Devotion to the Sacred Heart
#1
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The month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in honor of which I’ve decided to go a little in-depth on the devotion for those unfamiliar with this excellent means to grow closer to Christ. As a recent devotee to the Sacred Heart, I can personally vouch for the beautiful abundance of spiritual graces which accompany this most blessed among all devotions (emphasis mine). As well as promote its necessity in this current crisis we face regarding the faith, which was expressed by Our Lady at Fatima.
 
The devotion of the Sacred Heart was known in its material form since the early Church, but it was not until the 17th century that it was given to the world from our Redeemer through the French Visitation nun, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690).
The core of the devotion is to honor and adore the Heart of Jesus Christ, crowned in thorns, wounded with the spear and aflame with Divine Charity. Our Blessed Redeemer appeared to St. Margaret Mary on numerous occasions, repeatedly showing her His Heart in the form illustrated and charging her, along with Bl. Claude de la Colombiere of the Society of Jesus, to propagate the devotion throughout Christendom.
This devotion was established with the promises of Our Lord to re-kindle piety and restore the faith in times of lukewarmness. Early in its spread, the devotion was attacked by the Jansenist heretics and scrutinized by the Holy See. It eventually triumphed, and the cult was officially sanctioned by the Church with a universal feast instituted on the first Friday following the octave of Corpus Christi.
 
The common promises associated with the Sacred Heart devotion are as follows:

Quote:1.      I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2.      I will establish peace in their families.
3.      I will console them in all their troubles.
4.      They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of their death.
5.      I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
6.      Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.
7.      Lukewarm souls shall become fervent.
8.      Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
9.      I will bless the homes where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.
10.  I will give to devotees of My Heart the power of touching the most hardened hearts.
11.  Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be effaced.
12.  The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.

 
The promises of the Sacred Heart devotion are typically found in this tabular form of 12 promises, but there has been debate as to the authenticity of this format. As St. Margaret Mary, Bl. Claude de la Colombiere, nor any of the Visitation sisters can be credited with its publication. Most of these early devotees to the Sacred Heart expressed the promises through longer tracts of quotations from St. Margaret Mary.
According to the booklet by Fr. Paul Wenisch, S.J., Promises of Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary, the promises given to St. Margaret Mary in her writings are generalized as follows:

Quote:1.      The Promise of Love: To pour out His love, to set up His reign of love in the hearts of men.
2.      The Promise of Mercy: Saving sinners, withdrawing them from perdition, securing their salvation.
3.      The Promise of Graces: To bestow abundant graces of salvation and sanctification.

These promises can be further elucidated through ten specific promises based upon the letters of St. Margaret Mary as she was given them from Christ (drawn from Promises of Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary):

1.      Promise to persons consecrated to the Heart of Jesus
Quote:“This divine Heart is more and more disclosing to his unworthy slave its vehement desire of being known, loved and honoured by men… HE MAKES KNOWN that this desire is so great that HE PROMISES to all those who consecrate themselves to Him and are devoted to Him in order to render Him and procure for Him all the love, honour and glory they possibly can… that He will never allow them for be lost, that He will be their secure refuge against all the snares of their enemies, but especially that, at the hour of their death, this divine Heart will receive them lovingly and make their salvation sure.” (L.131, p.532)

This means a total commitment of ourselves to Christ, not just a formula for recitation.


2.      Promise concerning the Picture
Quote:“This divine Heart is more and more disclosing to His unworthy slave its vehement desire of being known, loved and honoured by men… He makes known that this desire is so great that HE PROMISES that… as He is the source of all blessings, He will abundantly pour these out on all the places where the image of His Sacred Heart will be honoured, because His love urges Him to bestow the inexhaustible riches of His sanctifying and salutary graces upon souls that are of good will.” (L.131, p.532)

This means that honoring His Heart through its image will bestow a wealth of spiritual blessings upon devotees.


3.      Promises to Families
Quote:“The Sacred Heart of Jesus made it known to me again that the pleasure He takes in being loved, known and honoured by His creatures is so great that HE PROMISES… that, as He is the source of all blessings, He will pour them abundantly on all the places where the image of His Heart will be set up and honoured: and that He will reunite divided families, and protect and assist all those that are in any necessity and approach Him with confidence.” (Letter to Mother Greyfie: L.36, p.300)

This promise is usually expressed through the enthronement of an image of the Sacred Heart in a place of honor in the home, promising to abundantly bless those families who do so.


