Apologia: The Fullness of Christian Truth


``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D


 

Devotion to
the Sacred Heart of Jesus

 The Sacred Heart is shown wounded, encircled by a crown of thorns, surmounted by a Cross, and aflame with love for mankind. This symbol springs from the vision of the Sacred Heart had by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.

"We the Christians are the true Israel which springs from Christ, for we are carved out of His heart as from a rock." -- St. Justin Martyr (d. 165)

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." -- Matthew 11:29

"There is in the Sacred Heart the symbol and express image of the infinite love of Jesus Christ which moves us to love in return." -- Pope Leo XIII


 
 
The heart has always been seen as the "center" or essence a person ("the heart of the matter," "you are my heart," "take it to heart," etc.) and the wellspring of our emotional lives and love ("you break my heart," "my heart sings," etc.) Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is devotion to Jesus Christ Himself, but in the particular ways of meditating on his interior life and on His threefold love -- His divine love, His burning love that fed His human will, and His sensible love that affects His interior life. Pope Pius XII of blessed memory writes on this topic in his 1956 encyclical, Haurietis Aquas (On Devotion To The Sacred Heart).Below are a few excerpts which help explain the devotion:

54. ...the Heart of the Incarnate Word is deservedly and rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that threefold love with which the divine Redeemer unceasingly loves His eternal Father and all mankind.

55. It is a symbol of that divine love which He shares with the Father and the Holy Spirit but which He, the Word made flesh, alone manifests through a weak and perishable body, since "in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily."

56. It is, besides, the symbol of that burning love which, infused into His soul, enriches the human will of Christ and enlightens and governs its acts by the most perfect knowledge derived both from the beatific vision and that which is directly infused.

57. And finally -- and this in a more natural and direct way -- it is the symbol also of sensible love, since the body of Jesus Christ, formed by the Holy Spirit, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, possesses full powers of feelings and perception, in fact, more so than any other human body.

58. Since, therefore, Sacred Scripture and the official teaching of the Catholic faith instruct us that all things find their complete harmony and order in the most holy soul of Jesus Christ, and that He has manifestly directed His threefold love for the securing of our redemption, it unquestionably follows that we can contemplate and honor the Heart of the divine Redeemer as a symbolic image of His love and a witness of our redemption and, at the same time, as a sort of mystical ladder by which we mount to the embrace of "God our Savior."

59. Hence His words, actions, commands, miracles, and especially those works which manifest more clearly His love for us -- such as the divine institution of the Eucharist, His most bitter sufferings and death, the loving gift of His holy Mother to us, the founding of the Church for us, and finally, the sending of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and upon us -- all these, We say, ought to be looked upon as proofs of His threefold love.

60. Likewise we ought to meditate most lovingly on the beating of His Sacred Heart by which He seemed, as it were, to measure the time of His sojourn on earth until that final moment when, as the Evangelists testify, "crying out with a loud voice 'It is finished.', and bowing His Head, He yielded up the ghost."Then it was that His heart ceased to beat and His sensible love was interrupted until the time when, triumphing over death, He rose from the tomb.

61. But after His glorified body had been re-united to the soul of the divine Redeemer, conqueror of death, His most Sacred Heart never ceased, and never will cease, to beat with calm and imperturbable pulsations. Likewise, it will never cease to symbolize the threefold love with which He is bound to His heavenly Father and the entire human race, of which He has every claim to be the mystical Head.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart has two elements: consecration and reparation:

  • We consecrate ourselves to the Sacred Heart by acknowledging Him as Creator and Redeemer and as having full rights over us as King of Kings, by repenting, and by resolving to serve Him.
     

  • We make reparations for the indifference and ingratitude with which He is treated and for leaving Him abandoned by humanity.

To carry out these general goals of consecration and reparation, there are quite specific devotions authorized by the Church.

 
 
Specific Devotions

From the earliest days of the Church, "Christ's open side and the mystery of blood and water were meditated upon, and the Church was beheld issuing from the side of Jesus, as Eve came forth from the side of Adam. It is in the eleventh and twelfth centuries that we find the first unmistakable indications of devotion to the Sacred Heart. Through the wound in the side, the wounded Heart was gradually reached, and the wound in the Heart symbolized the wound of love." (Catholic Encyclopedia)

St. John Chrysostom (b. ca. 347) in his 85th Homily on the Gospel of St. John wrote:

For "there came forth water and blood." Not without a purpose, or by chance, did those founts come forth, but because by means of these two together the Church consisteth. And the initiated know it, being by water indeed regenerate, and nourished by the Blood and the Flesh. Hence the Mysteries take their beginning; that when thou approachest to that awful cup, thou mayest so approach, as drinking from the very side.

