Sacred Heart of Jesus: November 2008 Archives


The hymn at Vespers of Christ the King evokes both the feast of Corpus Christi and that of the Sacred Heart. This is consonant with the thought of Pope Pius XI who, in instituting the feast of Christ the King in 1925, situated it in the lineage of the two other later Christological feasts. Here are two the two pertinent stanzas:

Ad hoc cruenta ab arbore
pendes apertis bracchiis,
diraque fossum cuspide
cor igne flagrans exhibes.

For this Thou hangedst on the Tree
With arms outstretched in loving plea;
For this Thou shewedst forth Thy Heart,
On fire with love, pierced by the dart.

Ad hoc in aris abderis
vini dapisque imagine,
fundens salutem filiis
transverberato pectore.

And yet that wounded side sheds grace
Forth from the altar's holy place,
Where, veiled 'neath humblest bread and wine,
Abides for man the life divine.

Christ King.jpg

"We institute the Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ to be observed yearly throughout the whole world. . . . We further ordain that the dedication of mankind to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which Our predecessor of saintly memory, Pope Pius X, commanded to be renewed yearly, be made annually on that day."
Quas Primas, Encyclical of Pope Pius XI, December 11, 1925.

The mandate of Pope Pius XI to recite publicly the Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has never been rescinded. It was customary in the past to renew the Act of Consecration at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament on the afternoon or evening of the feast of Christ the King. Failing that, could it not be presented in the homily, and then recited at the end of Mass? In how many cathedrals and parish churches will the Act of Consecration be recited publicly today? Read it attentively. It is extraordinarily relevant to the current and coming situation of the Church in the United States.

Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Most Sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before thy altar.  We are Thine, and Thine we wish to be; but to be more surely united to Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself / today to Thy Most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known Thee; Many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee.  Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart.
Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful children / who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children / who have abandoned Thee; Grant that they may quickly return / to their Father's house / lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.
Be Thou King of those / who are deceived by the erroneous opinions / of whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth / and unity of faith, so that soon there may be / but one flock and one shepherd.
Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound / from pole to pole with one cry; praise to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; To it be glory and honor forever.  R. Amen.

About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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