4.      Promise to Religious Communities

Quote:“The Sacred Heart of Jesus has again made known to me that His desire of being known, loved and honoured by men is so great that HE PROMISES… that He would pour out the sweet unction of His ardent charity on all the communities which would honour Him and place themselves under His special protection, and that He would keep all their hearts united so as to make them one with His. (L.131, p.532)

Quoting St. Margaret Mary once more; “Strive above all, that religious persons may embrace this devotion, for they will obtain through it so many helps that no other means would be necessary to establish the first fervour and the most exact regularity in the least well-regulated communities and to bring to the highest perfection those that already live in great regularity.” (L.141, pp.626-627)



5.      Promises concerning the Apostolate
Quote:"My divine Master HAS MADE KNOWN TO ME that those who labour for the salvation of souls, shall be successful in their labours and shall have the art of touching the most hardened hearts, if they have a tender devotion to His Heart and if they labour to inspire everyone with it and to establish it everywhere.” (L.141, p.628)

Within the context of the economy of salvation, these promises imply great graces to those apostolates who try their best to spread the devotion to the Sacred Heart.


6.      Promise to those who celebrate the Feast of the Heart of Jesus
Quote:"I ask of you that the Friday after the octave of the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament be kept as a special Feast in honour of my Heart, by receiving communion on that day and making to my Heart a reparation of honour for all the unworthy treatments It has received during the time that It has been exposed on the altars. I PROMISE YOU that my Heart shall shed in abundance the influence of its divine love on all those who shall thus honour It, and so cause It to be honoured.” (Aut. no.92, p.103)

In essence, go to confession, receive communion, and offer communion for reparation to the Sacred Heart on the Feast of the Sacred Heart.


7.      Promise that the Heart of Jesus will be for us a Fountain of Living Water and a Furnace of Love

Quote:“One day He appeared to me covered with wounds and TOLD ME TO LOOK AT THE OPENING OF HIS SACRED SIDE which was a bottomless abyss made by a spear beyond all measure, the spear of love… The soul finds in it the spring of living water to purify itself and receive the life of grace of which sin had deprived it. The heart finds in it a burning furnace of love which lets it live only through love… But as its entrance is small, one has to be small and devoid of everything to enter into it.” (Writings to Mother de Saumaise, no.22, p.143)
While not an explicit promise, it emphasizes the love and mercy found within the pierced Heart of Our Lord.


8.      Promise of the Cross

Quote:"It seems to me that Our Lord made me see several names written in His Sacred Heart owing to their desire to cause It to be honoured… But HE DOES NOT say that His friends would have nothing to suffer because HE WISHES that they make all their happiness consist in tasting His sorrows.” (L.39, p.303)

Another implicit promise, it affirms that we will need to meet with the cross of His sufferings through this devotion.


9.      Promise to Faith

Quote:“When I placed before Our Lord my little petitions regarding those things which seemed to me difficult to obtain (concerning the devotion to His Heart), it seemed to me I heard these words: ‘Do you believe that I can do this? If you believe it, you will see the power of My Heart in the magnificence of My Love.’ And as I watch in steady progress, I hear these other words: ‘Did I not indeed tell you that, if you could believe, you would see all your desires accomplished?’ (Letter to Mother de Saumaise, L.97, p.429)

The context of this promise is rooted in the Gospel promises of God providing for those who believe.


10.  Promise concerning the Nine First Friday Communions

Quote:One Friday during Holy Communion, unless she is mistaken, He spoke these words to His unworthy slave: ‘I PROMISE you, in the excessive mercy of My Heart, that its all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on nine consecutive first Fridays of the month, the grace of final repentance. They will not die in my disfavor nor without receiving their sacraments. My divine Heart shall be their secure refuge in their last moments.’” (L.59, p.346)

The authenticity of these direct words of Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary have been debated over the years, due to claims that the original letter is not in possession and that the promise was not known until the latter half of the 19th century.
 There is also the question of this promise’s “failure to perform” citing those that have completed the promise but died suddenly without the last sacraments. Yet the promise never explicitly mentions the last sacraments, but “their sacraments.” Meaning that a devotee could have had confession and communion shortly before their sudden end, with the focus of the promise being that of the “grace of final repentance.”


Again, these points made above are all taken from the great booklet Promises of Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary by Fr. Paul Wenisch, S.J. which can be downloaded here.  


Devotions and Prayers to the Sacred Heart
There are several popular prayers and practices that we can use to honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus each day, the most common being that of the Litany of the Sacred Heart.
As well as many that can be found at the following:
https://www.franciscanmedia.org/prayers-...red-heart/
The irresistible Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and subsequent prayers and practices, most importantly the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart: https://fisheaters.com/sh.html
 
Further reading on the Sacred Heart devotion
Promises of Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary by Fr. Paul Wenisch, S.J.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Rev. S. Franco, S.J.
Imitation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Rev. Peter J. Arnoudt, S.J. *Personal favorite*
The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Fr. John Croiset, S.J.
A Heart on Fire: Rediscovering Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Rev. James Kubicki
Heart of the Redeemer: An Apologia for the Contemporary and Perennial Value of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Timothy O’Donnell
The Autobiography of Saint Margaret Mary by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
The Life of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque by Emile Bougaud *Personal favorite*
The Heart: An Analysis of human and Divine affectivity by Dietrich von Hildebrand *Personal favorite*
 

As a final appeal, I highly recommend exploring this devotion to those who are not familiar with it. You come to find that the graces associated with it will flow to you very quickly. And what better way to honor Our Lord than to pick up a devotion to the Sacred Heart during the month dedicated to His Heart?
 
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity, have mercy on us!

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"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (St. Matt. 7:15)

"In this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors." -Pope Pius XI., Mortalium Animos
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#2
Well put together Augustinian. Many thanks for compiling this. I promise I will have a look through it. I have always wanted to develop a devotion to the Sacred Heart, but never really have.
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#3
(06-03-2019, 08:54 PM)Alphonse il Segundo Wrote: Well put together Augustinian. Many thanks for compiling this. I promise I will have a look through it. I have always wanted to develop a devotion to the Sacred Heart, but never really have.

I really hope you do, I highly recommend it, I've grown so much closer to Christ since starting it. And the wonderful thing about it, is that it's applicable to pretty much any sort of meditation you could do on Christ because it is the core of His being condensed into one devotion. It's incredibly powerful.
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (St. Matt. 7:15)

"In this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors." -Pope Pius XI., Mortalium Animos
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#4
Beautiful, Augustinian! Thanks and God bless you. Consecration&Devotion to the Sacred Heart is the solution to all our problems, the remedy to all our ills. Catholic Tradition has a nice article on The Sacred Heart Promises. http://www.catholictradition.org/Two-Hea...tion12.htm

Quote:"PROMISES ATTACHED TO THE CONSECRATION TO THE SACRED HEART

Consecration to the Sacred Heart is the principle, the resume and the final term of all the devotional practices demanded by our Divine Lord for His Sacred Heart.

a) THIS CONSECRATION REJOICES THE SACRED HEART AND TERRIFIES THE DEVIL, AGAINST WHOM IT IS A POWERFUL WEAPON.

"Let us renew often our consecration to the Heart of Jesus," writes St. Margaret Mary, "and let us live that consecration faithfully. The Sacred Heart takes a singular pleasure in it.

"The devil has a most intense fear of the devotion to this loving Heart, because of the salvation of the multitude of souls which it effects in favor of those who consecrate themselves completely to the Sacred Heart for the purpose of loving It, honoring It, and glorifying It."

b) CONSECRATION 10 THE SACRED HEART IS A SOVEREIGN REMEDY AGAINST MORTAL SIN.

"I cannot believe," writes St. Margaret Mary, "that those consecrated to the Heart of Jesus will fall under the domination of Satan through mortal sin, if having consecrated themselves to the Heart of Jesus, they endeavor to honor It, love It, and glorify It, by conforming themselves in all things to Its holy maxims."

c) CONSECRATION PUTS SOULS ON THE ROAD TO PERFECTION.

"There is no surer means of attaining perfection than to be consecrated to the Heart of Jesus. If therefore, we wish to attain that perfection which the adorable Heart of Jesus desires of us, we must make an entire sacrifice of ourselves, and of everything that depends on us, to the Sacred Heart and live entirely for It."

d) CONSECRATION WILL PROCURE PEACE.