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque's vision of the Sacred HeartThe waters of Baptism, and the Blood of the Eucharist, pouring forth from Christ's side, brought the Church into existence just as Eve was formed from Adam's side. And just as God took man and "breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul," so at the Pentecost did the Holy Ghost come down over the Church and bring Her to life.

General devotion to the Sacred Heart, the birthplace of the Church and the font of Love, were popular in Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries, especially in response to the devotion of St. Gertrude the Great (b. 1256), but specific devotions became even more popularized when St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), a Visitation nun, had a personal revelation involving a series of visions of Christ as she prayed before the Blessed Sacrament. She wrote, "He disclosed to me the marvels of his Love and the inexplicable secrets of his Sacred Heart." Christ emphasized to her His love -- and His woundedness caused by Man's indifference to this love.

He promised that, in response to those who consecrate themselves and make reparations to His Sacred Heart:

  • He will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
  • He will establish peace in their homes.
  • He will comfort them in all their afflictions.
  • He will be their secure refuge during life, and above all, in death.
  • He will bestow abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.
  • Sinners will find in His Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
  • Lukewarm souls shall become fervent.
  • Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
  • He will bless every place in which an image of His Heart is exposed and honored.
  • He will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
  • Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in His Heart.
  • In the excessive mercy of His Heart that His all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in His disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. His divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.


The devotions attached to these promises are:

  • Receiving Communion frequently
  • First Fridays: going to Confession and receiving the Eucharist on the first Friday of each month for nine consecutive months. Many parishes will offer public First Friday devotions; if they do, you must perform First Fridays publicly. If it isn't so offered in your parish, you can do this privately, going to Confession, receiving the Eucharist, and offering your prayers for the intention of the Holy Father.
  • Holy Hour: Eucharistic Adoration for one hour on Thursdays ("Could you not watch one hour with me?"). Holy Hour can be made alone or as part of a group with formal prayers.
  • Celebrating of the Feast of the Sacred Heart (see below)

Note also that June is devoted to the Sacred Heart.

 

Feast of the Sacred Heart

The Friday that follows the Second Sunday in Time After Pentecost is the Feast of the Sacred Heart which brings to mind all the attributes of His Divine Heart mentioned above. Many Catholics prepare for this Feast by beginning a Novena to the Sacred Heart on the Feast of Corpus Christi, which is the Thursday of the week before. On the Feast of the Sacred Heart itself, we can gain a plenary indulgence by making an Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart.


 
Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the Feast of Christ the King

On the Feast of Christ the King, celebrated on the last Sunday of October (the Sunday before the Feast of All Saints) and initiated in 1925 by Pius XI in his Encyclical Quas Primas, there follows after the Mass a Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We kneel before the Sacrament and recite the following consecration. Afterwards, there is a Litany and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. In praying the Consecration, going to Confession, and receiving the Eucharist on this day (when devoutly done), the faithful receive a plenary indulgence.

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thine altar. We are Thine, and Thine we wish to be; but, to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy most Sacred Heart.

Many indeed have never known Thee; many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy sacred Heart. Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee; grant that they may quickly return to Thy Father's house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.

Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith, so that there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.

Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism, and refuse not to draw them into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Thine eyes of mercy towards the children of the race, once Thy chosen people: of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior; may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life.

Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: "Praise be to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to it be glory and honor for ever." Amen. 1

Please read about the Kingship of Christ and come to understand the concept's absolute importance. Truly pray the Mass -- at all times, but especially on this day. Pray the Consecration with your whole heart!


 
Enthronement of the Sacred Heart

Father Mateo Crawley-Boevey, a South American priest of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, was inspired by God, after his instantaneous cure at Paray-le-Monial, to preach everywhere the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart to verify this promise of the Saviour given to St. Margaret Mary: "I will bless every dwelling where an image of My Heart is both exposed and honoured."

