The History of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Between 1673 and 1675, Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary revealing His Divine Heart to her. In one apparition He told her, “My Divine Heart is so passionately in love with humanity, and with you in particular, that it cannot keep back the pent-up flames of its burning charity any longer. They must burst out through you.” Our Lord mourned the indifference and ingratitude of the greater part of humanity. Christ asked for the communion of reparation on 9 First Fridays. He also requested that there be a special liturgical feast for His Sacred Heart in the Universal Church to be celebrated eight days after the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. Our Lord asked that on that day, there be a solemn act of reparation for all the offenses heaped upon Him in the Blessed Sacrament. Through the efforts of St. Margaret Mary, her Spiritual Director and the Mother superior of her convent, the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus began in the Catholic Church worldwide and throughout the subsequent centuries.
The Holy See has given this devotion a high place of importance in the Church due not only to the requests of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary but also to the soundness of the doctrine and its timeliness in rekindling love and trust in the Merciful Heart of Our Savior. Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI wrote, “This devotion (to the Sacred Heart) is the contemplation of the 'side pierced by the spear,' in which shines the limitless will of salvation on the part of God." For this reason, "it cannot be considered as a passing form of worship or devotion. Adoration of the love of God, which has found in the symbol of the 'pierced heart' its historical-devotional expression, continues to be vital for a living relationship with God."
From this devotion, our trust in God’s limitless love and mercy is rekindled. The incomprehensible treasures which we have in the sacraments are symbolized in the blood and water gushing forth from the Heart of Christ.