Pope Francis to write reflection on Sacred Heart of Jesus devotion

A Sacred Heart of Jesus painting at the altar of the National Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Makati City. (Photo from NSSH via CBCP News)

VATICAN— Pope Francis will prepare a reflection on the Sacred Heart of Jesus for a world “that seems to have lost its heart,” he announced Wednesday.

“I am happy to prepare a document that brings together the valuable reflections of previous magisterial texts and a long history going back to the Sacred Scriptures to re-propose today to the whole Church this devotion, full of spiritual beauty,” he said at the end of his weekly audience with the public June 5.

The pontiff said he intends to publish the document in September, and asked for prayers as he prepares the reflection.

“I believe it will do us much good to meditate on various aspects of the Lord’s love, which can illuminate the path of ecclesial renewal, which says something meaningful to a world that seems to have lost its heart,” he said.

The pope noted that the Church dedicates the month of June to the Sacred Heart, and pointed out that last December 27 was the 350th anniversary of the first appearance of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. The December anniversary began a period of celebration that will extend to June 27, 2025, he explained.

The solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus will be celebrated this year on June 7, the Friday after the second Sunday after Pentecost. The following day, the Church celebrates the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

After his announcement, Pope Francis added a heartfelt appeal to pray for Mary’s intercession for peace in the world.

“The feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which the Church is preparing to celebrate in the coming days, reminds us of the need to respond to the redemptive love of Christ, and invites us to entrust ourselves with confidence to the intercession of the Mother of the Lord,” he said.

“We ask the Lord, through the intercession of his Mother, for peace,” the pope prayed, pausing before adding, “peace in the tormented Ukraine, peace in Palestine, Israel, peace in Myanmar.”

“We pray that the Lord will give us peace and that the world will not suffer so much from war. May the Lord bless everyone. Amen.” he concluded.