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Patti Maguire Armstrong shares resources to help families deepen their devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In these times of turmoil, drawing our families together and placing them under the kingship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus offers great comfort and protection. Even if some of our children are grown and left the faith, as their parents, we can spiritually put them into the Sacred Heart of Jesus, proclaiming Him as King of our family. It is a public acknowledgment and a decision to live in union with Jesus and go deeper in His love.

This old devotion of the Sacred Heart Enthronement is experiencing renewed interest. It comes from one of the 12 promises of the Sacred Heart that our Lord Jesus made to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in visions to her: "I will bless every house in which an image of my heart shall be exposed and honored." Based on that promise, Father Mateo Crawley-Boevey, born in Peru, South America, began this tradition in 1907 of enthroning the Sacred Heart as our King "to conquer the whole world for the Heart of Jesus, home after home, family after family.”

There is not necessarily a specific formula to do an enthronement, although there are suggestions on how to prepare and recite a prayer of consecration to the Sacred Heart. A key part is to place an image of the Sacred Heart in a visible place in our home — not hidden away in some back room.  Enthronements can be done anywhere — offices, nursing homes, even in prison cells. Bishops have enthroned the Sacred Heart over their diocese such as had been done in the Diocese of Syracuse, New York, and in that of La Crosse, Wisconsin. In 2009, in my diocese of Bismarck, North Dakota, the bishop enthroned the Sacred Heart, and it was renewed by our current bishop in 2013 to mark the end of the Year of Faith. 

Here are all 12 Promises as given to St. Margaret Mary for those devoted to the Sacred Heart:

  1. I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
  2. I will establish peace in their homes.
  3. I will comfort them in all their afflictions.
  4. I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all, in death.
  5. I will bestow abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.
  6. Sinners will find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
  7. Lukewarm souls shall become fervent.
  8. Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
  9. I will bless every place in which an image of my Heart is exposed and honored.
  10. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
  11. Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in my Heart.
  12. I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my 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 my disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. My divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment."

The Feast of the Sacred Heart is on June 19, so June is an especially fitting month to develop or deepen our devotion to the Sacred Heart. St. John Paul II (as quoted in The Political Papacy: John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Their Influence) told us: “In the Heart of Christ, man's heart learns to know the genuine and unique meaning of his life and his destiny, to understand the value of an authentically Christian life, to keep himself from certain perversions of the human heart and to unite the filial love for God with the love of neighbor.”

The Bismarck Diocese offers suggestions on doing an enthronement. You can also visit SacredHeartApostolate.com (bottom left of their home page) for resources.

There are also many books about the Sacred Heart. Two good ones for children (and adults too) are The Promises of the Sacred Heart (St. Joseph Picture Books) and the beautiful Sacred Heart of Jesus Coloring Book (Sophia Institute Press) with prayers and inspiration on each page.

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Copyright 2020 Patti Maguire Armstrong

Image: Wikimedia Commons