used in this regard John 7:37-39 and John 19:33-37.[3]


Sacred heart fire on Ifinger Mountain in South Tyrol

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. [4] 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 Droste zu Vischering.

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. Finally, in 1856, Pope Pius IX established the Feast of the Sacred Heart as obligatory for the whole church of Roman Rite, 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.[5] In 1928, Pope Pius XI raised the feast to the highest rank, Double of the First Class, and added an octave; the 1960 reforms of the general Roman calendar suppressed this octave, removing also most other octaves.

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.[6] In 2009, the feast marked the beginning of a "Year for Priests".[7]


The earliest possible date is May 29, as in 1818 and 2285. The latest possible date is July 2, as in 1943 and 2038.

Recent dates through to 2030:

  • 2020 – June 19
  • 2021 – June 11
  • 2022 – June 24
  • 2023 – June 16
  • 2024 – June 7
  • 2025 – June 27
  • 2026 – June 12
  • 2027 – June 4
  • 2028 – June 23
  • 2029 – June 8
  • 2030 – June 28


  1. ^ "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 17 June 2021. Retrieved 11 June 2021 – via Twitter.
  2. ^ Abbot Marmion, O.S.B. "Feast of the Sacred Heart". Archived from the original on 23 June 2018.
  3. ^ The Liturgical Theology of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart
  4. ^ Bainvel, Jean (1910). "Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York City: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved 1 June 2014 – via New Advent.
  5. ^ Pope Leo XIII, Annum Sacrum, §2, May 25, 1899, Libreria Editrice Vaticana
  6. ^ World Priest Day
  7. ^ "Year for Priests". United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Archived from the original on 26 December 2021.

See alsoEdit