Enthronement of the Sacred Heart is a solemn act of a family giving formal recognition of the kingship of Christ over their family and home and the official, ceremonial beginning of a family's commitment to live out the effects of their recognition of Christ's Kingship. During the Enthronement ceremony, a blessed image of the Sacred Heart is hung in the most prominent place in the house and Sacred Scripture is placed before it. Formal prayers are prayed and then each member of the household signs a certificate of the Covenant. Contact the National Enthronement Center and ask them for a Certificate to sign for the Enthronement (ask for an "Enthronement Kit"). The set of prayers they may send will be the revised version of the ceremony; I recommend following the outline of the ceremony below. To download it in Microsoft Word .doc format -- 8 pages -- click here):

 

National Enthronement Center
P.O. Box 111
Fairhaven, MA 02719-0111
Tel. (508) 999-2680
Fax (508) 993-8233
Email: necenter@juno.com


Enthronement of the Sacred Heart Ceremony


Preparation: It is good if all can attend Mass that day and receive the Eucharist. If a priest won't be present for the Enthronement Ceremony, an image of the Sacred Heart will have already been blessed. The wall will have already been prepared for hanging the image (if it's to be hung on the wall), flowers and such should adorn the table or mantle under where the picture will be placed/hung, the frame for the Certificate and the Certificate itself should be ready, refreshements will already have been prepared, Sacred Scripture will be handy, any candles used should be lit, etc. If a priest will be attending the ceremony, it is good to have him bless your home.

All are seated while the father explains what is about to happen. The priest or natural father may begin with a short talk on the meaning and importance of the Enthronement, and comment on various steps of the ritual.


V. Our help is in the Name of the Lord. V. Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini.
R. Who made Heaven and earth. R. Qui fecit coelum et terram.
V. The Lord be with you. V. Dominus vobiscum.
R. And with your spirit. R. Et cum spiritu tuo.

Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, who dost approve the painting and sculpturing of the images of Thy Saints, so that as often as we gaze upon them we are reminded to imitate their deeds and sanctity; vouchsafe, we implore Thee, to bless and sanctify this image made in honor and in memory of the Most Sacred Heart of Thy only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ; and grant, that whosoever in its presence, will suppliantly worrship and honor the Most Sacred Heart of Thy only begotten Son, may obtain through His merits and intercession grace in this life and everlasting glory in the world to come. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Oremus. Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui sanctorum tuorum imagines pingi non reprobas, ut quoties illas oculis corporia intuemur, toties eorum actus et sanctitatern ad imitandum memoriae oculis meditemur, hanc quaesumus, imaginem in honorem et memoriam Sacratissimi Cordis Unigeniti Filii tui Domini Nostri J esu Christi adaptatam bene + dicere et sancti + ficare digneris; et praesta ut quicumque coram ilIa, Cor Sacratissimum Unigeniti FilIi tui suppliciter colere et honorare studuerit, illius meritis et obtentu a te gratiam in praesenti, et aeternam gloriam obtineat in futurum. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

The priest or natural father now sprinkles the image with holy water. Then the father, or in his absence, the mother or some other member of the family, enthrones the image in the place of honor prepared for it. This is the symbolic act of Enthronement. All stand.

I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth, and in in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into Hell. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into Heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem caeli et terrae. Et in Iesum Christum, Filium eius unicum, Dominum nostrum, qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus, descendit ad inferos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis, ascendit ad caelos, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis, inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos. Credo in Spiritum Sanctum, sanctam Ecclesiam Catholicam, sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem, vitam aeternam. Amen.

All sit and remain seated while the priest or natural father addresses a few words to those present, reminding the members of the family of what the Sacred Heart expects from families which have acknowledged Him as King; recalling the magnificent promises of the Sacred Heart; urging the family to live its Enthronement and frequently to renew the act of consecration which they are about to make.

Then all kneel, while the priest and the father [or father alone, or his representative] recite the official Act of Consecration.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, who didst make known to St. Margaret Mary Thine ardent desire to reign over Christian families, behold us assembled here today to proclaim Thine absolute dominion over our home.

Henceforth we purpose to lead a life like unto Thine, so that amongst us may flourish the virtues for which Thou didst promise peace on earth, and for this end * we will banish from our midst * the spirit of the world which Thou dost abhor so much.

Thou wilt reign over our understanding by the simplicity of our faith. Thou wilt reign over our hearts by an ardent love for Thee; and may the flame of this love be kept burning in our hearts by the frequent reception of the Holy Eucharist.

Deign, O Divine Heart, to preside over our meetings, to bless our undertakings, both spiritual and temporal, to banish all worry and care, to sanctify our joys and soothe our sorrows. If any of us should ever have the misfortune to grieve Thy Sacred Heart, remind him of Thy goodness and mercy toward the repentant sinner.

Lastly when the hour of separation will sound and death will plunge our home into mourning, then shall we all and everyone of us be resigned to Thy eternal decrees, and seek consolation in the thought that we shall one day be reunited in Heaven, where we shall sing the praises and blessings of Thy Sacred Heart * for all eternity.