"Establish your dwelling in the amiable Heart of Jesus, and you will find unalterable peace, strength to carry out all your good desires, and a protection against voluntary faults."

e) CONSECRATION IS THE KEY WHICH OPENS THE SACRED HEART TO US.

"Our Lord gave me to understand that He wishes to be known, loved and adored by men, and for that end He would give them many graces, provided they consecrated themselves to the devotion and love of His Sacred Heart."

f) CONSECRATION TO THE SACRED HEART IS A PLEDGE OF SALVATION.

"There is no surer means of salvation than to consecrate oneself to the Divine Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ. "The loving Heart of Jesus will not allow any of those consecrated to It to perish, so great is His desire that His Sacred Heart be known, loved and honored by His creatures. In this Sacred Heart they will find assistance during their life in all their necessities; It will be their secure place of refuge at the hour of their death, into which they will be received and protected from their enemies."

PROMISES MADE IN FAVOR OF SINNERS

THE DEVOTlON TO THE SACRED HEART IS AN EFFICACIOUS MEANS OFFERED FOR THE CONVERSION OF SINNERS.


"My Divine Master:' writes St. Margaret Mary, "revealed to me that it was His ardent desire to be known, loved and honored by men, and His eager desire to draw them back from the road to perdition, along which Satan is driving them in countless numbers, that induced Him to manifest His Heart to men with all the treasures of love, mercy, grace, sanctification and salvation that It contains, in order to have a means of satisfying Its desire to pour out on them abundantly Its mercies and Its graces. It is by this means that the Sacred Heart of our loving Jesus wishes to save many souls from eternal perdition . . . This Divine Heart is like a fortress or a secure place of refuge for all poor sinners who wish to take shelter in It from the Justice of Almighty God, the thunderbolts of whose wrath, like an impetuous torrent, would overwhelm sinners and their sins, on account of the enormous number committed at the present time."

THE DEVOTION TO THE SACRED HEART IS A SOVEREIGN REMEDY AGAINST TEPIDITY.

"Our Lord wishes through this devotion to His Divine Heart to rekindle the charity that has grown cold and has almost been extinguished in the hearts of the greater part of Christians; He wishes to give men a new means of loving God by His Sacred Heart, as much as He desires and merits, and of making reparation for their ingratitude.

"If we are cowardly, cold, impure, imperfect, the Sacred Heart is an ardent furnace in which we must purify and perfect ourselves like gold in the crucible. It will purify all that is imperfect in our actions; it will sanctify those that are good."

PROMISES MADE IN FAVOR OF THE JUST

"There is no shorter way of attaining perfection than to render to the Divine Heart an the homage, love, honor and praise in our power.

"I do not know of any other exercise in the spiritual life more calculated to raise a soul in a short time to the height of perfection, and make it taste the true sweetness that is to be found in the service of God; if it were known how pleasing this devotion is to Jesus Christ, there is no Christian, however little his love for our amiable Savior, who would not begin to practice it immediately."

"The names of beginners," writes St. Margaret Mary, "are written on the adorable Heart of Jesus only with ink. This signifies the initial grace given us to combat and conquer our imperfections, especially our proud self-love, which insinuates itself everywhere, sullying and disfiguring our holiest actions. These black letters should be purified from the earth which they contain and made bright in the crucible. This means that our inclinations and actions should be purified in the furnace of the love of the Divine Heart from all that is earthly and human and from all self-seeking.

"These black letters will gradually brighten in the crucible of Divine Love, and become like silver, which signifies purity of heart. But when in the process of purification all the black letters are changed into letters of silver, we must not stop there, we must continue until they are changed into gold.

"It is love that will change them into gold. Charity is the divine gold that will write our names on the Heart of Jesus in letters never to be effaced. We shall then become like holocausts, consumed completely in the ardent flames of the loving Heart of Jesus."
TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING: My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices, and the sufferings of my entire life for ... https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/
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#5
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I thought I'd share a prayer and a novena that Padre Pio would pray daily to the Sacred Heart for the intentions he received.

