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Consecration of family to Sacred Heart: An invitation to Love
This devotion helps family to experience the love of Jesus and in turn it fosters mutual love among the family members, and for a family this devotion is indeed ‘God’s armour’ as envisaged by Pope Leo XIII.
By Joe Palathunkal
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus began around 1700 AD after the revelations to Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647 - 1690) but it became a very popular devotion through the dedicated efforts of Father Mateo Crawley-Boevey around 1900 and this Peruvian priest was the one who made the consecration of family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus a wide spread practice.
Pope Pius X told Mateo: “I order you to give your life for this work of salvation.” and he took it seriously travelling all over for spreading this devotion in every family on earth. By the time he died in 1960, this Peruvian priest had achieved his goal to commendable level.
In 1907 he went to France’s Paray-le-Monial where Jesus had given apparitions of the Sacred Heart to Margaret Mary Alacoque and there, he himself had a tremendous healing experience, and for forty years, he moved around asking people to consecrate their families to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
At home, as a child, I devoutly participated in this devotion when my mother—an ardent devotee of the Sacred Heart—recited the family consecration prayer after the rosary everyday, and I still continue it with my children today.
This devotion helps family to experience the love of Jesus and in turn it fosters mutual love among the family members, and for a family, this devotion is indeed ‘God’s armour’ as envisaged by Pope Leo XIII. This armour would definitely protect the whole family from every danger.
As Pope John Paul II said, through this consecration, we will be able to build ‘the civilization of love’, and that is the civilization that will save the world from the scourge of hatred and greed—the pernicious forces that are bent on killing humans and the whole creation. In such a civilization of love, as Pope Leo XIII says “Swords and arms drop from the hand when all shall acknowledge the empire of Christ.”
June being the month of the Sacred Heart, it would be a commendable step for families to enthrone the image of the Sacred Heart and pray the following consecration prayer at home every day. Father Mateo Crawley-Boevey who even wanted the UN to recognize the rights of Christ would be the happiest person to hear the following prayer of consecration wafting into the skies from every home.
“O most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thou didst reveal to the blessed Margaret Mary Thy desire to rule over Christian families; behold, in order to please Thee, we stand before Thee this day, to proclaim Thy full sovereignty over our family. We desire henceforth to live Thy life, we desire that the virtues, to which Thou hast promised peace on earth, may flower in the bosom of our family; we desire to keep far from us the spirit of the world, which Thou hast condemned. Thou art King of our hearts by our love of Thee alone, with which our hearts are on fire and whose flame we shall nourish by frequent reception of the Holy Eucharist.
Be pleased, O Sacred Heart, to preside over our gathering together, to bless our spiritual and temporal affairs, to ward off all annoyance from us, to bless our joys and comfort our sorrows. If any of us has ever been so unhappy as to fall into the misery of displeasing Thee, grant that he may remember, O Heart of Jesus, that Thou art full of goodness and mercy toward the repentant sinner.
And when the hour of separation strikes and death enters our family circle, whether we go or whether we stay, we shall all bow meekly before Thine eternal decrees. This shall be our consolation, to remember that the day will come, when our entire family, once more united in heaven, shall be able to sing of Thy glory and Thy goodness forever. May the immaculate Heart of Mary and the glorious Patriarch Saint Joseph vouchsafe to offer Thee this our act of consecration, and to keep the memory thereof alive in us all the days of our lives.
Glory to the Heart of Jesus, our King and our Father! Amen.”
(Joe Palathunkal is Associate Editor, Living in Faith)
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