The Feast of the Heart of Jesus

The Society of Jesus participates in the mission of compassion of Jesus Christ

Very soon, on the occasion of the closing celebration of the Ignatian Year, Father Arturo Sosa, Superior General, will consecrate the Society of Jesus to the Heart of Jesus.

Why is this?

Today, 24 June, is the feast of the Sacred Heart. It is linked to a devotion that may seem old-fashioned in some of its formulas, its processions and hymns that emphasize the suffering aspect of Christ on the cross.

However, this celebration has had a special place in the spiritual tradition of the Society of Jesus, at least for the past 150 years. Indeed, in 1872, the then-Father General, Fr. Jan Beckx, consecrated the Society to the Sacred Heart for the first time. Fr Pedro Arrupe did the same 50 years ago. Therefore, 2022 is a jubilee year for this tradition as well. This fact has been particularly highlighted at the shrine of Paray-le-Monial in France, where the Jesuit missionary Claude de la Colombière and Marguerite-Marie Alacoque invited the faithful to benefit from the graces of goodness, mercy and tenderness that the heart of Jesus represents.

More recently, the director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, Fr. Frederic Fornos, after having outlined the history of the devotion to the Sacred Heart in the Society of Jesus, concluded by stating that one of the prayer paths proposed by the Network is called The Way of the Heart. This itinerary is an updating for today of the devotion to the Heart of Christ. It is a coherent presentation of the spiritual treasure of the Apostleship of Prayer in the light of the Spiritual Exercises. It leads our hearts closer to the Heart of Christ, making us available to his mission, a mission of compassion for the world.

To conclude, we suggest a prayer to the Sacred Heart, proposed by Pope John Paul II during a visit to Delhi, India, in 1986.

Lord Jesus Christ, Redeemer of the human race,
to your most Sacred Heart we turn with humility and trust, with reverence and hope,
with a deep desire to give to you glory and honour and praise.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God,
we praise you for the love that you have revealed through your Sacred Heart,
which was pierced for us and which has become the fountain of our joy, the source of our eternal life.

Gathered together in your Name, which is above all other names,
we consecrate ourselves to your most Sacred Heart,
in which dwells the fullness of truth and charity.

Renew our desire to respond in love to the rich outpouring of your merciful love.

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Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles media relations.

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