Quote:Efficacious Novena To The Sacred Heart Of Jesus

I. O my Jesus, You have said, ‘Truly I say to you, ask and it will
be given you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be
opened to you.’ Behold, I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of…

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be to the Father…
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

II. O my Jesus, You have said, ‘Truly I say to you, if you ask
anything of the Father in my name, He will give it to you.’
Behold, in Your name, I ask the Father for the grace of…

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be to the Father…
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

III. O my Jesus, You have said, ‘Truly I say to you, heaven and
earth will pass away but my words will not pass away.’
Encouraged by Your infallible words, I now ask for the grace of…

Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be to the Father…
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have
compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us poor sinners
and grant us the grace which we ask of You, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate heart of Mary, Your tender mother and ours.

Hail, Holy Queen… St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us




Quote:Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

O Sacred Heart of Jesus,

filled with infinite love,
broken by my ingratitude,
pierced by my sins,
yet loving me still;
accept the consecration
that I make to You
of all that I am
and all that I have.
Take every faculty
of my soul and body
and draw me,
day by day,
nearer and nearer
to Your Sacred Heart,
and there,
as I can understand the lesson,
teach me Your blessed ways. Amen.
https://padrepiodevotions.org/prayers-of-padre-pio/
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (St. Matt. 7:15)

"In this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors." -Pope Pius XI., Mortalium Animos
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#6
I decided to retitle this thread to reflect general devotion to the Sacred Heart, since we should seek reparation and devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary at all times.

The following are some great videos on the devotion, the first of which expresses the shift in extremes from the totally just, tyrannical God of the Jansenists to the completely merciful God which does not require penance of the modernists.



This video is simply a beautiful overview of the Sacred Heart



And then the four disciples of the Sacred Heart

"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (St. Matt. 7:15)

"In this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors." -Pope Pius XI., Mortalium Animos
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#7
Wonderful thread, thanks! I'd definitely like to increase my devotion to the Sacred Heart. It's nice to have a place to find a lot of good resources on it.
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened, save us.

“It is my design to die in the brew house; let ale be placed in my mouth when I am expiring, that when the choirs of angels come, they may say, “Be God propitious to this drinker.” – St. Columbanus, A.D. 612
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#8
Thank you for posting this, Augustinian!  You know I'm fully Eastern, but the Sacred Heart is one of the few Western devotions that I've felt any draw towards.  There is something mysteriously beautiful in its appeal that I don't know how to describe beyond that.  I was unaware that the Jansenists were opposed to it; that makes me want to give it more than a cursory look!

Do you know if the devotion to the Immaculate Heart is tied to it beyond just common practice, or are they linked together more directly than that?
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#9
(07-08-2019, 11:52 AM)Melkite Wrote: Thank you for posting this, Augustinian!  You know I'm fully Eastern, but the Sacred Heart is one of the few Western devotions that I've felt any draw towards.  There is something mysteriously beautiful in its appeal that I don't know how to describe beyond that.  I was unaware that the Jansenists were opposed to it; that makes me want to give it more than a cursory look!

Do you know if the devotion to the Immaculate Heart is tied to it beyond just common practice, or are they linked together more directly than that?
I very much encourage devotion to the Sacred Heart to anyone, East or West. There's an unfortunate misunderstanding that we are devoting ourselves to a mere part of Christ's body, which isn't true. The Biblical perspective of the heart has always been that of the core of one's being, emblematic of the entirety of that person. Therefore, to devote oneself to the Heart of Jesus is to devote oneself to His entire Person. It has been a powerful devotion for me, and I only picked it up just over two months ago.


They are both completely complementary devotions. As Mary gave her flesh to Our Lord, so did Our Lord give Mary His Heart. A devotion to one usually results in devotion to the other.
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (St. Matt. 7:15)

"In this one Church of Christ no man can be or remain who does not accept, recognize and obey the authority and supremacy of Peter and his legitimate successors." -Pope Pius XI., Mortalium Animos
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#10
I would also note, during the Eucharistic Miracles that have undergone scientific tests, it was found that the Host turned into flesh and blood, but not just any flesh and blood, but specifically cardiac muscle tissue from the left ventricle of the Heart. This includes the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano 750, Sokolka Poland 2008 and Buenos Aires Argentina 2005. The Buenos Aires findings were actually presented to Cardinal Bergoglio at that time in 2005 who was then the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he basically hid it away and funny we've not heard anything about it from him.

"For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."

God Bless
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