June 2021 Edition Now Available — Preview HERE
Dear Friends in Christ,
In the weeks following Pentecost Sunday, which fell on May 23 this year, the Church’s liturgical cycle features three feasts that focus our attention on the Real Presence and infinite love of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. The solemn feasts of Corpus Christi (Thursday after Trinity Sunday) and the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (Friday after Corpus Christi) are observed annually by the entire Church and thus are well known by most of the faithful. The third is lesser known (not observed universally) but nonetheless synthesizes the other two beautifully.
The feast of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus was instituted by Pope Benedict XV on Nov. 9, 1921, the culmination of a devotion fostered particularly by Pope Leo XIII, who established an archconfraternity for the spread of the devotion in 1903. Benedict XV explained his motive for establishing the feast, celebrated on the Thursday within the octave of the Sacred Heart, as follows:
“The chief reason of this feast is to commemorate the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the mystery of the Eucharist. By this means, the Church wishes more and more to excite the faithful to approach this sacred mystery with confidence, and to inflame their hearts with that divine charity which consumed the Sacred Heart of Jesus when in His infinite love He instituted the Most Holy Eucharist, wherein the Divine Heart guards and loves them by living with them, as they live and abide in Him.”
Roughly 35 years later, in 1956, Pope Pius XII expressed his “fervent desire that all who profess themselves Christians and are seriously engaged in the effort to establish the Kingdom of Christ on earth will consider the practice of devotion to the Heart of Jesus as the source and symbol of unity, salvation, and peace” — in particular, “the devotion to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus” (Encyclical Haurietis Aquas, n. 122).
At Catholic Family News, we are “seriously engaged in the effort to establish the Kingdom of Christ on earth,” all the while recognizing that without Him, we can do nothing (cf. John 15:5). Thus, we seek to foster in ourselves and our readers a strong devotion to His Most Sacred Heart, which is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament, especially as the ecclesial crisis continues to accelerate.
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Sincerely in the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts,