Sign Up for our Free Daily Email Updates / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Devotion to the Sacred Heart SacredHeartOfJesusJoseMariaIbarraranYPonce2-smallRestroredTraditionsREQUIRESHOTLINK

Presence of God – O Sacred Heart of Jesus, teach me how to know You and to love You.


The object of devotion to the Sacred Heart is, properly speaking, the physical Heart of Jesus which is worthy of adoration, because it is a part of His sacred humanity, hypostatically united to the Word. However, the ultimate object of this devotion is the love of Jesus, the symbol of which is His Heart. In other words, “beneath the symbolic image of the Heart, we contemplate and venerate our divine Redeemer’s immense charity and generous love” (Pius VI). This is the real meaning of the devotion to the Sacred Heart by which the Church asks us to honor the Heart of Jesus as the visible representation of His invisible love. “Your charity has allowed You to be wounded by the visible blow of the lance,” the liturgy of the feast sings, “so that we may venerate the wounds of Your invisible love” (Roman Breviary). Therefore, the principle object of this devotion is the love of Jesus, an uncreated love with which He, as the Word, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, loved us from all eternity, and from all eternity willed to become incarnate for our salvation. It is also the created love of charity with which, as Man, He loved us even to the death of the Cross, meriting for us by His love that same charity by which we are enabled to love Him in return. Here we find the most profound significance of devotion to the Sacred Heart. St. Teresa Margaret of the Heart of Jesus had such a thorough understanding of this meaning that she made this devotion the center of her life. The process for her canonization says that the Saint “saw the Heart of Jesus as the center, the source of the love with which the divine Word, in the bosom of the Father, loved us from all eternity, and merited for us in time the power to love Him in return, on earth and in heaven, by our sharing in this love.”


“For this, O Jesus, was Your sacred side pierced, that it might give us an easy entrance. Your Heart was opened that we might dwell there, safe from exterior disturbances. In addition to this, You were pierced by a spear, so that through the visible wound, we could see the invisible one which love inflicted on You, for he who burns with love, is wounded by love. What better evidence of Your ardent love could You have given us than by permitting the lance to pierce, not only Your Body, but even Your Heart? The wound in Your flesh then shows forth the wound in Your spirit.

“Who will not love that Heart so deeply wounded? Who will not return love to One who so loved us? Who will not embrace a Spouse so chaste? Certainly the soul loves You in return, O Lord, who, knowing itself to be wounded by Your love, cries to You: Your charity has wounded me! We too, pilgrims in the flesh, love as much as we can, and embrace the One who was wounded for us, whose hands, feet, side, and Heart were pierced. Let us love and pray: ‘O Jesus, deign to bind our hearts, still so hard and unrepentant, with the chain of Your love and wound them with its dart’” (St. Bonaventure).

“O Jesus, a soldier opened Your side with his lance, so that, through the gaping wound, we might know the charity of Your Heart, which loved us unto death, and that we might enter into Your unutterable love through the same channel by which it came to us. Approach, then, O my soul, the Heart of Christ, that magnanimous Heart, that hidden Heart, that Heart which thinks of all things and knows all things; that loving Heart, all on fire with love. Make me understand, O Lord, that the door of Your Heart was forced open by the vehemence of Your love. Allow me to enter into the secret of that love which was hidden from all eternity, but is now revealed by the wound in Your Heart” (St. Bernardine of Siena).


Note from Dan: This posts on Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is provided courtesy of Baronius Press and contains one of two meditations for the day. If you would like to get the full meditation from one of the best daily meditation works ever compiled, you can learn more here: Divine Intimacy. Please honor those who support us by purchasing and promoting their products.

Editor’s Note: The Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus can be found here.

Art: Sacred Heart of Jesus, José María Ibarrarán y Ponce, 1896, Restored Traditions, used with permission. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D., mirror from open source material.

Print Friendly
Profile photo of Dan Burke

About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and Divine Intimacy Radio, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, and his newest books Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep and Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

please consider supporting our mission with a donation!

  • Utelene Nugent

    Sacred Heart of Jesus, let me understand in my deepest being, and see by faith, your heart being pierced for my sins. Allow my own heart to melt at the thought. Grant me the grace, O Merciful Jesus, of living a life of love pleasing to you. HEART OF JESUS HEAR!!!

  • Patricia

    O my God! I offer Thee all my actions of this day for the intentions and for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I desire to sanctify every beat of my heart, my every thought, my simplest works, by uniting them to Its infinite merits; and I wish to make reparation for my sins by casting them into the furnace of Its Merciful Love.

    O my God! I ask of Thee for myself and for those whom I hold dear, the grace to fulfill perfectly Thy Holy Will, to accept for love of Thee the joys and sorrows of this passing life, so that we may one day be united together in heaven for all Eternity.


    Morning Prayer written by St. Therese of Lisieux

  • Jeanette

    Thank you for the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

    Dear Jesus, help me to conform my heart to Your Heart, thus my will to Your Will and grant me the courage and holy boldness to carry out Your Will in this life with love, by the aid of Your Graces.

    • LizEst

      Quite welcome, Jeanette. It’s been on our site for a long time…but was a late addition to this post…inspired by the Holy Spirit!

Skip to toolbar