May the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the glorious Patriarch St. Joseph offer Thee this our Consecration, and remind us of the same all the days of our life.

Glory to the Divine Heart of Jesus, our King and our Father!

Now all pray the one Pater, one Ave, and one Glory Be:

Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Pater noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur Nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo.

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and in the hour of our death. Amen.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Now all pray a prayer of thanksgivng:

Glory be to Thee, O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for the infinite mercy Thou hast bestowed upon the privileged members of this family. Thou hast chosen it from thousands of others, as a recipient of Thy love and a sanctuary of reparation wherein Thy most loving Heart shall find consolation for the ingratitude of men.

How great, O Lord Jesus, is the confusion of this portion of Thy faithful flock as we accept the unmerited honor of seeing Thee preside over our family! Silently we adore Thee, overjoyed to see Thee sharing under the same roof the toils, cares and joys of Thy children! It is true, we are not worthy that Thou shouldst enter our humble abode, but Thou hast already reassured us, when Thou didst reveal Thy Sacred Heart to us, teaching us to find in the wound of Thy Sacred Side the source of grace and life everlasting. In this loving and trusting spirit we give ourselves to Thee, Thou who art unchanging Life.

Remain with us, Most Sacred Heart, for we feel an irresistible desire to love Thee and make Thee loved. May our home be for Thee a haven as sweet as that of Bethany, where Thou canst find rest in the midst of loving friends, who like Mary have chosen the better part in the loving intimacy of Thy Heart!

May this home be for Thee, O be. loved Savior, a humble but hospitable refuge during the exile imposed on Thee by Thine enemies.

Come, then, Lord Jesus, come, for here as at Nazareth, we have a tender love for the Virgin Mary, Thy sweet Mother whom Thou hast given us to be our Mother. Come, to fill with Thy sweet presence the vacancies which misfortune and death have wrought in our midst.

O most faithful Friend, hadst Thou been here in the midst of sorrow, our tears would have been less bitter; the comforting balm of peace would then have soothed these hidden wounds, which are known to Thee alone.

Come, for even now perhaps, there is drawing near for us the twilight of tribulation, and the decline of the passing days of our youth and our illusions.

Stay with us, for already it is late, and a perverted world seeks to envelop us in the darkness of its denials while we wish to adhere to Thee who alone art the Way the Truth and the Life.

Repeat for us those words Thou didst utter of old: "This day I must abide in this home.

Yes, dear Lord, take up Thy abode with us, so that we may live in Thy love and in Thy presence, we who proclaim Thee as our King and wish no other!

May Thy triumphant Heart, O Jesus, be forever loved, blessed, and glorified in this home! Thy Kingdom Come! Amen!

All stand and thank the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the grace of the Enthronement, and to proclaim this loving Mother as the Queen of the home, all recite the Hail Holy Queen.

Hail holy Queen, mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us. And after this our exile show unto us the blessed Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Amen.

Salve, Regina, mater misericordiae: vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve. Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae. Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes in hac lacrimarum valle. Eia, ergo, advocata nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte. Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis post hoc exsilium ostende. O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria. Amen.

Optional: If so desired, an Act of Consecration to the Heart of Mary may be added, and her image installed near the Sacred Heart.

Heavenly Mother Mary , I come to thy most lovable and sweet Heart, refuge of sinners. I offer myself to thee and consecrate my entire life to thine Immaculate Heart. In this consecration of my total person, I offer thee my body and soul with all its miseries and weaknesses. I offer thee my heart with all its affections and desires, my prayers, works, joys and sufferings. I offer thee every temptation that comes to me so that my every thought and desire may be purified through thy holy intercession.

My Queen, my Mother, I offer thee in consecration all sufferings which come into my life, both physical and spiritual. I offer thee especially my death with all that will accompany it. I offer thee my last agony. Accept all this, my Mother, and take all into thy Immaculate Heart as I give to thee irrevocably all that I am and all that I have, together with all property and possessions. I offer thee my family and all who are near and dear to me. Take them all into thine Immaculate Heart and keep us ever one in thy Son Jesus Christ.

I renew today the vows of my Baptism and Confirmation. Keep me ever faithful to God and to Holy Church, and loyal in obedience to the Holy Father, the Pope. I desire to pray the Rosary properly, meditating on its mysteries. I desire to participate in the Sacrifice of thy Son perpetuated at Holy Mass and receive Him frequently, even daily in Holy Communion. I attach special importance to the first Saturday of the month in reparation to thine Immaculate Heart and I will work for the conversion of sinners. I will strive to live daily the spirit of Eucharistic reparation.

O Queen of the Angels, my Queen and my Mother, I humbly prostrate myself before thee as I approach thee with my Guardian Angel. I desire all the holy Angels, and especially my Guardian, to venerate thee always as Queen of Heaven and Earth. Command my Guardian and all holy Angels to keep me always in thy love and in the union of grace with thy Divine Son. Send forth thy Angels to assist me in spreading devotion to thine Immaculate Heart so that through thine intercession there may be peace in the world and in the Church, and the Kingdom of Christ may come on earth as it is in Heaven. Amen.

The ceremony ends with a short litany:

V. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
R. Have mercy on us!
V. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
R. Have mercy on us!
V. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
R. Have mercy on us!
V. Immaculate Heart of Mary
R. Pray for us.
V. St. Joseph
R. Pray for us.
V. St. Margaret Mary
R. Pray for us.
All: Glory to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus forever and ever! Amen.

The priest gives his blessing in the name of the Church, or the natural father gives a paternal blessing:

May the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, descend upon you and remain forever. Amen.

Then the members of the family and the priest sign the Certificate of the Enthronement, which should be framed and hung near the image of the Sacred Heart or kept in the family vault. After the ceremony, send in name and address of family to a Local Center or to the National Center. Give date of ceremony, name of officiating priest, if any, and parish.

National Enthronement Center
P.O. Box 111
Fairhaven, MA 02719-0111
Tel. (508) 999-2680
Fax (508) 993-8233
Email: necenter@juno.com

Periodic Renewal of the Consecration

Periodically, the family might want to renew the Consecration, especially on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, at the Feast of Christ the King (the last Sunday in October), at births, deaths, major life events, such as First Communions, Confirmations, a child leaving for College, etc. The following prayers are for this purpose:

Renewal of the Consecration of the Family

Most sweet Jesus, humbly kneeling at Thy feet, we renew the consecration of our family to Thy Divine Heart. Be Thou our King forever! In Thee we have full and entire confidence. May Thy spirit penetrate our thoughts, our desires, our words and our works. Bless our undertakings, share in our joys, in our trials and in our labors. Grant us to know Thee better, to love Thee more, to serve Thee without faltering.

By the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of Peace, set up Thy kingdom in our country. Enter closely into the midst of our families and make them Thine own through the solemn enthronement of Thy Sacred Heart, so that soon one cry may resound from home to home: "May the triumphant Heart of Jesus be everywhere loved, blessed and glorified forever!" Honor and glory to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary!

A Prayer for the Christian Family

O God of goodness and mercy, to Thy fatherly protection we commend our family, our household and all that belongs to us. We commit all to Thy love and keeping; do Thou fill this house with Thy blessings even as Thou didst fill the holy house of Nazareth with Thy presence. Keep far from us, above all things, the taint of sin, and do Thou alone reign in our midst by Thy law, by Thy most holy love and by the exercise of every Christian virtue. Let each one of us obey Thee, love Thee and set himself to imitate in his own life Thine example, that of Mary, Thy Mother and our Mother most loving, and that of Thy blameless guardian, Saint Joseph.

Preserve us and our house from all evils and misfortunes, but grant that we may be ever resigned to Thy Divine will even in the sorrows which it shall please Thee to send us. Finally give us all the grace to live in perfect harmony and in the fulness of love toward our neighbor. Grant that every one of us may deserve by a holy life the comfort of Thy holy Sacraments at the hour of death. O Jesus, bless us and protect us.

O Mary, Mother of grace and of mercy, defend us against the wicked spirit, reconcile us with Thy Son, commit us to His keeping, that so we may be made worthy of His promises. St. Joseph, foster father of our Savior, guardian of His holy Mother, head of the Holy Family, intercede for us, bless us and defend our home at all times. Amen.

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1 There is a politically sanitized version of this Act of Consecration. It reads:
Most Sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Your altar. We are Yours, and Yours we wish to be; but to be more surely united to You, behold, each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Your Most Sacred Heart.

Many indeed have never known You; many too, despising Your precepts, have rejected You. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Your Sacred Heart. Be King, O Lord, not only of the faithful children who have never forsaken You, but also of the prodical children who have abandoned You. Grant that they may quickly return to their Father's house, lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.

Be King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions or whom discord keeps aloof; and call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith, so that there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.

Grant, O Lord, to Your Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the Divine Heart that wrought our salvation. To Him be glory and honor forever. Amen.

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